DIY Paper Mache Recipe: How to Make Paper Mache Clay & Paste

Paper mache clay recipe

Paper mache gets the rep of just being craft related, but you can actually make some pretty awesome home decor pieces. Paper Mache is so versatile that the possibilities are endless with it. It’s especially good for halloween and Christmas decor props. 

These mediums are so easy to make, you going to laugh at the length of the directions for each. There is really nothing to it. 

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Materials Needed for the Paper Mache Paste

6 cups flour

1 cup white glue (like Elmers)

1 cup liquid starch (my homemade recipe or bought)

Roughly 12 cup water

a cap of lysol or 2 tbsp salt (mold control)

mixer (not for food use ever again)

Large Mixing bowl (not to be used for food again)


  1. Add all your ingredients into the large mixing bowl, except the water. 
  2. Add a few cups at a time and start your mixer on medium high. FIY this mixture will spatter a little bit, but everything in this concoction is water soluble which makes for easy clean up. 
  3. Keep adding the cups of water to the mixture until you get a like watered down pancake batter consistently. This should be approximately 12 cups of water. 
  4. Put the paste into a plastic storage container. This batch makes about 100 fluid ounces. 
  5. Store in the fridge until ready to use. 

Materials Needed for Paper Mache Clay

1 cup Drywall joint compound

6 cups paper mache paste

paper pulp (insulation)


  1. Like before add all the ingredients to the large mixing bowl except the paper pulp. I use blown cellulose insulation to make my paper mache clay. Yes you herd it right. Its super affordable. Like $13 buckaroos for a 19 lb bell. I have made about 10 plus large size pumpkins and have only used like half of half a quarter of the bell at you local Home Depot. Paper mache clay
  2. Add the paper pulp a few handfuls at a time. You can either use your hands or the electric mixer. I don’t know about you, but i’m using the mixer.
  3. Keep adding a few handfuls of paper pulp to the mixture. Once it’s get tough to use the mixer start using your hand. Don’t want to burn up that electric mixers motor. 
  4. You can mix the clay by squeezing the paper pulp through your fingers to get it throughly mixed. 
  5. You will know when it done when it stops sticking to your fingers and the side of the bowl.
  6. When done, put in a plastic storage container and keep in the fridge till ready to use.
  7. Side note: when you are ready to use, evenly distribute the moisture three the clay by messaging it like playdoh.

paper mache clay Paper mache clay recipe

Now that you have some of the main concoctions done you are almost ready to start making your first paper mache piece. This paper mache clay recipe is awesome. This stuff is so pliable and easy to work with. Plus once its dry its nice a hard with no cracks. If it does crack all you have to do is mere some more clay of the crack and let dry and wahlah. So be ready, in the next post it’s pumpkin time. 


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    1. I’m glad this post was helpful. I haven’t started making flowers just pumpkins and maybe a spider or two. Its all about research of the structure you want to create and practice the shapes.

    1. Not necessary, however, that is a great way to make your piece is structurally strong. So I highly recommend it.

  1. how lng does it take for things to dry and does it speed up drying to place in low temp oven. what temp and how long?

    1. I probably wouldn’t put it in an oven it may crack. I usually put it in front of a fan and my pumpkins usually take about a day or two and that’s because it is about an inch thick.

  2. Is there a joint compound which doesn’t smell? Is it safe to knead with bare hands? I would like to use the recipe with children – do you think it is safe for them? Many thanks – I love your website!!

    1. Good afternoon,

      Honestly I think all compounds are gonna have some sort of steel to them. I would recommend to use gloves, but I haven’t had any problems with washing it off my bare hands. Always take precautions when kids are involved. I would keep an eye on them at all times when using the materials. I have had my son do it with me and he seems fine. Thank you I really appreciate that. I have been a bit Mia from here but I plan on adding more content, especially my pumpkin tutorial for the fall. Hope all is well.


  3. Hi I have lots of shredded paper and want to make sculptures with it. I was wondering after I make the sculpture what do you use to seal it with that would make it durable and washable?

    1. You can use a marine polyurethane and let it soak the first layer and then reapply. It may be glossy so if you don’t like that go over with a matte finish again.

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