Paper Mache Tips

Paper Mache tips for a better finish, when working with paper clay.

Celluclay is a paper mâché product in a bag that can be mixed with water to make clay. So....Who needs instructions on how to mix celluclay? If you have never worked with it before, instructions can be very helpful. It is not just a matter of putting it in a container, adding water and stirring it up. Small lumps, with a dry center make a smooth finish, impossible.


If you have tried celluclay and weren't happy with the finished product, those pesky lumps could be the problem. I was never happy with this product, until I learned (through trial and error), how to mix it properly. There are a couple, paper mache tips to get the celluclay smoother and easier to work with. You will have much better finished results.

Paper Mache Tips

Add about a cup of celluclay to a large margarine container. It's best to just grab some from the bag and put it gently in the container. This will help keep it from going "poof!" It can be dumped in, but be prepared for the dust to fly.

Here's the part the directions on the package, don't tell you, but it is the most important part.....

Don't add the water yet!

Break up the dry chunks of celluclay. There will still be smaller lumps; don't stop now! Rub the smaller lumps between your thumb and fingers to break them up. Spend a bit extra time doing this. It's easier to do this, before adding the water.

Now, add about a quarter cup of warm water and start mixing by squishing it, with your hand. If the mixture seems too dry, add a teaspoon of water at a time, until you get the right consistency. Too much water will make the clay too sticky. If you get too much water, use a separate bowl to prepare a small amount of the powder. Add to the wet mixture, only when all the lumps are broken up.

This can now be applied over a prepared form, made of tinfoil, cardboard, crumpled paper or paper mâché newspaper strips.

More Paper Mache Tips...

Only use thin layers at a time, otherwise the clay will crack.

For some applications, sticky may work well, but there is a bit of a trick to that as well. When it starts sticking to your hands and won't stay where you want it, things can get a little frustrating and MESSY! Tame the sticky! Get an extra smooth finish by dipping your fingers in water and rubbing over top of the clay.

If you have tried celluclay and had trouble getting it smooth, it may be time to try again, using these simple paper mache tips.

Not ready for clay? Want to get back to the basics? Get the scoop on all that goop on the Paper Mache Questions and Answers page. 

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