Paper Mache Animals

Paper Mache Recipes

On this page you’ll find recipes for two different home-made paper mache pastes made with white flour and water, plus several alternative paper mache paste recipes and products – including some that are gluten-free.

My favorite recipe is the easiest one, which you can see in the text and video below. If you were looking for the recipe for my famous paper mache clay recipe – click here.

Easy paper mache paste recipe:

This is the best paste to use if you’re working with a classroom of kids, because it’s both fast and inexpensive – and it’s plenty strong, too.

paper mache paste recipe

Mixing paper mache paste with an immersion blender.

To make the paste, just pour some white flour in a bowl, and add water gradually until you have a consistency that will work well. (If you want, you can use a small kitchen mixer so you don’t have any lumps. An immersion blender works great).

How thick should you make your paste?  You want it thin enough so it more closely resembles white glue than pancake batter – although thicker paste will work OK, too, if that’s the way you like it.

What kind of flour will work? You’ll need to use all-purpose white flour. Whole-wheat flour makes healthier bread, but it isn’t sticky enough to make good paste.

Make up just enough for one sculpting session. This is good advice for any paste made with wheat flour. Wild yeast is attracted to flour (that’s how sourdough bread is made.) If the paste is kept over from one session to the next, the yeast will break down the flour and make the paste less sticky (and slightly stinky). It’s best to whip up as much as you need today, throw out any paste that’s left over, and make a new batch tomorrow – or whenever you need some more. (If you need a paste that can be kept for longer periods of time, see the Elmer’s Art Paste, below.)

Be sure to clean the bowl and utensils before the paste has time to dry – it will dry very hard. That’s good for paper mache, but not so good for the person washing the dishes.

How to Make Animal Sculptures with Paper Mache Clay

Learn the secret techniques that have already helped thousands of people create beautiful, original animal sculptures … even if they’ve never sculpted anything before.

All you need is a little time, a few dollars for “art materials” that you’ll find at your local grocery and hardware store, and the clear step-by-step instructions in How to Make Animal Sculptures with Paper Mache Clay. Now available on

Boiled Flour and Water Paste:

Boiled paper mache paste takes a little longer to make, and it doesn’t seem to be any stronger than the raw flour and water paste shown above. However, it will dry almost clear, unlike the raw paste, and the surface of your paper mache sculpture will be slightly smoother. If you aren’t sure which recipe you’ll like better, mix up a batch of both of them and try them out.

To make boiled paste, mix two tablespoons of white flour with a cup of water in a small saucepan and stir until there are no lumps. A whisk works really well for this. Put the pan on the stove at medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When it begins to thicken, be sure to watch carefully and keep stirring, to make sure it doesn’t burn. As soon as it starts to bubble, remove from heat and allow to cool. The paste will be runny when it’s hot, but it will gel slightly as it cools.

Gluten-Free Paper Mache Paste:

Elmer’s Art Paste:

Gluten-free paper mache pasteIf you mix Elmer’s Art Paste with the amount of water specified on the package you’ll have up to four quarts of gluten-free paste that doesn’t attract mold. It feels different than the more traditional wheat paste, but it works just as well. Mix it way ahead of time, because it takes longer to absorb the water than the maker claims.

Elmer’s Art Paste is made with methyl-cellulose, the product often considered the ‘gold standard’ for professional paper mache artists. It’s non-toxic, safe for kids, and a great paste for people who live in hot, humid climates.

You can mix up the entire 2 oz package and keep it in a covered jar. It won’t spoil.

Glue-Based Paste:

If you need a paste that dries perfectly clear, you can use Elmer’s Glue-All (or any white PVA glue) mixed with just enough water to make the glue thinner and easier to spread. Many people use the glue and water to avoid the gluten in wheat-based paste. I don’t personally like using it because it’s slick, which makes the pieces of paper slide around on the armature until the glue finally ‘grabs on.’ However, some people really like it, and never use anything else.

