You can make just about anything out of paper mache. The paper mache pulp is what gives all those fantastic projects their detail and dimention. We all know how to make something out of simple paper mache (glue and water and some strips of newspaper). You make you're general form out of that stuff (as enjoyable as that stuff still is) but where do you go from there? Where are all the details and the protrusions that define a face or an animal or a halloween monster or WHATEVER!? It's basically modeling clay for paper mache. And it's the cheapest and easiest thing to make in the world!

Step 1: prepare your materials

Before you begin make sure that you have all of the following things:

1. a strainer spoon
2. a closed spoon (which isn't shown below)
3. one pot that is good for boiling and that you might not mind being a little gross, although this project isn't particularly messy.... but just in case (you never know).
4. LOTS and LOTS of Elmer's white glue. It doesn't necessarily have to be Elmer's, any white PVA glue will do. Just make sure that you don't come short of it.
5. And of course toilet paper!

Believe it or not with this project I have actually experimented with about 3 different types/brands of toilet paper and haven't come up with MUCH of difference. But after you read through this knock yourself out and see what you can come up with.
<p>Old paperback book, tear the pages out making sure that you get paper only and not any of the spine or any of the glue. Put the pages through a shredder or cross shredder (even better). Put the shreds in a suitable container and cover with enough hot water to cover. Keep an eye on it because the paper will soak some of it up, just top it up with more hot water. Leave overnight or as long as it takes to turn to mush then blitz it with a hand blender. The longer you do this the finer it will get. Then line a colander with an old towel and pour the mixture in and squeeze most of the water out. Then put it back in the container and mix with plenty of pva. A tip here: Don't buy carpenters glue, go to a builders merchants and buy pva construction adhesive. Far cheaper and the same thing. How do I know? I've been a carpenter for 37 years. Store in an airtight container away from sunlight and heat. I've stored this for just under a year and used it and it was fine. I might add this won't come out as fine as using toilet paper but it's great for building up large areas.</p>
<p>My office paper shredder shreds paper nearly to a powder. I'm betting it would work wonderfully for this!</p>
<p>I NEVER use flour, NEVER boil paper to pulp and NEVER have bugs or mold.<br><br>Paste: Elmers White PVC glue..and water. Thats all you need for paste. I have played around with adding wallpaper paste but it is toxic so I nixed it. I also have added liquid starch which works well but it is very hard to find. Soooo...glue and water. The trick is to not add too much water and to NOT soak paper strips. I wear vinyl disposable gloves, dip my fingers in glue and coat the paper strip as I apply it. Works great..drys faster and harder and so much better lay on. Also, I tear all sides of my paper strips. Factory cut straight edges will not lay flat. After all strips are applied each layer I then dip my gloved hands in the glue/water mixture and spread a thin layer all over the project.<br><br>Clay: Cheap toilet paper..seperated to 1 ply. I buy a box of industrial rolls at Sams..cheap stuff and roll it off the roll into a 5 gallon bucket and then tear it into smaller pieces. I then add just enough HOT HOT water to get it all thoroughly soaked and let it sit overnight. Before straining I use an Emulsion Hand Blender and mash it up really fine. Drain off excess water and then wrap in a large towel to squeeze out excess water until the paper is just wet but not holding water.<br><br>Then: Pour Elmers White PVC Glue and add Drywall Compound and mix with an old hand mixer. I add a cup of glue to start and 2 cups of Drywall Compound. The Drywall Compound makes the paste smooth and easier to shape. You want it to feel like a moist clay that holds its shape. Add a little more glue 1-2 ratio with the Drywall Compound until it gets to this consistency and BEAT like you are making whipped cream with the mixer..it make the clay lighter too.<br><br>You can mix just Drywall Compound and Glue together to make a Gesso as well to smooth over your piece. I make my pieces for the Outdoors and I have never had one fail me yet...</p>
<p>Thank you so much for all that you posted! I am sure that a lot of people are reading this. It's really informative! What brand of Drywall Compound do you use?</p>
