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8 Easy Ways to Dry Paper Mache

Do you love paper mache but hate how long it takes to dry? If so, then this article is for you! I’ll share some easy tips and tricks for drying paper mache quickly and efficiently.

Whether you’re looking to speed up the drying process or simply want to avoid dealing with soggy paper, these tips will come in handy. So let’s get started!

Someone making a paper mache giraffe

1. Hang Your Paper Mache Project From A Clothesline To Dry

If you want to display your paper mache project but don’t have enough room on the table or surface, why not hang it up? You can tie a piece of string or fishing line to the top of your paper mache creation and thread it through a clothesline or shower rod.

Steps to Hang Dry From a Shower Rod

  • Tie a string to your project so you can easily hang it.
  • Attach the string to the clothesline or shower rod.
  • Allow to air dry for 24 hours, and check on it periodically.

This will allow the project to dry without taking up extra space in your home. Not only that, but by hanging the project, you’ll have a chance to admire it throughout the drying and painting process—you may even take inspiration from the way the paper mache hangs when thinking about how to design it.

Keeping your project hanging will also help it to dry evenly and prevent any paper mache from cracking. Just be sure you don’t hang it too high, as paper mache needs good air circulation to dry properly.

When your paper mache project is done drying, remove it from the clothesline or shower rod and set it aside while you prep for painting. Congratulations—you’ve just used a simple and efficient way to dry paper mache!

One thing to note is if you hang dry a paper mache balloon outdoors. In this case, the balloon might expand or retract depending on the outside air temperature. If you are using a balloon, consider keeping it inside to avoid any problems occurring.

2. Use A Radiator Or Heating Vent To Speed Up The Drying Process

For crafty DIY-ers looking to finish their projects faster, try placing them near a radiator or heat vent! Heat waves can speed up the drying process, especially if you’re dealing with thick materials like paper mache. And a radiator or heating vent is a cheap solution for quick drying.

Without this technique, your projects may take hours or days to dry, but with it they can be ready in only minutes! Placing your project on top of a radiator is also useful for avoiding dust or dirt settling onto wet surfaces and ruining the end product.

Steps to Heat Dry Your Paper Mache

  • Find a spot in your home where a vent or radiator gives off significant heat.
  • Place the paper mache project nearby. Do not place the project directly over your vents or heating elements, as this could be a fire hazard.
  • Rotate the project every couple of hours to allow for even drying.

Using a radiator or heating vent is usually the most effective way to dry paper mache quickly. Make sure to create a designated area and keep paper mache projects away from any heating element that is too close. Doing this will ensure your project dries properly and safely.

So next time you have to wait for something to dry, take advantage of some free heating and make all of your creative projects come alive!

3. Set Your Project In Front Of A Fan To Circulate The Air

Electric fan with fluttering pink ribbons

If you’re working on a project using paper mache, glue, paint, or other items that require drying time, consider setting it in front of a fan to speed up the process. Fans can help circulate the air around your project and allow the material to dry faster.

A fan is probably the easiest of options because it does not require too much setup. The best way to do this is to set up a fan so that it’s blowing directly on your paper mache. You may need to adjust the fan’s angle or height to get the most airflow and dry your paper mache faster.

Using a fan is an easy way to speed up the drying process of paper mache projects.

Steps for Fan Drying Your Paper Mache

  • Clean Up – Clear a workspace for your project to dry easily.
  • Turn on the Fan – Depending on the type of project. It might be necessary to turn the fan on low or high.
  • Rotate Your Project – Every couple of hours, rotate the project so the fan is evenly hitting all sides.

Either way, ensure you place your work far enough away so that it doesn’t blow papers off a nearby workspace, and make sure you’ve set up a safe environment if there are young children or animals around.

Related The Best Glue for Paper Mache (And How To Make Your Own).

4. Open a Window to Dry Your Paper Mache

You can also try setting paper mache close to a window, where there is always some movement of air due to outside temperatures. This will help paper mache dry more quickly than sitting in still air.

Fresh air also does wonders for a project. But it can cause cracking if you are not careful. Pay close attention to the temperature, especially if you are drying a paper mache balloon.

These balloons will expand in the heat, so try not to window dry your paper mache project if it is too hot out.

Steps to Window Drying Your Paper Mache

  • Place the paper mache project near a window.
  • Open your window enough to let a breeze easily flow into the room.
  • Turn your paper mache project every 30 minutes to allow for consistent air flow all around your project.

