How to make your own Wheat Paste
What is wheat-paste?
Wheat paste is a type of homemade glue, made from flour, sugar and water. It is inexpensive and easy to make and has been used for years in many different cultures as a mild adhesive. Due to how readily made wheat paste can be, it is often used nowadays on the street art scene, to paste large paper posters onto buildings.
Step-by-step guide to making wheat paste.
I use wheat paste a lot within my university art work to paste paper-based art work onto walls or boards. Here is a step-by step guide showing how to make your own wheat-paste. I've discovered that you don't have to be too exact with the ingredients to create a paste that works, so it really is easy to make!
First, gather together your materials. You will need a bag of flour; plain flour is best but this is not hugely important, (in this example I have used self raising flour as it's what was in the cupboard at the time!) and a bag of granulated sugar.
Utensil-wise, you will need a tablespoon and a teaspoon, a mug, a saucepan and a mixing bowl.
The mug is used as a vague measurement of the amount of water you need to make the wheat paste. Fill the mug and then add this to the saucepan. Allow this to boil as you are making the rest of the wheat paste.
Whilst the water is boiling, add 4 slightly heaped tablespoons of flour into a mixing bowl.
Slowly, add a teaspoon of water at a time to the mixing bowl of flour and thoroughly mix it in. It is important to mix it well as you do not want any lumps of flour in the wheat paste.
Keep adding teaspoons of water, until the flour and water mix has a 'just-liquid' appearance. You want to make sure that it is thin enough to drop off of a spoon.
When you have achieved the correct consistency and the water in the saucepan has reached boiling point, add the mixing bowl contents to the saucepan.
Stir the contents like crazy! As soon as you add the mixture to the boiling water, it will begin to foam up and needs constant stirring to stop it from boiling over.
Cook the mixture for 2 minutes or so, then remove it from the heat. At this point, add the sugar and stir it in, then allow to cool.
The sugar in an optional element in this recipe; the paste should work without it, but it does add an extra stickiness. If you are adding sugar, I would use 2 to 4 teaspoons.
At this point, the wheat paste is complete and ready for use! It should be stored in the fridge/somewhere cool and lasts for 2 to 4 days before it should be thrown away. (If kept too long, it will become mouldy.)
If your wheat paste is slightly lumpy, this is not an issue, it can simply be sieved to remove the larger lumps.
Using the wheat paste
To use the wheat paste, apply it to the back of the paper with a brush and to the area you would like to paste your poster/art work to. Press into place and then paste into place by brushing a thin layer of wheat paste over the top. When dry, it is extremely difficult to remove the paper again, so make sure you have it in exactly the right place!