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How to Make Paper Mache Paste

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The Differences between paper mache paste and paper mache clay

how-to-make-paper-mache-paste-1Anyone who has ever made paper mache before is probably familiar with paper mache paste. For many, it is a glue like paste that you dip newspaper into to apply to a mold or a frame. What many people are not aware of is that there is also a clay or pulp that you can use for paper mache that is different from the paste itself.

Before I get into the differences between paper mache paste and paper mache clay, it is important to note that many of the ingredients are the same. In addition, it is important to understand how paper mache paste works.

Paper mache paste works in several different ways and these are:

• As a glue to adhere objects together.
• As a paste that hardens when it is dry.
• As a sealer, again hardening when it is dried to prevent moisture into the paper.

While paper mache paste is wet when it goes on, after a few days of drying, without curing in an oven, the paste hardens to an almost ceramic like hardness. In addition, paper mache does not break as easily as ceramics and it can be quite difficult to break it.

It is important to note that both paper mache paste and paper mache clay work in the same manner and the end result is a strong and durable creation. However, there are still differences between the two and these are:

Difference Number One: Application

While paper mache paste and paper mache pulp use many of the same ingredients depending on the recipe, which you can read in The Step by Step Guide for Making Amazing Paper Mache Creations, it is applied differently. Paper mache paste is applied to the newspaper by having thehow-to-make-paper-mache-paste-2 newspaper dipped into the paste after it is made. The excess paste is wiped off of the paper and then the newspaper is applied to the frame or mold.

Paper mache pulp or clay is applied by having the paste mixed into a paper pulp until you have a clay. That clay is applied in a thin to thick layer on your frame or it is shaped together to create your sculpture.

Difference Number Two: The Paper

Again, this can apply to the application but the paper is actually different. With paper mache paste, you can use any type of paper but it should be ripped or cut into strips or pieces. The pieces are large and you affix them to the frame by overlapping them.

how-to-make-paper-mache-paste-3With paper mache clay, the paper is actually cut into very small pieces and then soaked in water overnight. Once it is soaked, it is the pulp that you use with the other ingredients to create the clay. There is no laying paper onto the frame separate from the paste.

Difference Number Three: The Projects

While some projects are the same, there are a number of differences with how you make your project. First, paper mache paste can be used for just about any project but it is a must use medium when you are creating larger paper mache creations.

Paper mache pulp or clay is better to use for smaller projects. It can be heavier when used in large quantities and this will weigh your creation down. In addition, paper mache clay is often paired with paper mache paste to create the fine details, handles or other embellishments on a project.

Difference Number Four: Time

It is important to note that time differs from project to project and in some cases, you may not even notice a time difference between the two. However, that being said, often times, paper mache paste takes longer to work with as you can only do 2 to 5 layers at the time before having to let it dry.

Paper mache clay usually only uses one layer so that means that your paper mache project can go from start to drying time within a few hours. Also, the fewer layers often means less drying time, although if you have made a thick sculpture, then you will end up with more drying time.

Difference Number Five: Texture

Often times, one of the biggest differences that people notice between paper mache clay and paper mache clay is the texture. Depending on the type of paper mache clay you use, it often has a coarser texture to it when it is dry. Paper mache paste can be quite smooth if you work it properly.

As you can see there are quite a few differences but both are wonderful to work with and if you are interested in paper mache, I recommend learning how to use both.

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