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As you can find out in How to Make an Eco-Friendly Table Lamp and How to Make Necklace Pendants Using Papier/Paper Mache Clay (PMC) or Any Air-Dry ClayI’ve already mentioned that I somewhat adjusted Jonni Good’s recipe for making the clay, but since my intention is to upcycle trash for my crafts I continued experimenting to get my own recipe.

On the other hand, my main problem is that in my country (Serbia) I cannot find a ‘decent’ replacement for joint compound, which is one of the main ingredients of Jonni Good’s recipe. I suppose that its purpose is to give better plasticity and elasticity to clay, so I’ve tried a few products and the most similar effect I achieved with a type of tiling paste/wall putty. Although it’s not ideal, without it the clay is somehow too ‘papery’, and after drying the surface gets unwanted creases like wrinkled skin.

Nevertheless, after lots of experimentation with all sorts of paper, as I was tidying up my desk and combing through many unnecessary copies of some documents that piled up over time, it dawned on me that I’d never used printed paper as a material for my paper clay…

So, the next thing I did was to try it out and here is my best result so far, in pictures and words:

Step. 1

I tore these 45 grams (~0.100 lb./~1.60 oz.) of printed trash paper*…

Step 2.

make paper clay without joint compound

… into smaller pieces and put them into a deep bowl, poured hot water over and let them soak overnight.

Step 3.

blending paper to make paper clay without joint compound

Then, I take about one third of the soaked paper, put it in this very, very old blender I use only for my crafts, add in lots of water (which makes blending easier) and blend it until the paper becomes pulp. To decant the water from the pulp, I pour it in a colander (that I don’t use for food) in which I first lay a piece of strong net**. And of course, I repeat this step two more times with two remaining thirds.

Step 4.

Step 4 - make paper clay without joint compound

So, after decanting, firmly twisting the net I squeeze the water from the pulp gradually and weigh it a few times to get a mass of 130 grams (~0.30 lb./~4.60 oz.).

Step 5.

mix pulp and to make paper clay without joint compound

Firstly, I mix the whole mass of the pulp with one cup of diluted carpenter’s (PVA) glue, wrap the bowl with a plastic bag and leave it for a few hours. This way paper better absorbs the glue which makes mixing easier and prevents lumps.

Step 6.

mix all ingredients to make paper clay without joint compound


Then, I add 1 cup of starch, ½ a cup of coarse flour, ½ to ¾ a cup of tiling paste and about 20 ml (3-4 table spoons) of body milk lotion which smooths and binds the clay and mix all the ingredients thoroughly with drilling machine to which I added a ‘fork’ of an old mixer.

When the mass gets homogeneous, if the dough is still sticky or tacky, I oil well my hands with body lotion and knead it a little bit on a flat surface sprinkled with flour or starch.


Step 7.

preserve clay in fridge so it lasts for a couple of monts

And that’s it – you can now play with clay and create whatever project you wish. This clay is very sturdy and suitable for many different purposes. For example, I even used it to re-make the handle of this old good-steel knife and of this small umbrella that fits my smallest purse:

Last but not least, what you see here is my own experience and most of the lamps and necklace pendants featured on my pages and posts are made of this clay. But, it’s important to experiment with ingredients and find out what works best for you.

Have fun!

* * * * *


* 1: With a shredder, it would be even easier to cut the paper!

** 2: It’s a piece of mosquito net!

*** 3: Keep always in mind that any product you made is completely dry before you decorate it!


  1. Hi I was just wondering if you think this recipe would work for mask making . I was thinking of sculpting clay on a foam head and then putting the paper mache clay over it. Let me know. Thanks.

    1. Hi Casey,
      thank you for commenting.
      I’ve never made a mask so I’m not sure how it will work on styrofoam model. However, I do make bowls (with thin walls) plastering this clay on a balloon and it works great. My suggestion is “try and see” on some smaller project just to test it.
      Also, you can check Jonni Good’s YT channel and website (www.ultimatepapermache.com)- she has lots of videos and tutorials for masks. BTW, this is where I started and learned about paper mache and paper mache clay 🙂

  2. Hello and thank you! I am making paper clay, and I want to use only biodegradable materials, I’ve got a good recipe, except I get bubble holes in the finished product. Do you know how I can get rid of them? Thank you your help will be so awesome

    1. Hi Gloria,
      thank you for the comment.
      I’d really like to help you but have no answer. I did use biodegradable rolls from toilet paper some time ago and it didn’t work at all – couldn’t get ‘plasticity’, so I throw it away. Just a guess: maybe you could add more glue and some starch and see what happens? Would appreciate if you let me know if it worked.

  3. This post is very useful. Thanks
    But, I also have a question: Can I make paper clay from paper and glue without others.

    1. Hi Doan, thank you for the comment.
      Regarding your question: I tried out only once to mix white glue with well dampen egg carton and to my experience it is possible, but the surface is quite rough, not smooth as in the recipe. So, it depends on what you want to make.

  4. Hi, i want to say thanks for your tutorial! But could you tell me what is tiling paste ? Can i change coarse flour into the others kind like corn starch or just flower? Also can i change the body lotion into baby oil? Thank you!

    1. Hi Nguyen,
      Welcome to my site!
      Tiling paste is a kind of construction paste or glue used to put tiles on the wall. You may try with whatever you have at hand (maybe start with small quantities, take notes and then see).

      So far, the given recipe is the best result of my numerous experiments with many kind of ingredients, and as I said in the end of the article: “… it’s important to experiment with ingredients and find out what works best for you”. In other words, you’ll need to find what ingredients work for you depending on where you live.

      Enjoy your work and let me know how it turned out!

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