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How to Make Wheat Paste

By Abigail Janzen

Wheat paste is a simple nontoxic adhesive that has been used through the ages. An alternative to the liquid adhesives you might get at the store (e.g., Elmer’s, Gorilla Glue), wheat paste can be used for scrap books, decorations and putting up posters. Below are steps on how you can make your own wheat paste with tips on how to apply it properly.

What You’ll Need

  • Wheat (works best; however, if you can’t find any or don’t want to use it for some reason, use flour)
  • Sugar
  • Water
  • Container with a lid

How to Make It

  1. Bring one cup of water to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Put 3 tablespoons of flour into a bowl.
  3. Stir in cool water one teaspoon at a time until you have a runny consistency, about 10 teaspoons.
  4. Add the runny mixture into the boiling water and let boil for 2 minutes while stirring constantly.
  5. Remove saucepan from heat and add 2 tablespoons sugar. Let cool and pour into a container with a lid.

Note: Shelf life is about a week if the mixture is kept refrigerated while not being used

Basic Wheat-Pasting Tips If Using to Put Up Posters/Images

Use a wide paint brush. Layer the area with paste first before adding images/posters. Place image/poster top first and smooth down and to the sides. To avoid air bubbles, do this step quickly. Add a layer of paste on top of the image for added durability.

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Abigail Janzen is a founding member of Dulce Upfront, a community multimedia arts collective. She is a fulltime artist and hosts workshops. Contact her at abby.dulceupfront@gmail.com.

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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