<p>use a piece of cheese cloth, ankle sock, rolling pin on a dish drainer, in a baggie with a small hole in one corner to release water and/or place wet mulch in a piece of Saran Wrap, then ball it up, hold it upside down with the open end over a sink and squeeze it so the water drains into the sink while evenly draining the water, and store it too. </p>
<p>Salt may weaken the mixture eventually decomposing it. Try using clove oil or cinnamon oil or mint oil instead; they will deter mold, and the oil does add a smooth consistency to paper mache.</p>
<p>I have a better way to prevent mold . As you know there is lot of humid wether around and that's bad for the projects I add to the drained pulp mint extract strait from the bottle I work with cornstarch clay and it works like magic </p>
<p>Wow! This is so cool. I hate throwing old books away but now I have started upcycling them and this thing has turned out to be so much fun. Your post has given me a new idea too. I really liked this Book of Books as well <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Book-Books-Projects-beautiful-ornaments-ebook/dp/B00MGJADUK/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1407385936&sr=8-5&keywords=mahe+zehra" rel="nofollow">http://www.amazon.com/Book-Boo...</a>. It shares many interesting projects. Altered Upcycling also has an awesome website and lots of free ebook offers if you sign up.</p>
<p>Wow! This is so cool. I hate throwing old books away but now I have started upcycling them and this thing has turned out to be so much fun. Your post has given me a new idea too. I really liked this Book of Books as well <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Book-Books-Projects-beautiful-ornaments-ebook/dp/B00MGJADUK/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1407385936&sr=8-5&keywords=mahe+zehra" rel="nofollow">http://www.amazon.com/Book-Boo...</a>. It shares many interesting projects. Altered Upcycling also has an awesome website and lots of free ebook offers if you sign up.</p>
hi doldrum. <br>I've gone through some two or three paper mache recipes by now and this one is quiet simple and sounds good. <br>I wanted to ask that if we use newsprint for that we will get a clay that is not so white so how should we paint or color our sculptors made of paper mache. And how long does it take to dry. Using this recipe?
For large amounts, I use 5-gallon buckets with lids-- get an extra lid and use a boring-bit to make a hole in the center of the lid to pull thru the drill's paint-mixing arm! No mess!!! You can also use carpenters glue for added strength &amp; water resistance!
I have soaked hand schredded newspapers in a big bucket, let them <br>soak for a day or so. A handful of salt helps discourage mold while the pulp is wet. Then I used one of those paint stirrers (long metal things you attach to an electric drill) to pulpify the mess. <br> <br>Then I use nylon net to strain out most of the water. <br> <br>Add your water friendly adhesive of choice (white glue, flour paste or cement) and model away. <br> <br>** Be careful when using the &quot;drill mixer&quot;. A slow or variable speed drill is best. A one speed drill will sling water &amp; pulp everywhere! Pulsing the drill helped to keep the drill from overheating. Go slow! Stop frequently. Clear the pulp from the <br>metal stirrer frequently. I don't need to mention you should do this outside, right? <br>and wear old clothes. <br> <br> <br> <br>
I am wondering if I can use Gesso instead of the white glue for this step ? I don't have any white glue now and i have a boat load of gesso .. so do you think that might work instead of the white glue ?
A few tidbits from my experience: Office copy paper works well too. I used to take a two liter bottle, fill it 2/3 with hot water and stuff full of crumpled trashed copy paper (hence recycled instead of repurposed). Then I'd put the lid on and shake it up and down until it went to pulp. Good cardio &amp; no need for those shake weights they show on tv! From there, I would pour the pulp out and into an old pair of my wife's pantyhose to drain. Same idea as yours, different approach. One year, as a matter of fact, I didn't use the glue. Instead I pressed the pulp around an inverted plastic bowl (heat resistant) about 1/2&quot; thick and put in the oven to dry over low heat. That was about 10 years ago &amp; I still have the paper bowl. (After it dried, I laid strips of colored tissue paper across it and painted it with water-based polyurethane finish, which acted like a glue to hold the paper on. Did that for the outside and inside of the paper mache bowl. Makes a great popcorn bowl).
Is that something that we can mold? Mold in a way like how we mold clays.<br><br>thank you :)
thank you so much.......i was striving hard to know about the preservative used in paper pulb.....is there any preservative used?....do let me know..<br>thanks a lot
