Paste-up, découpage or papier mâché glue

Do-it-yourself recipe for paste-up, découpage and papier mâché glue

The original recipe was kindly shared with me by the artist Barek, for paste-ups. Over time, I have modified the recipe a bit to hopefully make a stronger, more water resistant glue.

Save those squeezy tomato sauce bottles – you can mix batches of the glue which will last in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. Make sure you leave the bottles out for a bit to go back to room temperature and give them a good shake before application.

This recipe is great for paste-ups, papier mâché and découpage. Takes about an hour to cook up, and cool down enough to be useable.

When stored in the fridge, it lasts for about a fortnight. It’ll start to grow a green mould skin across the top after that.

The Recipe

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cornflour

4 and 3/4 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup PVA glue

  1. Boil 3 cups of the water.
  2. Mix all the flours and the rest of the water until the lumps are dissolved.
  3. Once the water has boiled, add the water/flour mix and stir for 3 minutes, keeping an eye on the mix continually to avoid foaming. This cooks the flour; you will notice that the mix tastes and smells less ‘flour-y’ as the cooking progresses.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar, one third at a time.
  5. Leave to cool, stirring periodically to avoid a skin forming.
  6. Stir in the PVA after the liquid cools down, making sure it is well mixed throughout.

I’ve found it’s a good idea to label and date the batch too. Especially good if you have multiple batches going, or bottles of actual tomato sauce in your fridge.

Related articles:

Other tutorials on things you cannot eat!

How to perform a pectin test

How to crochet a pair of earmuffs (parts one, two and three)

How to cut and stitch a wrap from a blanket

Barek’s art and DIY aesthetic is a constant inspiration and encouragement. Find him here.

About kellymarietheartist

I am an artist who, up until recently, was living and exhibiting within Toowoomba and the greater Granite Belt district. I have since packed up and left Australia, and am currently living and working in England. My work engages the craft involved in handmaking within a contemporary art context. I am drawn to the physicality of repetitive textile processes, and this is transcribed though the tactile quality of my forms. In particular, processes such as crochet, sewing and rug making serve as a proxy for growth within my personal environment. Many of my works imitate situations in nature, and they form organically as I create each individual piece, each addition both a continuation and re-enforcement of its predecessors. I enjoy using recycled materials for many of my works. Using crochet and other textile techniques to do this is an important part of my work as it celebrates a tradition of craft that has historically been relegated to 'women's work', with all the negative connotations that entails.
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