I am now on Patreon where I post mask-making tutorials as well as photos of past and present mask work.

If you are looking for the tutorial for Natural Polymer Starch Masks, an updated version can be found there too. https://www.patreon.com/monicaofthemasks

The polymer starch recipe I originally based my burlap mask-making process on is at  http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Bio-plastic


  1. Couple of questions: does your starch glue keep if you put it in a jar in the fridge?
    Will it harden as it cools even if it’s in a jar?
    At the end, you suggest gelatin with pigments to make paint?! What are those proportions?

  2. Hi Adriene,

    In a cool environment, the polymer starch paste can last for a month or more in a sealed container without growing mold. But you may find that it can eventually develop a slightly fermented smell, which refrigerating would delay.

    The most important factor with using an old batch is that the mixture seems to depolymerize as it sits while the water and starch slowly separate from on another. A solution to that is to put it all back in a saucepan and gently reheat while stirring, until the water and starch recombine and the mixture becomes gel-like again. (You can also add a small amount of extra water to the saucepan if the starch paste seems thicker than when you originally made it)

    The polymer starch mixture does stiffen when it cools. But it does not actually become hard unless it left to dry out completely. The more thinly it is applied the faster it will harden. Evaporation is what causes it to dry out/harden.

    For the gelatin paint, I am mixing the gelatin according to the directions for gelatin glue at https://www.thehippyhomemaker.com/gettin-sticky-with-it-homemade-glue-paste/ (except I just use regular Knox brand gelatin, and clove oil to preserve). Once you have a jar of warm/liquid gelatin glue on hand, you can spoon small amounts of that into smaller jars, then add powdered pigment and a little hot water if necessary and stir with a paintbrush until it seems like a good consistency to apply.

    You want the gelatin glue/paint to stay warm while you are painting. The simplest option is to place your jars in a container holding 1-2" of hot water, changing cooled water out for more hot water as needed. Or you could place the jars in a crock-pot containing 1-2" of hot water, or place the jars in a metal baking pan (containing 1-2" of hot water) on an electric griddle. The paint in the jars will dry out quickly, so add more water and stir as needed. And you may have the best results if you apply multiple thin layers of paint to your project (allowing each layer to dry/set in-between applications) instead of just one thick layer.

    I hope this helps, and good luck! I would love to see your finished project.

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