Acrylic Gel:

This isn’t really a paste, but acrylic gel medium does a fine job of sticking paper onto an armature. This is the product that I use when I add colored tissue paper as a final layer over a paper mache sculpture. If you do this, make sure the paper mache underneath is completely dry, because the acrylic medium could dry on top, sealing moisture inside. This would lead to problems later on.

I use the gel medium with tissue paper for two reasons: It dries perfectly clear, and it doesn’t cause the fragile tissue paper to fall apart, the way a water-based paste will do.

You can use any acrylic gel medium, but the one I now use exclusively is the Acrylic Gel Medium by Rock Paint. It isn’t ‘better’ than other gels on the market, but it seems to be the least expensive product of it’s type, and it works just fine.

You can see how the gel medium worked with tissue paper on a bullfrog sculpture here: (If you follow the links on that page, you’ll find a free 3D pattern for the bullfrog.)

Drywall Joint Compound and Glue Paste:

I use this recipe, or the plaster and glue recipe below, whenever I make a mask or sculpture with blue shop towels. Just just two or three layers of the heavy shop towel paper, held together with one of these paste, will make a strong, hard skin for a sculpture or mask. I also use this recipe as gesso, to create a nice white ground for the final paint on my sculptures.

To make the paste with glue and joint compound, you’ll need a mixture of about 1/3 Elmer’s Glue-All or any white PVA glue, and 2/3 joint compound. After you’ve mixed it thoroughly, add just a small amount of water to make it thin enough to brush over your armature.

Use any joint compound except Dap brand, which doesn’t work. Walmart sells non-Dap joint compound in their paint department. You can find gallon-sized bottles of Elmer’s Glue-All at most hardware stores and DIY stores. It’s much less expensive when purchased in the larger size.

This paste is too heavy to use with newspaper, but it works great with the blue shop towels. The towels need to be completely saturated with the paste, so they’ll dry hard and strong.

You can find a video showing how I make the home-made paste (called gesso in the video) here.

Glue and Plaster of Paris Paste:

This is the paste that I used for all the masks in my book How to Make Masks. It works great with the blue shop towels, but is too heavy to use with lighter papers. Unfortunately, the towels are not available in all countries, but in the US you can find them at hardware stores, DIY stores, and Walmart. You can see a three-video series of a Commedia del Arte Mask  mask made with the blue shop towels and the glue and plaster paste here.

The recipe for this fast-setting paper mache paste:

Mix together:

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) white glue (Elmer’s Glue-All® or any PVA glue)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cold water
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vinegar (it slows down the plaster to give you more time to work)

Then mix in:

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) plaster of Paris

This paste will harden quickly, and may even begin to harden right in the bowl. If you will be working with children, or if you’re working on a large project, use the previous recipe for paste made with drywall joint compound and glue instead. Both recipes dry very hard when used with the blue shop towels.

Finishing Your Paper Mache Sculpture:

You can use any type of paint on your sculpture. I like to use acrylic craft paints, and I seal my sculptures with a matte acrylic varnish. If the sculpture is very dry when you paint it, and if you seal it with varnish, it should last a lifetime.


You may also like:

How I painted the Unicorn.Unicorn Pattern
Hyena Mask PatternHyena Mask Pattern
Life Sized Paper Mache Baby ElephantLife-Sized Baby Elephant


  • HI, I’ve currently got a commission on the go for a christmas tree. I was hoping to create a 9ft paper mache cone. what is the best way to go about this please?
    Many thanks

    • Hi Rachel. The only thing I can think of is to make a cone out of cardboard first, and cover it with paper mache. You can get really big cardboard boxes at an appliance store. A chest freezer’s box would be almost big enough, but you’d probably need several pieces of cardboard. If they’re taped together, maybe with the fiber-reinforced tape used for mailing packages, the cone should be really strong even without the paper mache. And making the tree hollow would make it light enough to move around, and you could drill holes for led lights, if you wanted to.

