I have been doing a lot of research lately looking at some of the paper mache clay recipes out there and comparing them to store bought paper mache mixes/clays.
The most popular recipe (which I have been using for over 7 years is by Jonni Good at ultimatepapermache.com. Her recipe has gone viral and is used by many artists worldwide. Below is her clay recipe and a video explaining how to mix her clay.
1 1/4 cups of cheap toilet paper
1 cup Drywall Joint compound
3/4 cup Elmer’s Glue-all (PVA glue)
1/2 cup White Flour
2 tablespoons Mineral Oil or Linseed Oil.
Note: The DAP brand does not work. It will turn your pm clay into a rubbery mess. All other brands will work just fine.
Follow the instructions in the video below to make your paper mache clay.
I can vouch for this clay. I have been using it for years and my sculptures look as good as new today. The clay dries to a very hard finish and is very durable. My only recommendation is to ensure you seal it properly with a good varnish as the clay contains flour. If you live in a tropical climate like I do, your sculptures will attract bugs who will burrow into your masterpiece leaving a trail of dust behind. I have had this problem with unfinished pieces but never with sculptures that have been sealed. I can recommend Minwax Polyacrylic Water Based Protective Finish. It is non-yellowing and comes in different sheens.
Another clay that I have had great success with is by Scott A. Stoll at www.stolloween.com.
For his clay he combines his paper mache paste recipe with paper insulation along with joint compound to form a clay.
His paste recipe is:
6 cups of flour
1 cup of liquid starch
1 cup of white glue
Use a mixer to blend together adding warm water as you go along until your mixture resembles a thin pancake batter.
The clay recipe is as follows:
6 cups of papermache paste
1 cup of ready mixed joint compound
Mix the paper mache paste with the joint compound with a hand mixer until blended. Start adding the cellulose fiber mixing after each addition. Keep adding the cellulose fiber until the clay becomes firm as is a workable consistency.
Here is a video from his website showing how to mix his clay.
This recipe dries rock hard also but has more texture than Jonni’s clay. This is because of the type of paper used. The toilet paper is much finer than the cellulose fiber thus a smoother finish. Both recipes are great. It really just depends on the finish you are looking for.
Here are some projects made with these clays.
You find many variations of both of these recipes on the internet but these two are the …..
Commercial Paper Mache Clay
If you don’t have the ingredients to make your own clays or just can’t be bothered with the mess, there are a few commercial paper mache clays that are easy to use. Brands I have found on amazon.com are:
Celluclay is by Activa. It comes in both white and grey, both made with recycled newsprint. The only difference is the color. The white clay is made with excess, unused newsprint while the grey clay is made from newsprint that has already been printed on. You just have to warm water and mix thoroughly. I would recommend a dust mask while mixing as it is very light and powdery. Instructions can be found on the Activa website.
It takes some getting use to but when you finally get it right you get a lovely hard finish similar to Jonni’s clay but much lighter. Creaturiste has a great video on using Celluclay. It is definitely worth watching.
Sculptamold is by Amaco. I have tried this product and it sets hard much faster than other paper maches much like plaster. It is durable and light weight when dry. It comes as a dry powder mixed with paper pulp. I would recommend a dust mask while mixing. You add water according to package instructions. Mix small batches as your work time is limited though as you only have about 30 minutes until it sets hard. The instructions for molding and casting are on the Amaco website.
I have not tried Fast Mache or Claycrete yet. They are definitely on my list of clays to try. From what I have read, they both sound much like Sculptamold, setting up in approximately 30 minutes.
I hope this information is useful.
Thanks for the stopping by.