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wheatpasting
PC Jason Howie

A Beginner’s Guide to Wheatpasting- Your New Favorite Street Art Method

Want to spread a message? Whether it is flyers advertising an upcoming march or a political poem or a cool sketch, wheatpasting is one of the easiest and best ways to get something seen by others.

What even is wheatpasting you ask? Good question, with a simple answer- it is a term that describes plastering posters to walls with (you guessed it) a paste made of wheat flour and water.

Why wheatpaste? Another good question, with a less simple answer- it depends. For some, it is a purely artistic exercise, a chance to share a creation with folks who are outside your usual circles, a chance to brighten up a cityscape with something beautiful. For others, it is a utilitarian mission to spread the word about an event or protest with straightforward posters. For me, the artistic and political often overlap- I want to promote an idea or an image with meaning that may not be about a specific event, or I may want to advertise a protest but do so in a beautiful, unique way. 

So let’s address the last important question- how to wheatpaste

Supplies: whole wheat flour, water, your art (if drawing by hand, use oil based markers, but you can also just print something out), scissors, a bucket, and a paintbrush

Steps:

  1. Measure out your wheat flour and water with a 1:4 ratio (ie 1 cup of wheat flour for every four cups of water)
  2. Boil the water
  3. Add in the flour and mix well- no clumps or little flour balls- until it looks like glue
  4. Pour your wheatpaste into your bucket, and you’re halfway there!
  5. Take the bucket, your brush, and your art to the spot or spots where you want to display it (concrete works well, but in general it should be a smooth, flat surface)
  6. Paint on a layer of paste to the surface
  7. Place your art on top
  8. Paint another generous layer of paste over top
    1. repeat steps 6-8 at all your spots if you have several pieces or a bunch of flyers

Now you’re done! Appreciate your work, and wheatpaste responsibly!

About Quinn Dunlea

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