      I would really like to see your tree when it’s done. I hope you’ll post a photo for us.

  • I’m working on a 34″ ball for my son’s Halloween costume and so far I’ve been using the basic flour and water paste and newspaper strips over a 36″ balloon. I’ve had one balloon pop while it was drying so I blew up another one inside the form and let out some air as the form dries. I’ve put on about 4 layers and have had cracks in the form at each layer. I’ve patched the cracks when I do the next layer but I’m wondering how I can make the entire ball smoother and stronger as he will be wearing this at school and for trick or treating. I am cutting head, arm and leg holes once the ball seems less fragile before I paint it.

    • HI Ruth. The cracks are happening because wet paper is bigger than dry paper, so it pulls apart in cracks as it dries. If you stay with the paper mache, you’ll need to repair the cracks as you go, and keep letting the air out. I put together a little video with tips on making costumes over balls or balloons – you’ve already got this far so it might not be helpful, but you can see it here. I think I should change the title of the post, to help more people find it.

  • Jonni,
    Thanks for the recipes. Currently making a plague dr mask. I used rolled cardboard and duct tape to make the form. I lubed up the form with p jelly and is currently drying. So far this format is way cooler than flour and news paper! When I’m finished, I’ll send pics!

  • My son and I are working on a pumpkin head for him to wear on Halloween. We used a plastic garbage bag filled with paper and tied with string for our shape, rather than a ball or balloon. We have our first layer of newspaper and flour/water mixture drying right now. I have some plaster wrap I was going to use for one layer, followed by plain packing paper on the outside layer for painting. I am concerned about cutting/carving out the eyes and mouth. Will cutting through the plaster wrap be difficult?

    • Hi Tia. You shouldn’t have any difficulty cutting out the eyes and mouth. Use a sharp craft knife, and cover the fuzzy edges with strips of your packing paper. It should work out really well. I would love to see it when it’s done.

    • Yes, paper mache is the traditional way to make a piñata. Use enough layers of newspaper and paste to make it strong enough so it doesn’t break on the first whack, but not so many layers that it can’t break at all.

      I hope you’ll show us your piñata when it’s done!

  • Hi Jonni,

    I recently got your great mask-making book and I decided to give it a go in time for halloween. I have the mold and the features already sculpted in clay, so all I have to do is “paper-mache” it. Unfortunately, the blue shop towels are not readily available in my country afaik. I’ve ordered some online, but they won’t get here in time. In your experience, what is the second best method I could use? Flour-water paste and strips of newspaper? If, so how many layers do I need to put? And do they need to dry completly between layers? Or maybe use your recipe for paper-mache clay?
    Thank you very much in advance!

    • If you have all the ingredients for the clay, here’s what I’d do – I’d give the model four or five layers of newspaper strips and paste. You don’t need to let them dry between layers, but you do need to let them dry all the way through before doing anything else. Put the mask in front of a fan for two or three days. The bottom layers don’t have access to air, so they dry slowly.

      Then, you can strengthen the mask with a very thin layer of the paper mache clay. The traditional paper strips and paste underneath will keep the inside of the mask smooth – the clay dries really hard, and even slight bumps can be uncomfortable. The clay can also be used to add details.

      Good luck! I hope your mask gets done in time.

  • Hi. I am planning on making a ball costume out of a yoga ball. What would be the best underneath to put on the ball before I paper mache. I plan on deflating the ball once it dries(or pop it if it doesn’t deflate). This is for a kids costume. I also want it to be sturdy and hold shape. So layering the paper mache is good? Thanks

    • Hi Joy. A very thin layer of petroleum jelly will help the paper mache release from the ball, once it’s dry. The biggest trick is to make sure your paper mache dries all the way through, because a damp layer of paper mache next to the ball will make it hold onto the rubber, and the entire structure could collapse when you remove the supporting ball. So – make sure to give it plenty of time to dry.

