For professional sculptors, crafters, and propmakers, as well as serious amateurs of all ages, Jonni Good‘s paper mache clay recipe is a very strong material, a long-lasting alternative to the traditional paper and paste combinations used in elementary school and traditional paper craft projects.
Good’s recipe starts with toilet paper or well-soaked newspaper that can make a thin sculpting layer when properly mixed with drywall joint compound, Elmer’s glue, and white flour. She demonstrates how to make it in the video above.
Ten years ago I became frustrated with traditional paper strips and paste. I couldn’t get fine details, like I could when sculpting with real clay. It took too much time to add all those layers of paper mache. And it was messy.
But I wanted to sculpt, and paper mache was the only affordable option. That’s why I created this original (and still my favorite) recipe for paper mache clay…
• 1 1/4 cups damp toilet paper
• 1 cup premixed drywall joint compound in a plastic tub (but not DAP brand joint compound)
• 3/4 cup Elmer’s Glue-All or any PVA glue
• 1/2 to 1 cup white flour (adjustable)
• 2 tablespoons mineral oil (optional)
Good started drawing animals back in elementary school and continues that focus in her sculpting work. She explains, “one of the reasons I like sculpting and painting animals is that it gives me an opportunity to learn so much about the natural world.”
Her interests led her to create around two dozen paper mache animal sculpture and mask templates, like this lion mask and this jackrabbit, video below:
Watch more clay and paper craft videos:
• Chie Hitotsuyama’s recycled newspaper animal sculptures
• How to make a Hollow Mask Illusion
• DIY Clay: How to filter clay from soil
• How Daruma dolls are made
• Life in the soil revealed in claymation shorts by Maxwell Helmberger