Making your own paper can be a lot of fun but you probably want to use your homemade paper as soon as possible so naturally a common question I hear a lot is how long does it actually take to make your own paper. After reading this article you will know exactly how long it takes to make your own paper as well as how long every step takes you and how you can speed up some of these steps.
So how long does it take to make homemade paper? The short answer is, it depends on how you make your paper pulp and how long the paper pulp has to sit for until you can use it. This pulp will also have an impact on the time the paper needs to dry after you have pulled it. Generally, it can take anywhere between 2 days and a whole week before you can use your homemade Paper.
How Long Does it Take to Make the Pulp for Paper Making?
So before you can pull your paper you will have to create the pulp for paper making. The process of creating the paper pulp can vary quite a lot depending on how you create the paper pulp and what you use as basis for the pulp.
The most common kind of base for the paper pulp is paper scraps, that are then being ripped, mashed, and soaked in water until you have the desired consistency.
Depending on the kind of paper, that you are using for the paper pulp, the time it takes until the pulp is ready can vary greatly.
If you are using very easy to dissolve paper like tissue paper or something similar you can create a paper pulp, that is ready for pulling, in 30 minutes.
If you are using paper, that takes a long time to dissolve in water like watercolor paper, for example, then it could take 2 or 3 days until the paper is dissolved enough in the water to make a pulp out of the paper scraps.
So depending on what kind of paper you use it could take anywhere between 30 Minutes and 3 days until your paper pulp is ready for pulling the paper.
How Long Do Your Paper Sheets Need to Dry Completely?
After you pulled the paper it still needs to dry. Drying, however, can take quite a long time.
The time it takes to dry the paper sheets can also vary quite a lot.
Depending on the kind of paper pulp, that you used to pull the paper, and how thick you pulled the paper it can take more time to dry.
The place where you dry your paper, the surface on that you dry your paper and the humidity levels of the place where you dry the paper can also change the drying time quite drastically.
Generally, paper drys within 1 to 3 days.
What Can I Do to Make Paper Faster?
If you don´t want to speed up the process of making paper then there are a few different things, that you can do.
If you want to create the paper pulp faster you can use boiling water to soak the paper of your choice faster.
This can create a paper pulp of hard to soak water like watercolor paper much faster. If you use boiling water and a mixer to create your pulp then you can speed up the process even further.
These tricks can make it possible to create a paper pulp within a day. You need to let the paper pulp cool down before you can use it though!
Can I Dry My Paper Faster?
Drying the pulled paper is probably the step of the whole papermaking process, that takes the longest time.
Depending on the kind of paper it could take 3 days or even longer until the paper is completely dry.
So here are some tips, that can speed up the process of drying quite significantly.
Use a very smooth surface to let your paper dry on. I would suggest a glass surface or an acrylic surface for letting your paper dry on. The surface also has to be nonabsorbent.
Choosing the right kind of surface will allow you to easily remove the paper after it has dry, it will also let the paper dry even on the underside because there is no material, that can be soaked in the water (like wood), thus keeping the underside from drying properly.
The second tip is to let the paper dry in a location with some air circulation. Air circulation is important to help the paper dry faster and more evenly. This will also keep the paper from deforming or wrinkling.
And another thing is the humidity. This part has a little bit to do with air circulation, as good airflow will avoid high humidity levels around your drying paper. But if you are living in a land, that has high humidity then try to reduce the humidity at least in the room where you are drying your paper.
Reducing the humidity around your paper while it is drying will let it dry way faster than otherwise.
One last thing is heat. Be careful when you are trying to use heat to dry your paper faster. I would not recommend using a hairdryer to try and dry your paper as it is almost impossible to dry evenly and your paper will start to wrinkle or deform.
But you can turn up the heater in the room, where you are drying your paper to speed up the drying process. But like I said heat is kinda dangerous to use for drying paper if you don´t exactly know what you are doing.