No-Cook Paper Mache Glue Recipe for Kids

Paper Mache Glue Recipe for Kids by Crayon Box Chronicles

Papier Mâché, french for “chewed paper,” is an inexpensive, fun way for kids to create sculptures.  This safe, easy-to-make paper mache recipe for kids uses just a few basic kitchen supplies and whips up in less than 2 minutes. Ripping paper provides sensory stimulation for kids as well as the cool, goopy textures of paper mache glue. We adore these paper mache crafts for kids.

 No-Cook Paper Mache Glue Recipe:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoon salt (prevents mold)

1 cup flour to make paper mache paste

Add 1 cup of flour to a bowl.

adding salt to paper mache pasteTo help prevent mold from forming, add 1-2 tablespoons of salt.

glue consistancy of paper mache paste

Mix together to remove all lumps until you reach a thick, glue-like consistency.  If it’s too thick like paste, add 1/4 cup water slowly.  Consistency also depends on your preference. I like it to resemble pancake batter, not too runny, but not too thick.  Tip: To remove the glue odor, add a dash of cinnamon. In my experience, this is the stronger method between cook and no-cook and it’s kid-approved.

starch paper mache glue method for older kids

A simple paper mache recipe for adults is the starch method [please use your on discretion to determine if Sta-Flo is appropriate for you].  I prefer this method for myself, but for little hands, the flour method is best and safest.  Sta-Flo is stronger than no-cook method, so it takes fewer layers to complete.

 No-Cook Starch Paper Mache Glue Recipe:

Mix 1/2 cup flour to 1 cup liquid starch in a bowl.  Use a whisk to remove any lumps. Paper mache takes 24 hours+ to dry, so store any unused glue covered in the refrigerator to finish up your project the following day. 

Sta-flo isn’t available in all countries, so another simple option is Elmer’s glue or flour cook method.  Although the cook method isn’t as strong as all the above, it’s relatively easy to make.  Wikihow has a great video tutorial on how to make paper mache paste using the cook, Elmer’s glue, and shaken bag colored method.

For the ultimate in paper mache sculpting, is an excellent resource for homemade gesso and paper mache recipes using these alternative methods too.

No-Cook paper Mache Recipe for Kids by Crayon Box Chronicles

Applying Paper Mache Glue:

Once your glue is ready, simply soak your ripped or cut strips of newspaper, brown paper, or tissue paper into your mixture, remove any access, and apply to your surface.  For smaller, more detailed projects, apply glue mixture with a paintbrush.  To create your cast use recycled bottles and jars, balloons, wire, cardboard, balls, and boxes.  Once dried, the resulting material can be cut, sanded and/or painted.  Before painting any product of paper mache, the glue must be fully dried, otherwise mold will form and the product will rot from the inside out.  Salt helps prevent mold, but allowing each layer to dry is the most important part.  Add 1-2 layers, let dry 24 hours, then add more is needed.  The starchmethod is the strongest, best for adults, uses 2-3 layers, followed by the no-cook method, best for kids, uses 3-4 layers.

We’ll be exploring crafts using paper mache and discussing different types of paper, dry times, and application techniques for the kids to create sculptures in more detail.  Our first kid project will be creating a dinosaur cave for small world play later this week.  

I loved sculpting with paper mache as a kid.  We’ll be exploring paper mache crafts over the next few weeks.  What are some of your favorites? 

Paper Mache Dinosaur Cave

Dinosaur Paper Mach Cave Small World Play by Crayon Box Chronicles

Paper Mache Crafts for Kids

Paper Mache Crafts for Kids

More tactile fun for kids with our favorite sensory therapy tools and toys.

Holiday Gift Guide - Best Toys and Therapy Tools for Sensory Seekers


Please be advised, this craft requires adult supervision and is not age appropriate for everyone. Please use your own discretion.  Amazon affiliate link below. 🙂

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28 thoughts on “No-Cook Paper Mache Glue Recipe for Kids

  1. Angel says:

    Removing Sta-Flo Concentrated Liquid Starch will make the recipe perfect for kids!!

    MSDS says “Keep out of reach of children. No significant environmental effects. Not a fire hazard. Product is stable.”

    Sta-Flo Concentrated Liquid Starch

    MSDS Reports for Hazard Statements

    Hazard Statements

    Caution! This product is an opaque blue liquid with a pleasant odor. Direct contact with eyes may cause irritation, with possibility of corneal injury if not removed promptly. It may be harmful if swallowed. Repeated or prolonged excessive exposure with skin can result in defatting and drying which may result in irritation and dermatitis. Keep out of reach of children. No significant environmental effects. Not a fire hazard. Product is stable.


  2. andrunje says:

    for i jst soak papers till they are fine n soft,dry them abit and use soapy water for applying layers, no expense


  3. Jill says:

    This is fantastic! I am pinning this now!

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!


    • crayonboxchronicles says:

      thanks Faigie for your feedback. For me, the flour thickened it up nicely. 🙂 I definitely prefer the starch over the water and flour method, much stronger. But for my son, we did the water and flour. 🙂


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