Quick Drying Paper Mache Recipes

Depending on the method you use, there are many I am finding while delving into this fun craft, the drying time will differ. The paste and strips method seems to dry the fastest out of the methods I am currently testing. But there are many more methods and below I will list a few of them for you that I am finding that dry the quickest.

Wood glue method:

The key to creating quick drying paper mache is to make it a lightweight single layer paper mache craft…it is more expensive but will be light weight , super strong and dries in less than 2 days!

You will need:

  • Type bond 3 wood glue
  • Smidge of water
  • disposable bowl 
  • painters tape
  • brown craft paper or newsprint
  • your form you intend to use (see video for ideas)
  • disposable 1″ brush

Start by cutting or tearing your paper into strips, once done set aside.

Create your form, I recommend using light weight cardboard or card stock for this. You can also use something already formed, like a store bought mask, etc…remember to make it lightweight.

Mix the wood glue and water then brush on a small amount of the glue mix to your form.  Next apply a section of your paper then brush more glue over top of that and repeat this process over the entire form.

Thanks to Ultimate Paper Mache

Remember there is no such thing as messing up…this can be sanded if needed to help smooth it out if you make it gloppy or uneven in a few spots so don’t stress out. I’m learning to become more zen the further into this fun craft I am getting and if I can say that, you will have no issues either ;). 

Plaster of Paris and cellulose method:

You will need:

  • Plaster of Paris
  • Cheesecloth
  • Bowl
  • Gloves
  • 1″ chip brush
  • Artist painting brushes for fine and normal painting
  • Cellulose fiber (insulation grade is good and soaked in hot water until it looks like mush then squeeze out as much water as you can)
  • A mold you would like to use, preferably silicone (or you can make your own, just follow the video instructions in the link below).
  • Acrylic paint


1st layer:

mix up

  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 cup plaster of paris
  • 1/4 cup damp paper pulp (mixed in by hand and broken up)
  • dash of vinegar
  • mix well

Push cheesecloth into first layer of mix in your silicone mold using your chip brush. You are now ready to prepare and add the second layer.

2nd Layer:

  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 cup plater of paris
  • 1/2 cup damp paper pulp 
  • dash of vinegar

Add the 2nd layer of your mix on top of the cheese cloth… you can use a piece of fabric like burlap to push it down into the mold ensuring it is compressed and to help smooth it out a bit.

You must move very fast with this method as it dries very very fast. Let dry and then paint it as you desire. 

Thanks to Jonni Good

I have yet to try this method but I am very keen to see what I can come up with.  I will definitely post results as soon as I can!



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