Like graffiti, wheatpasting is a direct action technique for communicating with your neighbors and redecorating your environment. Because it’s easy to mass-produce posters, wheatpasting enables you to deploy a nuanced, complex message at a large number of locations with minimal effort and risk. Repetition makes your message familiar to everyone and increases the chances that others will think it over. If you’re looking for posters to paste up, we offer a wide selection of poster designs to print out or order in bulk.
To make wheatpaste, mix two parts white or whole-grain wheat flour with three parts water, stir out any lumps, and heat the mixture to a boil, stirring continuously so as not to burn it. When it thickens, add more water; continue cooking it on low heat for at least half an hour, stirring continuously. Some people add a little sugar or cornstarch for extra stickiness; don’t be afraid to experiment. Wheatpaste, once made, will last for a while if kept in sealed containers, though eventually it will dry up or become rotten—and sealed containers of it have been known to burst, to unfortunate effect. Keep them in a refrigerator if you can.
You can also obtain wallpaper adhesive at any home improvement store; this comes in pre-mixed buckets or boxes of powder. Wallpaper adhesive is much quicker and easier to mix than wheatpaste, and not much more expensive even if you are paying for it. Don’t get the brands advertised as “easy to remove,” obviously—get the most heavy-duty adhesive available.
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This is excerpted from our book, Recipes for Disaster, which details a wealth of related tactics.