I felt like I was back in kindergarten yesterday… cutting and pasting with paste you could eat if you wanted to. I’m taking my plastics information display to the ReUseConex in Portland tomorrow and wanted to make it sturdier. Taping paper pages directly to the wooden board was not working well. The paper curled and the natural cellulose tape I was using wouldn’t stay stuck to the wood.
This is NOT attractive:
So I decided to mount the pages on recycled cardboard. And to do that, I needed plastic-free glue. Finally, a chance to test out the recipe for homemade wheat paste that I included in my book without actually trying first!
How to Make Homemade Wheat Paste, aka Plastic-Free Glue
- 1/2 cup flour (white or unbleached flour is best. Apparently, you can do it with whole wheat, but it might not be as sticky.)
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 3 cups boiling water
That’s all. According to this Instructable for making wheat paste, you can add other ingredients to make it stickier or to preserve it longer. But I just used flour and water. This recipe makes a lot of paste — way more than I needed for mounting all my pages. So cut it down if you’re not going to be putting up posters around town. It will last for a while in the refrigerator, but without preservatives, it will go bad fairly quickly.
Slowly pour cold water into flour and stir to make a paste.
Pour paste into the boiling water, stirring constantly.
Cook for about 5 minutes or until the paste is thick and smooth.
Store in the refrigerator. I made it the night before and refrigerated it over night.
In the morning, I discovered that it was not smooth at all. In fact, it was lumpy, lumpy, lumpy. Now, I happen to like lumpy gravy, which is why I have never bothered to learn how to make it smooth. But I didn’t want lumps in my paste. So I put it through a sieve twice.
I was ready to start pasting. I applied the wheat paste to the cardboard (not the paper) with a paint brush.
The first time, I used too much and the result wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked.
This is what it should have looked like… you want the paste to be transparent with no lumps.
Apply the paper to the cardboard.
Smooth out any bubbles. Then, let it dry completely.
This glue is strong! The paper is seriously bound to the cardboard. It won’t come off without ripping, which is what I wanted. Check out how smooth. (The ridges you see are from the corrugated box. They are not bubbles.)
I drilled holes into the wooden display board and attached the mounted pages using metal fasteners. I didn’t glue them to the board permanently because I need to be able to update the information and change the pictures. Compare this version to the one pictured at the top of this post. Much better, no?
I love it when my experiments work as they’re supposed to. I also love having an excuse to use a power drill.