      If you’re using newspaper strips and paste you’ll need at least eight layers of paper mache, and maybe more. You can make the project go a lot faster if you use plaster cloth for the first two or three layers, and use the paper mache as a final layer to give a smooth surface for paint. That’s how I made my chalkboard globe.

      • I’m making a similar costume and don’t need a smooth surface. I’m covering the final product with fabric. Can I do the whole thing with plaster cloth? Will it be strong enough? If so, how many layers would I need?

      • I’m doing the same project with the yoga ball and was planning on doing 6 layers and then use gesso. When you say give it plenty of time to dry, in general ( II know everyone has different circumstances due to humidity, heat etc.) are we talking days? I put a layer of plastic around my yoga ball before the paper mache hoping it would help when deflating the ball, I hope it works.

        • Hi Stella. You’ll need to give it two or three days. It really helps if you put the paper mache’d ball in front of a fan – that will reduce the drying time considerably. The plastic is a great idea!

          • I’m doing the same thing- using a yoga ball- trying to do a BB8 Costume for my 5 year old.. first layer of plaster cloth down- what is the wait time in between layers? figured id need 2-3 layers at least of the plaster cloth?


            • Hi Rebekah. You don’t need to wait any time at all when adding layers of plaster cloth – and you can add the paper mache right away, too. They’ll dry together. And you’re right – you’ll need two or three layers.

            • I have done 2-3 layers of plaster cloth over past 18 hour or so, last layer is drying- but it is pretty bumpy- so will do one layer of paper mache- how long do you think it will take to dry with that last layer?
              will spray paint it all white and then add the décor on the outside for the body of BB8. I have a helmet and half strofoam ball for the head piece.

            • shoot just saw your response- my apologies for the redundant questions-

              is there a favorite paper mache recipe for this? just prefer a smooth texture to work with! 🙂

            • My favorite is the raw flour and water paste. If you use a whisk or electric mixer, it will be just as smooth as any other paste. Some people prefer to cook their paste, because it dries clear. You’ll need to leave the wet paper mache in front of a fan at least overnight to make sure it’s dry all the way through.

  • I’m making some armor (Halloween costume) out of layered cardboard boxes and was planning on topping with paper mache to smooth out the edges and make it stronger. Would this be the best way to go or should I use something else on cardboard to protect it? My husband thought maybe just a stretchy cloth glued to the exterior would do.

    • Hi Lori. Paper mache will work well. Your husband’s idea reminds me of the way Dan Reeder creates a tough skin on the outside of his big paper mache dragons – he uses old bed sheets dipped in a mixture of white glue and water. If your pieces of cardboard are very firmly attached to each other, his cloth skin would be all you need, with no paper mache underneath. If you tear the cloth pieces, and use the largest piece you can without making wrinkles, you shouldn’t need to do much sanding.

      I should mention that this would be experimental. I’ve never done it, but it sounds like it would work. The only thing I worry about is the cardboard warping as the paper mache or glue dries – so do a small experiment first, whichever method you choose.

  • I was planning on making a paper mache mask with tissue and glue, but I’m worried it wont be durable or might fall apart; does anyone know how sturdy it it?

    • That’s a tough question. One of the fabric stiffeners might work. Or Mod Podge. But I’m not sure. I’ve never used tissue paper for anything except for color added over the top layer of paper mache. It’s extremely fragile. If you find something that works, I’d love to hear about it. And I’d really like to see your mask after it’s done.

  • I want to make a paper mashe kinder surprise egg costume for my 5 year old will it be ok outside in the winter for a few hours of trick or treating if it decideds to drizzle or snow !?

    • Hi Tracey. If you use a good varnish on the inside and outside of the paper mache (assuming the egg is hollow) the paper mache should hold up for a few hours. It isn’t permanently weatherproof, of course, but for temporary use outside, it should be fine.

      • Thank you for the speedy reply ! Can you post a link to a product that would do the job .

