There are dozens of different kinds of glues available for all sorts of materials and situations. I’m presenting the how-to for wheat paste today for a few reasons: you can make it at home, it’s a great glue of paper mache and collage, and the materials are non-toxic, non-staining and safe to use around kids who still put stuff in their mouths. It only takes a few minutes to make and it’s just a little more expensive than free.
Supplies and Equipment:
– all purpose bleached flour (other kinds will work, but this is the easiest)
– saucepan large enough to hold the amount of paste you’re making
– container with a lid
The best ratio I’ve used, and the one that seems most popular on the internet, is 1 part flour to 4 parts water. The parts can be tablespoons, cups, gallons, etc., but keep the ratio the same.
Only make what you can use in a couple days. I’ve seen a lot of variations that add vinegar or other acids to keep the glue shelf stable, but acid is the enemy of paper so it’s best to not worry about keeping it around and make only what you need. I made 1 1/4 cups (1/4 flour to 1 cup water) and I could have made half that much for what I needed.
Place the flour and water into the saucepan. Use the whisk to dissolve the flour into the water.
Heat the mix over low to medium heat, stirring constantly. As it warms up with will begin to thicken. I simmered mine for less than 5 minutes. Continue simmering until it is about the consistency of white glue. As it cools it will continue to thicken, so don’t overdo it here.
Let it cool a bit, then pour it into your covered container. If you’re working with this and take a short break you’ll want to cover it so it doesn’t start to dry out. If you’re taking a long break cover it and put it in the refrigerator so it doesn’t go bad.
Apply it with a brush or your fingers!