Making paper mâché glue – Mt Everest diorama part 2

One thing I miss since the digital revolution is all the newspaper I used to have. These days it’s something we have to rush around to find while the paper mâché glue cools.

In part two we’re going to mix our paper mâché paste and stick the paper to the form. It’s messy business, but someone’s got to do it.

If you haven’t seen part 1 of Abi’s Mt Everest diorama making adventure, you can do that now.

What you’re going to need

1/2 cup boiled tap water
1/2 cup plain flour
1 tablespoon salt (the salt inhibits mould growth)

Let’s get started!

1. Put the flour and salt to a heat proof bowl.
2. Add the hot water a little at a time, stirring each time.
3. Once the flour and water form a thick paste (kind of like mashed potato) add the remaining water and stir like your life depends on it.

The mixture doesn’t have to be particularly, if it’s the consistency of thickened cream you’re done. You may need to add additional flour or water to get the right consistency, it really depends on the weather.

If you don’t want to mess around with flour and water, a white PVA glue and water mix works too.

You may notice that some ends of the masking tape have come away from the form. Don’t worry too much, just push them back down and get on with your gluing.

We didn’t have any newspapers or matte catalogues so we ended up using kitchen paper, but you could also use toilet paper (actually, if your form has a lot of detail, softer paper like this is a better option than stiffer stuff). Four squares cut into 1cm wide strips and then cut in half.

Using paper mâché glue to apply the first layer of paper to our Mt Everest form

There are a couple of methods you can use to apply the paper to the form. Some people prefer to dip the paper strips to coat them in the glue, others use fingers to coat the form and then apply the paper. We’re fans of using a paintbrush, it means a lot less mess.

Make sure the whole (top) of the form is covered and that the strips overlap and then leave it to dry. On a hot day you may be able to do two layers, but in Winter you may only get a single layer glued and dry. You can speed up the process by using a hair dryer or putting it next to the stove.

Part three coming up soon! (who knew a simple diorama project would take so many posts?!)

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