How to Make Paper Hard

Written by ann johnson | 13/05/2017
How to Make Paper Hard
Use glue to make paper hard. (glue bottle image by Bruce MacQueen from

Over two thousand years ago, man discovered that paper could be hardened and used to make such items as helmets, furniture and even coffins. Today the process, known as papier-mâché, has become a craft staple, making such items as piñatas and piggy banks. Papier-mâché, which means "chewed paper", involves wetting paper in a glue solution and then allowing it to dry. Once dried, the paper hardens. Hardening a single sheet of thin tissue paper is a bit tricky, as the paper may fall apart from the weight of the glue when drying.

Fill a container with a glue-like solution. This might be undiluted liquid starch, a mixture of two parts white glue to one part water, a mixture of three parts water to one part flour or another type of glue.

Dip the paper briefly in the glue solution.

Remove paper from the solution and wipe off any excess liquid.

Hang paper from a clothesline and allow it to dry.

Things you need

  • Container
  • Glue solution
  • Sheet of paper
  • Clothes line
  • Clothes pin

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