        Would the product be toxic for him to have on ?

        Also if I made it now I wouldn’t have to worry about it molding by Halloween as long as I let it completely dry between layers correct ?

        • Good questions, Tracey. I just now did a quick search to see what I could find about varnish safety, and this site says all varnish is ‘food safe’ once it’s cured. If no bad stuff can get out of the varnish, even when hit with acidic foods, then I don’t think it can harm someone breathing near it. I do suggest that you put some felt or foam on the inside, though, so the paper mache doesn’t have to be right next to the skin. This just makes it much more comfortable, since air can circulate. All hardware stores have polyurethane varnish, which are harder and tougher than acrylic varnish from the art store. And they’re water-cleanup, which is nice.

          If the mask is completely dry, then sealed with varnish, it should last for years. If it does get rained on and you want to keep it, bring it back in the house after Halloween and let it dry out again before storing it.

          • Foam is a great idea thanks !

            Do I seal it with the varnish then paint it with craft paint and then seal it again with the varnish ?

            Or do I just craft paint over the paper mashe and then seal it with the varnish at the end? 🙂

          • Help!!!!
            My balloon has popped while sleeping and I’ve only got the two layers of news paper mache on the egg! I did a layer and then let it dry till the next day and then did another layer and left it to dry and it popped during the night ! Maybe I should have done the layers quicker ?

            I still wanted to put atleast one layer of white paper on so its easier to paint .

            Also it is not nearly as strong as I feel it should be !

            Will I be able to put another layer on without the balloon inside or will it get wet all the way through and loose shape ? 🙁

            It’s quite a large balloon I don’t want to have to re do it .

            • Hi Tracey. I’m sorry your balloon didn’t hold up well. If you still have the shape of your balloon, even though the balloon is not inside, I’d use plaster cloth to save it. If you cover just a small bit first, let it harden for a few minutes, and then keep working, you might be able to do the whole thing without collapsing the shape. The water from the plaster cloth will soften the paper mache underneath, but the fast set of the plaster should help.

              To be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of balloons – even if they don’t pop, they change shape from changes in air temperature. But if you can save this one with some plaster cloth, it will be stronger, and a final layer of paper mache will give you a nice smooth surface to paint.

            • It still has great shape !
              It’s just a little flimsy I’m wondering if maybe I covered the inside with masking tape it would work since he will probably get bumped into on Halloween maybe it being a bit flimsy is a good thing?
              Or do you think more sold would work better would it crack if he is bumped too hard .

              Also where can I get this plaster , Walmart.?

            • The tape might make it more solid. You could use duct tape, too, I suppose. My local WalMart doesn’t carry plaster cloth. I buy mine online, or you can buy it at any hobby store that caters to model railroad buffs.

    • It’s the gluten that has the sticky nature and it is not present in the corn flour. So no, preferably wheat flour to be used

      • I agree – although some people do use corn starch with good results. In my tests, it takes a long time to dry because it draws moisture from the air, but folks with gluten allergies use it. I don’t know if corn flour would work, though. The only way to find out is to try it.

  • What is the best way to make a mask that is shaped properly and fits to my head? A mold? Any ideas for technique?

    • Hi Benjamin. You can use a plastic mold if you find one that fits. Or you could use the techniques I show in my book, to make a custom-made mask form. Or, go online to YouTube and look for “make a plaster cloth mask.” To use plaster cloth, you’ll need a helper – I don’t think you can do it safely by yourself.

  • I’ve made a sculpture with paper mache then polished off with paper mache clay to fine tune all the details….but is the Paper mache step always necessary? For example I am working on a pumpkin (the fake ones u can carve) so I don’t need an armature…but will the clay-only material adhere and stay put without the mache underneath?

