Making Wheat Paste for Book Binding

Wheatpaste or wheat starch paste has been used since antiquity as a natural adhesive. It is cheap, quick and easy to make, and lasts for a very long time. Many of those ancient tomes we see still now have been bound using wheat paste. It is a good glue to know how to make – not only for book binding, but for many other crafts and arts, like papier-mache, collage and so much more.


I use my wheat paste as glue to put my books together, but above all I use it to make book cloth. I find it is sturdy, has no smell, and works like a charm – you just need patience when using it, as it does take a while to dry!

So, without further ado, here are the very few ingredients you need to make your own paste at home:

  • 250ml (1 cup) warm water
  • 3tbsp plain flour
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • tea tree, clove or other essential oil with antibacterial properties (optional)

You will also need:

  • a measuring cup and spoons
  • A whisk
  • Pot

How to make it:

Place the 250ml warm water in a pot on the stove to begin heating.

In a cup or small bowl, mix together the flour and cold water to create a paste (you may need more or less water depending on how dry it is).

Pour mixture into the heated water on the stove and stir well. Allow to go back to a boil (keep stirring the whole time) then turn off the heat. Put a couple drops of essential oil into the mixture after it has cooled.

Store in a clean jar in the fridge for up to 6 days.

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