Is Glue or Flour Better For Paper Mache?

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Paper Mache is an awesome medium to work with, it is easy to use, quite cheap, and all around just perfect for Kids to build with but also great for adults to use. You can easily create simple or complex forms, paint them, and use them for a lot of different things, like costumes or art. But should you use flour or glue for paper mache?

Glue generally creates a stronger bond than flour and there is no danger of molding when using glue. However, the issue with molding paper mache when using flour can easily be avoided when the paper mache is allowed to dry properly in between layers and when the paper mache is sealed properly.

I personally prefer using glue instead of flour as it is generally easier and you don´t have to worry about the paper mache rotting.

What Kind of Glue is Best for Paper Mache?

Pretty much any white glue is good for Paper Mache. The only important thing is, that the glue can easily be diluted with water. Also, most white glue, like ModPodge for example, is non-toxic which makes it a great choice for children.

You can buy ModPodge right here on Amazon. Alternatively, you can also use Flexbond if you want the paper mache to stay more flexible. Flexbond can also be used to seal ModPodge.

All of the glues mentioned above can be diluted with water and are non-toxic, which makes them a perfect fit.

Hi, I am a passionate maker and professional prop maker for the entertainment industry. I use my woodworking, programming, electronics, and illustration know-how to create interactive props and puzzles for Escape Games and marketing agencies. And I share my knowledge and my experience on this blog with you so that you can become a maker yourself.

12 thoughts on “Is Glue or Flour Better For Paper Mache?”

  1. What type of wood glue would be best to paper mache a balloon mask? Are 2 layers enough? Also need it to dry ASAP. Can you use a blow dryer on lightest setting to help along? Between layers or better to try drying once all layers are done. Sorry, lots of questions. First time. Your help would be so appreciated!

    • Hi Karen,
      you can use any type of white wood glue that dries transparently. YOu can even use crafts glue such as Mod Podge. If you want your paper mache to dry quickly then I can recommend getting a fast-drying white glue (this will only help a bit though) and I would recommend letting the paper mache dry close to a heat source like a heater for example (make sure that it has no direct contact or is too close or it might burn). I would not try to dry the paper mache with a blow dryer as this will distribute the heat unevenly even if you move it around constantly. And that will ultimately cause the layers to separate if you are unlucky.

  2. Hi,
    Will Elmer’s school glue work? I work in a child care setting and wood glue / wall paper glue aren’t ideal to have.

    • Hi Chelsea,

      I can´t answer that question for sure. I would suggest simply trying it out and then you will see how well it works. Generally, I think that it will work because at its base Elmer´s school glue is very similar to wood glue.

    • Hi April,
      I don´t know what kind of glue you are using as there are a lot of transparent glues on the market. But if it works for you then it works and there is no reason to change anything about your approach.
      You can use any paper you like as long as the paper is not coated. So the hand-made paper is maybe a little expensive to use for paper mache but it works just like any other uncoated paper.

    • Hi Anthony,
      that depends on where you live and the quality of the tap water in your area. You don´t usually need to boil the water before using it but if the quality of the tap water in your area is bad then it is certenly a good idea to boil it first.


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