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How to Make Paper Hard

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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  1. 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.

  2. Dip the paper briefly in the glue solution.

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

  4. Hang paper from a clothesline and allow it to dry.

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Things You'll Need

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

About the Author

Ann Johnson has been a freelance writer since 1995. She previously served as the editor of a community magazine in Southern California and was also an active real-estate agent, specializing in commercial and residential properties. She has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University, Fullerton.

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