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How to Dry Paper Mache Quickly

Updated February 21, 2017

Paper mache can be used to make anything from masks to models. The resulting craft isn't indestructible, but paper mache offers budding artists a great outlet for their skills. Since paper mache is made from -- for the most part -- glue, flour, water and scrap paper, it's an inexpensive way to create works of art. One downside to working with paper mache is that it can take a long time to dry. Speed up the drying process so you can add paint, sequins or other extras to your paper mache.

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  1. Set the paper mache item on a drying rack so air can reach each side of your craft, including the base. A cookie racks, laundry rack or any type of grill works well as a stand for your craft.

  2. Place the rack by an open window or in the middle of a room that gets a good amount of air circulation. You can dry your creation outside, weather permitting, but be vigilant and make sure that no debris from the ground ends up on your craft.

  3. Set up a small fan or two so that the air flows in the direction of your paper mache craft. The more air moving over your project, the quicker the glue and paper mixture will dry.

  4. Apply air with a hairdryer on the thickest areas of your paper mache project. Ridges, indentations or other isolated areas will also benefit from a hairdryer. Be sure to leave the hairdryer on a cool setting when using it for paper mache.

  5. Check your paper mache project every hour, applying air with a hairdryer for ten minutes on thick or isolated areas, until it's dry.

  6. Tip

    Very small, flat paper mache crafts can be dried in the oven. Set the temperature to warm and let the oven stay on for 15 minutes. Turn it off and set the paper mache item on a baking tray in the oven. After an hour, remove the baking tray, turn the oven on warm again and let it heat up once more while you flip your craft over on the baking tray. Put it in the oven for another hour. The fewer layers you place on your paper mache project, the less time it will take the project to dry.

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Things You'll Need

  • Fans
  • Hair dryer
  • Drying rack

About the Author

Melly Parker

Melly Parker has been writing since 2007, focusing on health, business, technology and home improvement. She has also worked as a teacher and a bioassay laboratory technician. Parker now serves as a marketing specialist at one of the largest mobile app developers in the world. She holds a Master of Science in English.

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