    • Hi Susan. I never use a layer of paper mache before using the paper mache clay, but many people like doing it that way. The pm clay dries almost as hard and stiff as plastic, as you probably already know, so it should be strong enough to hold itself up even if the pumpkins are hollow. It won’t stick very well to plastic, but I’ve heard that you can get around that by brushing on a coat of the home-made gesso first, and letting it dry.

  • Hello Jonni, I wanted to share one of my on going projects that I’m working on. I’ve had for many years the outdoor wire deer with lights and moving head, well lights burned out on one of them and I had the bright idea to to pull all the lights off and I bought the 5lb bag of paper mache and started covering the the little guy with it. Anyway my question to you is any thoughts on waterproofing him once I’m done for outside use?

    • Hi Elsa. I have not yet found any product that can completely seal out water, so I can’t recommend using paper mache outside except for short-term holiday displays. It sounds like that’s what you’re looking for, so a good varnish should help protect your deer, as long as he doesn’t stay outside too long. Some people have good luck with marine varnish, but only short-term. The deer may get damp inside, even with the best varnish, so you’ll need to bring him back in the house and make sure he dries again, all the way through.

      • Hi Jonni & Elsa, I had a friend that made a huge rock, (boulder size) he used water sealer for decks on his, work great! 15 years later it is still hanging in there.

      • There’s a product called “CEDARSHIELD” which might be great for waterproofing paper mache. I have used it to treat wood meant for outdoor use. If the paper mache is still somewhat damp that’s probably a plus because the clear, non-toxic, water-like CedarShield product follows any moisture held within the material and “petrifies” it. I treated an outdoor bench built with 2×4 lumber, actually soaking the wood overnight in a pond before brushing on the product and letting it dry. The bench has been outdoors fulltime for 3 years now.

    • You could use some sort of resin to make it water proof.. i have an uncle that paper maches and he uses the resin that you coat fibrglass with, he reckons it works a treat..

  • want to make a grotto for our blessed virgin statue approximately 38 inches high inside and 20 inches inside have considered trying to put the led Christmas lights around the lip, thinking of using chicken wire for a form, paper mache then a cement mixture for a finish coat. what would you recommend for my project?

    • Is it going to be outside? If so, I would use ferro cement techniques, and leave out the paper mache. Cement cracks, and water will get in. When that happens, the paper will grow mold. If you use the thin-wall technique with cement over a wire form, you can make your grotto hollow, leaving room for the wiring for the lights.

  • Hello – I am attempting to make my son a Halloween costume (sphere shaped). I’ve got a large beach ball to use for shaping it. Would you recommend putting the mache directly on the ball? Do you think flour and water would be OK for this type of project? How many layers would you think I would need? Thanks in advance!

  • Hi! I’m working on a life sized headless horseman for our graveyard and I was wondering if you could answer a couple questions for me since I’ve never done any large paper mache projects before (the only time I did was in a school art class about 10 years ago). As of right now i have the general silouette of the horse cut out of large pieces of cardboard (for the horseman himself I’ll probably just stuff some clothes or something), and I’m uncertain how to proceed from here. On the one hand I’d like to say I want to make it in separate pieces that can deattach for easier storage, however I worry about that making it structurally unsound (we get a lot of wind gusts where we live and I would be just devastated if it fell over and broke). Plus theres the fact that as I’ve never done something like this before I wonder if I should just try and make it all in one piece instead of detachable head and limbs. If I may ask what do you think I should do? I should probably add that its just a basic four legs standing horse.
    My next question is more of a will I be doing this right if I do it this way than an actual question but here goes: I was planning on just layering straight off the cardboard so its paper mache all the way through. Would this work out? Or do I have to have something inside that give it definition which can be removed to make it hollow?
    And what constitutes a single layer of paper mache? I saw that you have to let it dry or it molds, but I’m unsure when you stop and let it dry. Is it just when you cover the full space once, or can you go over twice or three times before letting it dry. I’m so sorry this is so long and thank you!

    • Hi Molly. If you used really long bolts and wide washers, I suppose you could make a strong enough sculpture that could be taken apart. I don’t know how you’d hide the bolts, but you could paint them the same color as the horse. As for making a solid paper mache sculpture, I’m pretty sure that would not work. Every time you add another layer of wet paper mache over dry paper mache, the dry layers get wet again. You would end up with a terribly heavy sculpture, probably too heavy to move, and it would remain damp deep inside.

      Take a look at my baby elephant video. Different shapes, obviously, but the same techniques will work. Instead of using all crumpled paper to make the rounded shapes, fill it out with scraps of foam, instead. My elephant weighs almost 50 pounds. Using a cardboard pattern instead of the wood will make your horse lighter, but the foam will help even more.

      I don’t bother to let each layer of paper mache dry before adding another one, because they all get wet again, anyway. Just add enough layers so you think it will be strong enough, and then put the piece outside or in front of a fan so it can dry all the way through as fast as possible.

      Good luck with it – and be sure to post a photo when it’s done. I’d love to see how it turns out.

    • Molly (horse project)
      I’m also working on a large scale paper mache project (36″ high x 40″ round Devils tower for an Art Car project, tribute to Close Encounters of the Third Kind of course). I’d recommend using pink foam from the hardware store that comes in 4’x8’x1/2″ sheets (around $13 each). Cuts easily with a razor without the little round of styrofoam and without need of a hot wire cutter. Build an interlocking skeleton similar to: see attached file) full size: (also see but without so many “ribs” since you will cover with paper mache. The foam is very light and strong, But you might want to make a heavy wire support that you can either stick into the ground or thinner wire wrap around something like tent stakes on all four legs.

      The fast and easy paper mache application method I use for such large projects is when starting brush a large flat surface with a thin layer of paste a little bigger than the strip of newspaper I’m working with. Lay the paper on this and brush a thin layer of paste on top of the strip forcing it into the paste below. Now both sides are covered. Leave a corner to peal up and stick to your piece. Later once a layer is built on you piece you can brush the piece itself, stick on dry strip and brush over it at the same time prep the next strip’s section. It goes surprisingly fast using this technique.

      Also, save some $ on paste, I like to mix corn starch 1/3-1/2 C into 2 to 3 C of cold water in a large sauce pan and heat while stirring until almost boiling and mixture thickens. If it gets too thick, and some water. Then I mix using a spatula to get in the corners, an equal amount of flour. Then I add a couple “blobs” of premixed sheet rock compound (around $7-8 at home depot/Lowes). Mix adding water till it looks like creamy oatmeal (hopefully without too many lumps). I use an old wide 4″ paint brush, but a wall paper brush is probably better. On such a large project, I stopped mixing white glue due to its expense vs cheap cornstarch and flour. If I were to do it again, I’d consider buying a whole sack of flour (25 lbs) instead of 5 at a time (I’ve used well over 10 lbs already).

      Good luck this your project.

    • I like to make ears out of light cardboard, and put tabs on the bottom so I can have something to tape onto the head armature. Then the paper mache covers both the head and the ears, and they’re quite strong.

  • Hi Jonni,
    Would it be strong enough if I paper mache over my newspaper sculpture and hollowed out the newspaper after it dries? I’m doing it for art class and my sculpture is about a 5″3 human figure.

    • Shannon, if you use enough layers of paper and paste, you can remove the inside newspaper after it dries. If the ‘shell’ is at all fragile after you hollow it out, you can spray on a little bit of expanding foam from the hardware store, on the inside of course, to make it stronger. Just don’t use so much that it gets too big and distorts the shape. You can also very carefully add paper strips and paste to the inside surface instead of foam. If you have to cut open your sculpture to get the newspaper out, put it back together immediately. If you don’t, the cut edges will change shape and it will be really hard to match up the two halves.

      Good luck with your project!

      • okay. thanks a lot! 🙂
        btw i really love your videos, especially when i can see your passion in what you’re doing and how willing you are to share it and help others.

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