Paste Paper Tutorial

I use paste papers as inside cover pages for some books. This is a tutorial for how I make paste paper.

Wheat Paste Materials:
Wheat Starch or Unbleached Flour
Sauce Pan
Wisk
Wooden Spoon
Air Tight Container – I use the Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Sandwich containers.

Wheat paste can be made from wheat starch or unbleached flour. Wheat starch is not available in my area so I use unbleached flour. I use 1 part flour to 5 parts water. Wisk water and flour together to get rid of most of the lumps. Heat over Medium heat stiring constantly. Patience is key because if the heat is too high the flour will burn and stick to the bottom of the pan. When the flour thickens and turns sort of translucent it is ready. The paste will thicken more as it cools. Pour into an air tight container. Keep in the fridge or a cool place. Pour water over the top of the paste so that it covers the entire surface. This will help in keeping the paste air tight and reduce the production of mold. I toss any left over paste after a week.

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Paste Paint Materials:
Wheat Paste
Small Containers – I use the Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Small Round containers.
Watercolor or Acrylic Paint
1 inch or larger brush
2 Damp Cloths
Cup of Water
Pattern tools – For this tutorial I used a hair pick, paint brush, rubber stamp, and a mug.
Paper – I used Mohawk Superfine Text Weight

Paste Paper Tutorial

After the paste has cooled, spoon a few scoops of paste into a small container and mix with a drop or two of paint. Watercolor or acrylic paints can be used to tint the paste. Watercolor mixed with the paste is very light and translucent while the acrylic is bolder and gives more coverage. Use a damp cloth to dampen the paper. Don’t make the paper too wet so that the water pools on the surface and don’t rub the paper to much. Using a large brush and working from the center out, brush the paste paint onto the paper using large brush strokes that extend over the edges of the paper. If the paste is too thick to spread evenly, dip the brush in water and brush through the thicker parts to thin them out. After creating patterns, lay on a flat surface to dry.

I used a few different tools to create patterns on my paste papers. I used a hair pick, the end of a paint brush to draw, a rubberstamp, and the bottom of a mug to create circles. Below are a few photos of how these turned out.

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Here are a few photos of books that I’ve made that used paste paper.

Swirl Foam Stamp Paste Paper covers.
Coptic Stitch Book
Sunshine Paste Paper inside a case bound book.
Case Bound Book

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6 thoughts on “Paste Paper Tutorial

  1. I tried it with children and just love the whole process, Your blog is wonderful to look through. Lovely!
    from Sophie (paris).

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