Sunday, February 26, 2012

Homemade Liquid Starch

In an effort to develop a list of Basics for working with paper mache (and to provide a repository of recipes that will be easy for me to refer to when needed), I'm adding another recipe to the series of tutorials I'm developing on making homemade ingredients useful for the process.

The first one was for homemade glue.

I use liquid starch to help harden my paper clay and strip mache projects. I could buy liquid starch, but again, it can get expensive. A 64 oz. container can cost around $4.50 or so. In the scheme of things it's not going to mean skipping any meals to buy it, but making your own is very easy and it's cheap too, literally costing pennies a gallon.

Homemade Liquid Starch

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 3 tsp water


Boil the cup of water. While that's heating up mix the cornstarch with the extra water. Just as in cooking, you need to mix the cornstarch beforehand to prevent clumping.


Add cornstarch mixture to the boiling water and stir.


Wait for the mixture to clear and remove from heat.


Allow the liquid starch to cool and place in an airtight container and refrigerate.

I use the liquid starch in my paper mache paste, my homemade glue, and in my paper clay. Again, it's used as a hardening agent and helps bind the ingredients together.

21 comments:

  1. I LIKE this idea! I have experimented with the store-bought starch to smooth my paper mache clay immediately after applying it, because it does make it more firm! I love that I won't have to buy it anymore.
    So glad I found your blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maggie,

      That was the reason behind my trying to search for an alternative. My inner cheap guy hates paying for something I can easily (and cheaply!) make myself. I never have to worry about running out as I can whip up a batch in minutes and it only costs pennies as opposed to dollars. Every little bit helps.

      Rich

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  2. how long roughly do you have to boil it for?
    thank you amy :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amy, just a minute or two. As I note above, when you see the liquid clear it's time to remove from the heat and let cool. You'll see the change as your boil it.

      Rich

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, when does one add the starch to the home made glue? Looked at the recipe but no mention of starch in the photos. Thanks.
    Elaine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Sorry for the delay in replying. It's not really critical when you add the liquid starch, but for convenience you can add it after you add the last of the water. Then mix and follow the rest of the directions.

      FWIW, it wasn't included in the photos because it was a step I added after the fact, after having come across the liquid starch recipe. But since I use it as a hardening agent I thought it best to include it.

      So, yes, anytime in the mixing process is fine to include it. Thanks for reading.

      Rich

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  5. So this makes 1 cup of starch? and then do I mix it with more water to dip my fabric/paper in it to do my crafts? Or just make a big batch?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi John,

      Yes, it makes 1 cup which I then add to my various recipes. For example, I use 1/3 cup in my homemade glue and differing amounts in other recipes. Depends on what you need it for. If you need larger amounts, just bulk up the ingredients equally.

      Rich

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  6. for the end part how long do you refrigerate the liquid starch for?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have stored it for as much as two months or so before completely using it, but more typically I mix up as much as I happen to need for the project I am working on, so it can sit in the fridge for a week or so. When left standing, though, it should be shaken vigorously before use.

      Rich

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  7. Also, another note about liquid starch with homemade paper is it also is needed for paper that will be written on, to prevent bleeding.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Just to let you know, altho most of the comments come from last year your informational pieces on glue/starch/etc are still gathering interest. Ya gotta love the internet, the place where nothing dies.
    Thank gawd for that....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heh! As long as people continue to find it useful, I'm all for that. Thanks for taking note though.

      Rich

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  9. Hi im making something for easter an id like to do. Trial an error before it even gets close, an i cant find liquid starch here any where all the walmarts say there out of stock i even went in a 25mile distance whats the soonest you can use this after putting in the refrigerator

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheyenne, actually use it as soon as it cools. Refrigeration is only for storage. You could probably use it right away too, but since it's so hot I just let it cool first. Good luck with your project.

      Rich

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  10. So if I'm using this to iron jeans will the cornstarch stain my jeans? And leave them white or something??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jennifer, it shouldn't. I haven't had a problem the few times I've used it, but you might want to test it out on a small area where it won't be noticed just so you're comfortable you won't ruin a whole pair. :)

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  11. Has anyone used this for monoprinting ir other printmaking by chance? Thanks

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  12. Can this be used all by itself with cheesecloth to make floating ghost heads?

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