Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tip-Sharing Tuesday: Homemade Pastes and Mucilage

Good morning, Dear Reader,

Thank you for visiting us today, wherever you are in the world!

Since we have some wallpapering to do, and were going to make our own paste (For the first time), we thought we'd share a few recipes given in the good old "Household Discoveries" book that we refer to so often.

Here's the wall we'll be covering.

Here are a few that seem the most interesting:

Flour Paste. --Ordinary paste is made by mixing wheat flour or rice flour with water, with or without boiling. It may be improved by the addition of various other adhesives, as rosin, gum arabic, and glue, and also by the addition of alum.

A detail of our "Thrift Store Romantic" wallpaper we'll be putting up.

To make simple cold flour paste, mix one tablespoon of flour with one teacupful of cold water. Add a few drops of carbolic acid or other preservative. Or, for library paste, dissolve half ounce of alum in one pint of warm water. Stir in flour to the consistency of cream, carefully breaking all lumps. Add one teaspoon of powdered rosin and five or six cloves, or a few drops of oil of cloves and boil until it thickens. Thin, if necessary, with a little hot water. Put in an earthen or glass vessel, as a glass fruit jar tightly covered, and keep in a cold place. Soften when needed with warm water. This paste is suitable for scrapbooks and similar articles and is better for such uses than a paste or mucilage containing gum arabic.

To soften library paste, add a few drops of water and melt the paste with gentle heat.

Or add one heaping teaspoonful of flour and one half teaspoonful of pulverized alum. Rub smooth with a little cold water. Mix with boiling water to the consistency of cream and boil until it thickens.

To Preserve Flour Paste--Add to each half pint of flour paste not containing alum fifteen grains of corrosive sublimate. This prevents the formation of mold and preserves the paste from the attacks of insects and vermin. Also a few drops of oil of lavender, rosemary, or cloves, or any of the essential oils, and a few drops of carbolic acid.

Paper Hanger's Paste--Mix four pounds of flour, one fourth pound of powdered alum, one fourth pound of pulverized rosin. Rub up this mixture with a small quantity of warm water until smooth and free from lumps. Mix with boiling water to the consistency of cream and boil until it thickens. Or use cornstarch or wheat starch or rice flour instead of wheat flour. To use this paste, spread it freely on the paper, then lay or fold the pasted sides lightly together. This assists in distributing the paste evenly and also in handling the paper. After the upper end has been attached, the lower part may be unfolded as it goes on the wall. The wall should first be coated with a thin glue size made of about four ounces of glue to one gallon of water.

Or make a glue size by dissolving ten ounces of glue in two and a half gallons of water. Mix nine pounds of bole, an earthy substance resembling clay, with water to the consistency of cream, and strain off the water through cheesecloth. Add the moistened bole to the glue size and stir in two pounds of gypsum. Strain through cheesecloth and dilute with boiling water. This is an excellent paste for old walls covered with one or more coatings of whitewash.

Rice Paste or Japanese Cement--
Mix powdered rice with a little cold water, rubbing until smooth and free from lumps. Add boiling water and boil, stirring constantly, until it thickens. This is an excellent library paste, suitable for scrapbooks and all kinds of fancy paper work.
Or it may be used to paste strips of transparent paper used to mend tears in valuable books, as it is nearly transparent when dry. For all fine paper work, it is much superior to paste made out of wheat flour.

Flour Cement--
A paste of wheat flour and cold water worked with the fingers into a stiff dough is a useful cement for attaching the metal tops to glass articles and other similar purposes. It requires two or three days to harden.

Flour Paste with Sugar--The addition of one tablespoonful of sugar to one quart of flour paste increases its adhesiveness and tenacious quality.

Well, there you have them! You might want to keep a copy of them handy, just in case you can't get to the store someday and have some pressing items that want pasting.

May you have a happy day,



  1. Dear Mama,
    The Wallpaper Is Pretty!!:)
    I Love You And I Like You!!!!!!:):)

  2. Wow! I don't think I would know where to find some of those items! Do they need them to preserve the paste so it won't mold/mildew? That would be my concern for something I made. We just don't think how much work was involved in activities like wallpapering long ago. We just run to the store and buy it today!
    Your wallpaper is lovely! Amazing things you can find at thrift stores. Can't wait to see it up! :~}

  3. Dear Mama,
    I Love You So Much!!:)
    I Like Your Blog!!:
    I Love You And I Like You!!!!!!!!!!!
    Here Are Some Smiley Faces !!:)(And Frowning Faces):
    :0 ;( :> :< :\ ;] :} :{ (I Can't Think Of Any More, But I Know There Is A Lot!!!:


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