By opening a window, you allow paper mache to dry faster, but you can also avoid the risk of over-drying paper mache, which results in a brittle finish. To ensure paper mache doesn’t over-dry, check it regularly and mist it with a spray bottle if paper mache starts to look dull.

5. Put Your Paper Mache Project In The Sun

If you’re in a rush to finish your paper mache project, why not put it out in the sun? By exposing it to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, your project will dry much faster than if it were left indoors. The UV rays also have the added benefit of sterilizing the project.

This drying process would hasten up by one or two days and allow you to move on to painting and other decorations in no time.

Steps for Sun Drying Your Paper Mache

  • Find an airy spot in the full sun that will not be obstructed by shadows.
  • Place your paper mache in the sunshine and wait for it to dry.
  • Turn the project every couple of hours to ensure full coverage from the sun.
  • Continue turning the project until the paper mache is completely dry.

Additionally, allowing your paper mache project to dry in the sun reduces the risk of mold forming during that period since UV rays can prevent microorganism growth. So if you’re working against tight deadlines, don’t hesitate – take your paper mache masterpiece out into the sunshine!

6. If You Are In A Hurry, Blow-Dry Your Paper Mache Project

If you’re looking for a quick way to dry your paper mache project, don’t despair – try using a blow dryer on the low setting! Setting the heat on the lowest setting is recommended, which will prevent the paste from becoming too hot and losing its adhesive properties.

Steps to Blow Drying Your Paper Mache

  • For this drying method, you can either use a blow dryer or a heat gun
  • Turn the device to the lowest setting and gently maneuver it around the paper mache project
  • Keep blow-drying all sides until the project is dry
  • Use a low setting to avoid burning your project or it catching on fire. It is paper, after all.

Blow-drying your project can take a fraction of the time it takes to let it dry naturally. And if you use care, it should not damage your work. Additionally, keep in mind that any water-based paints used in decorating your project may be more likely to crack if dried too quickly with high heat.

Related What Can I Use Instead of a Heat Gun? | 9 Alternatives.

7. Try Using Your Oven to Dry Your Paper Mache Project

Three paper mache molds before the drying process in an oven

The oven may be able to provide a gentle, warm heat that can help speed up the paper mache drying process. This method is recommended for paper mache projects with a smaller surface area and those that are not decorated.

Steps to Oven Drying Your Paper Mache Project

  • If you choose to use your oven, make sure you preheat it on low first – set the oven to around 175 degrees Fahrenheit or even lower.
  • Place your paper mache project in the middle of the oven and let your project dry in there as long as needed.
  • Be sure to check on it regularly until it is dry all the way through.

Remove the project if it looks like it is burning. Do not put plastic, foam, balloons, or other things that could melt in the heat. Remember, paper is flammable, so keep a close eye on your project.

Once your paper mache project is dried completely, take it out of the oven and let it cool at room temperature before handling. This method is not recommended for larger projects, as it can cause them to over-shrink or get too brittle.

However, if you’re careful and keep a close eye on your project while it’s baking, this can be an easy way to dry paper mache quickly. Just remember to let it cool before handling it!

8. Allow Your Paper Mache Project to Air Dry

If time permits, paper mache projects can be left out in the open air, either indoors or outdoors. The length of time will vary depending on the climate, humidity, and size of the paper mache project.

It is important to consider both temperature and air movement when allowing paper mache to air dry – summer months tend to be hot and arid while winter months may bring rain and windy weather that could affect drying time.

Check for Dryness Regularly

When the paper mache is left to dry on its own, checking for dryness should be done regularly by gently pushing a finger against the paper mache surface – if it feels slightly cool and does not stick, it is likely dry.

However, paper mache may still be wet underneath so make sure to test with caution! It’s also important to note that paper mache dries slower in colder temperatures and when exposed to high humidity levels.

It can be very tempting to speed up the paper mache drying process, but it is important to let the project dry thoroughly before you handle or decorate it; otherwise, it could end up cracking or deteriorating over time.

Letting your paper mache project air dry is the simplest option of these we discussed here. It is good to do most times of the year, especially if you leave the project indoors in a well-ventilated area.

In Summary

There are a few things you can do to speed up the drying process of your paper mache project. Hanging it from a clothesline or shower rod, setting it in front of a fan, or placing it in the sun will all help it to dry faster. If you’re really in a hurry, you can even blow-dry it on the low setting. Just be sure not to put it on too high, or you could end up ruining your project!

With these methods, paper mache drying time should no longer feel like an eternity waiting for your project to be finished. Now you’ll have paper mache creations that are ready and complete in no time!

Good luck with all of your paper mache adventures, and happy crafting!

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