By: Maria Nerius
Making your own paper is a fun idea that you can use for so many different craft projects. Recycling your paper scraps also creates less waste and is great for the environment.
- Paper (also called waste paper): Almost any paper you can tear easily and recycle including: scraps of paper, envelopes, copier paper, and even mail order catalogs.
- Blender: Filled 3/4 full of water
- Pour Mold: This is a 2-part mold made up of a wood frame and ultra fine screen.
- Couch sheets: Highly absorbent paper used to remove excess water from hand made paper. You can substitute plain newsprint, but you’ll need a lot of it.
- Sponge: Again, to absorb excess water.
- Fine screening: An optional supply, but can help with removing excess water from newly made paper so not as many couch sheets are needed.
- Large tub or kitchen sink: Pour mold is placed into water covering about 1/3 of the mold.
- Ironing board and iron or paper press
Step by Step
- You’ll need the equivalent of 1 sheet of waste paper to make an equal sized sheet of handmade paper. After making your first sheet of handmade paper, if you find your paper too thick then use less recycled paper and if you find it too thin to work with add a touch more recycled paper.
- Tear up recycled paper and place in blender. Blend at medium speed for at least 20-30 seconds. You want all pulp with no bits of paper left.
- Pour pulp into pour mold that is in tub or sink. With hand mix the pulp for even distribution. Lift pour mold straight up out of the water allowing excess water to dip off.
- Remove wood frame from pour mold. Place fine screening over handmade paper and use sponge to remove more excess water. Remove fine screen when done.
- Place couch sheet over top of handmade paper. Lightly press down and remove more excess water. Flip over and gently remove ultra fine screen. Place second couch sheet on top. Flip over and remove the first couch sheet. An additional couch sheet may or may not be needed to remove more excess water.
- Place handmade paper onto an ironing board and iron on medium heat until dry.
- Place handmade paper between two couch sheets and place heavy object over it for a few hours. Your handmade sheet of paper is ready to use!
- Handmade paper is a great way to use up paper scraps you just can’t bring yourself to throw out. Keep scraps of colored papers to use to color your handmade papers.
- Have fun by adding flowers, flower petals, seeds, spices, herbs, leaves, grasses and other botanicals to your paper pulp.
- Embed memorabilia in your handmade paper by adding postage stamps, ticket stubs, cigar bands and other paper items into the mold as you pour in the pulp.
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