The easiest way to make paper mache

Paper mache recipe header image

And how to craft a paper mache ice cream sundae

Master paper mache (or papier mâché) with this simple recipe. We know learning a new skill can be tricky with a young child in tow, so we've tested the quickest natural recipe so you can get on with the fun part of creating papier mâché crafts.

Top tip! Papier-mâché takes a while to dry so it’s best to spread the activity over two days – one day for pasting, the next for painting. This makes this the perfect activity for when you’re staying home with pre-schoolers. Once you’ve made your paper mache mix, you can use it to craft an ice cream sundae.

Three easy paper mache makes…

Paper mache (Papier-mâché) glue: easy method

  1. Mix together 1 mug of sifted flour and 1 mug of warm water in a large bowl.
  2. The paste should be smooth and batter-like with no lumps. If the mixture is too stiff, add a little tap water. 
  3. Add a pinch of salt to stop the paste from going mouldy.
  4. When working on the makes, lay down newspaper or a plastic mat. Dip newspaper strips into the paste, using the side of the bowl to get rid of any excess. Stick the strips to your make and use a paintbrush to smooth down the paper.
  5. Repeat until fully covered. Add more layers of newspaper strips dipped in paste to strengthen the make. If you’re going to be painting, it’s best to cover in strips of white paper for the final layer.
Paper mache mixture consistency
Aim to create a "single cream" consistency when creating your paper mache mixture.
paper mache ideas

Papier-mâché ice cream sundae: easy craft with a cherry on top!

What you’ll need: papier-mâché mix, strips of newspaper, paper bowl (or an old bowl), foil, paint, glitter or sequins, red pompoms, glue

What to do:

  1. Prepare the papier-mâché mix, using the recipe above.
  2. Ask your child to crumple up some foil into balls.
  3. Now they can cover the balls with strips of newspaper dipped in the papier-mâché mix. Ask them to cover them until they can’t see any more foil. Then pop them into the bowl and leave them to dry overnight.
    TIP! Why not scroll down and try another idea while you’ve still got the papier-mâché mix out…
  4. When the papier-mâché is dry, your child can paint the ice cream balls with whatever colours they want, the brighter the better!
  5. Then get your little one to squirt brown or pink paint all over the balls to add chocolate or raspberry sauce. Then they can add sequins and/or glitter sprinkles (they will stick to the paint).
  6. Finally, glue a red pompom cherry to the top of each ball.

If you enjoyed this…

  • Try making salt dough with our step-by-step guide.
  • You’ll be amazed how easy it is to make playdough using store cupboard ingredients.
  • Visit our sister site Gathered for more fun kids’ craft projects, from cross stitch to paper crafts.