If you are going to use paper mache as a building material for your cakes, then you will need these simple techniques and the following recipe.
Paper Mache Recipe
3 – 6 Cups White Flour (Get the cheapest brand, it does not matter)
1 – 3 Cups Water (add more or less until the mixture is a soupy paste)
1 Bottle Wood Glue (again cheap is fine)
Mix It All Together
You will need either a large bowl or a bucket to mix in. If you are going to make a large scuplture, you will need about 6 cups of flour to make enough paste.
Place the flour in your bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour the water in the well (start with 1 cup) and use your mixer or whisk to start stirring. If it looks very thick, start adding more water to thin it out.
Continue stirring until the mixture is like a thick soup. You want it to be like wall paper paste. Remember, you are going to be dipping your strips of paper in it, and you want it to be thick enough to stay in place while it dries.
Now add the wood glue, you will need about 1/3 of the bottle for a small batch of paste (2-3 cups of flour). This step is optional as it only aids in helping prevent cracking of the paper mache, but flour and water by itself works just fine.
Cover the paste with a piece of plastic wrap to keep it from drying out on the top.
When you are ready to paper mache, you will need the following items….
Lots of newspaper
Paint Brush (helps smooth paste)
Rubber Gloves (optional)
First, you may want to either do this in your garage or outside, it can get messy. Wherever you choose to do it, lay out lots of newspaper, or a plastic tarp on the floor or table you are working on.
Tear up your newspaper into lots of strips, you may want to have a variety of widths. Make some of them 1/2 inch wide and others can be 1, 2 or 3 inches wide.
Now grab your paste and get ready to get messy.
Prepare For Success With The Right Tools
Before you dive into dipping your paper in the paste, you need to make sure you have the necessary tools. If you want to build a sphere for instance, you will need something to lay the paper and paste onto until it dries.
You can either use a ball or balloon. I don’t like balloons because you cannot get a perfect sphere and they can pop and that makes a big mess. Instead use a sports ball (basketballs work great for large spheres). I used this technique for my Bakugan Cake.
When you have the necessary tool, you can move on to adding the paper mache and paste.
Start Papering and Pasting
Ok, now get your paste and paper strips and begin dipping the paper strips into your paste. You only want a thin layer of paste, so use the brush to evenly coat the paper.
(you may want to use plastic wrap around the object you use the paper mache on so that it is easier to remove later. Make sure it is smooth though)
Keep adding layers, make sure to overlap each strip to create a continual piece of paper. For a half sphere, make sure to add paper beyond the halfway point, you will cut off the excess later).
You are finished when you have added enough layers of paper and paste to a thickness of 1/8 inch. You can get away with less thickness for more delicate, smaller parts.
Let it dry completely, either in a 200 degree oven for 1/2 hour, or next to a heat source. Bigger parts will take up to a day to dry throughout.
When it is dry, you can sand it smooth, drill it or cut it just like wood.