&nbsp;hey instead of soaking the newspaper or toilet paper you could put the paper threw a paper shredder and throw it in a blender with some water thats what i do
Very interesting Instructable, thank you! I wonder if finely cut ( maybe shredded ) newsprint or old newspaper could be used instead of toilet paper? Anyone every try that, Doldrum?
yep, newsprint will work just as well! Whenever I've used newsprint i've let the shredded pieces soak in some warm water for a long while before starting on all the above steps though... but you're right... newsprint is great too!
<span style="font-family: Arial;font-size: 12.0pt;">I'm glad you mentioned this because I was going to ask anyone if I could use paper I shredded [like old bills, letters and personal info that could be used for identity theft] to recycle, because I have a few garbage bags full so far... <br /> So... I think I'm going to soak the shredded paper for a day in a container, with a cap of bleach, and then blend it... And then start from there...<br /> Great ideals!</span>
mrfolts,<br /> I now have successfully used newspaper to make paper mache clay and the paper used makes a real difference.&nbsp; <br /> <br /> The tissue paper mentioned in this instructable makes a very &quot;creamy&quot; and smooth clay while the newspaper clay, that I mostly use is less &quot;creamy&quot;.&nbsp; You can add wall board compound to the mix&nbsp; as well.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> I have even used the treated and ground up paper insulation sold in the large&nbsp; DIY stores and found it makes a clay that has &quot;sharp&quot; little points in it because it uses all kinds of paper.&nbsp;&nbsp; Glossy paper will soften and breakdown differently than newspaper.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br /> <br /> I&nbsp;current have a bag of collected dryer &quot;lint&quot; waiting to be used as the binder in another version of paper mache clay. &nbsp; The adventure continues.&nbsp; See some of my stuff here:&nbsp; http://www.bobblob.20m.com/photo3.html<br />
I made something similar by soaking bits of paper in warm water and&nbsp;putting them in a blender.
lol by the by nice instuctable<br />
Awesome info, thank you.&nbsp; When should detailing start ? Just curious if you dont need the water really why boil toilet paper does this help break down the small strips to almost powder like size?
What is a good amount of materials (even for the regular paper mache) to make 8 of the Slipknot masks... the only one we are excluding is Craig jones. If you think it makes a difference were doing the masks from All Hope Is Gone
You could start off with a cast of your face to use as a base, or you could cheat and buy one of those plastic mardi gras masks from a craft store ;) Then just keep building up the layers. I usually stick to paper bags for my bottom layers and then use softer materials like tissue for textures. For 8 masks I think if you invested in some yard bags you'd be okay :) <br/>Depending on what you want to stick it all together with... . one bottle of white elmers should last just fine. <br/>If you want to build up appendages you might want to have some newspaper and masking tape around...... take a look at this blog, (some things are easier explained visually) <a rel="nofollow" href="http://ultimatepapermache.com/cheap-art/paper-mache-mask">http://ultimatepapermache.com/cheap-art/paper-mache-mask</a> <br/>I hope that this helps! good luck!<br/>
Thank you If I put it on paper Will it harden the paper? What is paper mache anyway?
Since the paste is moist when you are working with it would moist likely seep into the paper and harden it. Usually you apply it to some kind of armature, a shape that you want the material to form to. Paper mache is a construction material usually made up of shredded pieces of paper that is made stronger by any number of ingredients: glue, flour, combinations. Wouldn't want to pave my driveway with it, but end results can be really strong!
I tried to make a comment, but was told it was 'not formatted correctly'. Have NO idea what that means.
lol you said by the by... = )<br/>
Thank you so much, I am definitely going to try this procedure and it seems very well thought out and thorough. x
I'm definitely going to give this a shot. Found your information very thorough and informative. Thank you. -darlenek
good project for kids (them molding with it)......as long as they know it is NOT mashed potatoes....he he he
hahahaha not minutes ago my brother was standing over it with a fork and pepper. Thanks so much for the nice comment!

About This Instructable




More by Doldrum:Dad's Spaghetti Pie How to make a Tunnel Book Make paper mache pulp 
Add instructable to: