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How to Make Paper Mache

Arun Chitnis

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Paper mache comes in handy for a lot of craft activities, including making different floats during carnivals. Using paper mache is relatively easier as well as economical.
Another plus point is that, it is 100% recyclable, which makes it an evidently popular choice for many.
Paper mache, also known as papier-mâché, is easy to make, and works exceptionally well to aid with various craft activities.
Making use of old paper, including shredded fax paper, old paper bags, and newspapers, it is one of the most eco-friendly material that can be used for craft purposes.
To add to all of these benefits, paper mache is also very easy to make, besides being extreme fun to work with too. Using material that is easily available at home itself, you will be able to make paper mache in a very easy manner.
This can be used to make a piñata for your child's birthday party celebrations, as a nice homemade gift to someone, or even to create various artifacts simply to decorate your very own house.

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So without any further delay, let's get down to the different methods that can be used to make paper mache.
Ways to Make Paper Mache
Mix one part flour with two parts water to get a batter that is not too runny or too thick. Beat the mixture to ensure that there are no lumps.
The best consistency would be like that of a deep-fry batter. Add a few drops of glue and salt to the mixture, and stir well.
Dunk strips of torn newspaper or any other paper into the mixture. Remove excess batter from the paper and paste it onto the frame of the object.
Mix equal parts of flour and warm water, and keep aside. In a pan, heat water to boiling point, and to this boiling water add the flour mix.
Allow this mix to simmer till it is reduced to a glue-like consistency. Add salt to keep the mache mold-free, remove from flame, and allow to cool.
Dip strips of torn newspaper into this mixture. Remove the excess batter from the paper and paste it onto the frame of the object.
In a bowl, mix three parts of glue with one part of water to get a thick paste. Remember, it should not be too runny or too thick, as it will be difficult to spread.
The next step is to soak the strips of paper into the mixture and paste onto the frame. Allow it to dry, and finish it off with paint.
Boil paper till you get a pulp. If you do not wish to boil the paper, you can soak it in hot water for a couple of hours, or overnight.
Mash the paper into a thick pulp. Add glue and a pinch of salt, and stir well. Pour this pulp into the frame you intend to use, and allow it to dry. Once it is dry and hard, you can paste a thin layer of cling film to give it a longer shelf life.
Ensure that you have a smooth finish. Use torn strips of paper, rather than using a pair of scissors to cut them. Allow each layer of paper to dry before adding the next layer. If possible, place it next to a radiator to help it dry thoroughly.
Some Designs for Paper Mache