It's our easiest ever papier mâché recipe

Creative fun without too much mess!

It's our easiest ever papier mâché recipe
by Natalie Keeler

We know crafts can be off-putting with a young child in tow, so we've tested the easiest recipe to help you learn how to make paper mache (or papier-mâché).

With no PVA glue, no fuss and a manageable amount of mess, this is the papier-mâché recipe every parent needs.

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. Perfect for a wet weekend.

Once you’ve made your papier-mâché mix, you can use it to make an ice cream sundae - one of the simplest and sunniest crafts we know. Scroll down for the steps...

How to make papier mâché mix


Papier mâché mix:

  • Newspaper
  • White paper
  • 1 mug plain flour
  • 1 mug warm water, plus extra tap water
  • Paintbrush

Papier mâché ice cream sundae:

  • Paper bowl
  • Glitter or sequins
  • Foil
  • Paint
  • Red pompoms
  • Glue


Papier mâché mix:

1. Mix together 1 mug of sifted flour and 1 mug of warm water in a large bowl. The paste should be smooth and batter-like with no lumps. If the mixture is too stiff, add a little tap water.

How to make paper mache

2. Add a pinch of salt to stop the paste from going mouldy.

3. 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.

4. Repeat until fully covered. Add more layers of newspaper strips dipped in the 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.

Papier mâché ice cream sundae:

1. Ask your child to crumple up some foil into balls.

2. Next, 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. Pop them into the bowl and leave them to dry overnight.

3. When the papier-mâché is dry, your child can paint the ice cream balls with whatever colours they want, the brighter the better!

4. Get your little one to squirt brown or pink paint all over the balls to add chocolate or raspberry sauce. They can also add sequins and/or glitter sprinkles (they will stick to the paint).

5. Finally, glue a red pompom cherry to the top of each ball.

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Sensory Play

Learning guide

You could get more out of this activity by explaining each step and ingredient of the process to your child. Why do we need to add salt to the mixture? (Answer: it acts as a preservative and stops the flour going off). How long do you have to wait for each layer to dry? What would happen if you didn’t wait? They can also work on their sensory understanding by feeling the ingredients individually, and then again when they’ve all been mixed together.