“Making” your own paper is a great way to recycle some of your crafting supply leftovers into a cool summer project. You can use just about any kind of paper scraps to make new sheets of paper that are unique to your own imagination. You can add things to your paper so that they aren’t just white or a single color.
Here are some things to consider before beginning the project:
Most newspaper will result in a very gray paper and look a bit dull.
- Papers that are shiny and slick don’t work as well as more natural fiber papers.
- If you intend to write on your paper, avoid adding things like foil or plastic to the pulp. You can add those things to just one side of your paper leaving the opposite side in good shape for writing on.
- Be sure that if you are working on a surface that might be damaged by water you put down a towel or board to work on.
What you need:
- A blender
- Paper scraps
- A clean kitchen towel
- A large baking dish or basin
- An old picture frame
- Some aluminum window screen trimmed to fit the frame (several screens stacked in the frame tend to work better)
- Paper towels
- If your scraps are large, tear them into pieces no bigger than a nickel or quarter at the largest.
- Fill the blender 1/3 full of paper and then add water to almost fill. Leave a little air at the top so the water can spin freely.
- Blend the paper and water until you can’t see any more big pieces.
- Place the frame face down in the dish or basin. Insert the screens into the frame.
- Pour the water/pulp mixture into the frame, so that the pulp is an even thickness in the frame. While the frame is still in the dish (and partially submerged in the water), gently spread the pulp around to fill in thin spots.
- Gently lift the frame out of the water and tilt at a slight angle to allow water to run out of the pulp.
- Lift the screens out of the frame and place the screen with the pulp still attached onto the dish towel (screen side touching the towel).
- Take several folded paper towels and place them on top of the pulp. With the palm of your hand, press down on the towels to wring out the water from the pulp.
- When most of the water is pressed out, gently peel the pulp from the screen. If you don’t want the impression of the screen in your paper, place the paper on the dish towel and press again.
- Place the paper on a baking rack or a dry dish towel to dry.
Tips to Make Your Paper Greater
- Add spices like dried parsley or sprinkle on paprika for color and texture.
- Add a few drops of cinnamon or peppermint oil for a cool smell.
- Trim shapes or initials out of tissue paper and press into the paper while it’s still wet.