Flour paste

Forgive me: I am sure that almost everybody knows how to make this simple glue. Yet I thought it was worth sharing in case there was anyone who didn’t, or who hadn’t thought of it for a while.

Flour paste is a very traditional glue, made in less than thirty seconds by mixing a couple of teaspoons of plain flour with some water, and stirring. You want it to be thin enough to paint on, and thick enough to actually stick things together – about the thickness of PVA glue, but with a more grainy texture.

No-one is pretending that this is the world’s strongest glue, or that it will be entirely lump free. But it is perfect for small children to use when sticking things to bits of paper, and it really doesn’t matter if the brush ends up in their mouth more often than on the page. It will hold a collage together with ease, and I’ve used it to make autumnal cards with leaves and so forth stuck on before now.

A flour paste is also what we use whenever we make anything out of papier-mache, and used in this way it is surprisingly sturdy. Seb has plans to make an entire giant squid costume out of it, and I know it’ll withstand quite a bit of bumping and running around. Simply tear smallish strips of newspaper and dip them into a bowl of flour paste before layering them onto your mould. Don’t put too much on at once, or it’ll take forever to dry and go a bit smelly. Leave it in a sunny, airy spot to harden before adding more layers or cutting, painting and embellishing.