Kidzone: Homemade Paper

How to make homemade paper

Making paper by hand at home can be a pretty simple process. It’s also a fantastic way to use up your old receipts, scrap papers, junk mail, and copy paper that you were about to throw in the recycling bin, and instead create a thing of glorious handmade beauty.

Have those recycled papers hanging around? Some sort of plastic storage tub, and a kitchen blender? With a few supplies and these basic instructions, you’re well on your way to making handmade paper and being ridiculously friendly to the environment.

What you will need:

  • Large Bowl
  • Two sheets of blotting paper (about 6 inches square) (or a newspaper)
  • Sheets of Used Paper
  • Egg beater or kitchen blender
  • Instant starch (two teaspoons in a cup) will provide what commercial papermakers call ‘size’.
    This will help to stiffen your paper
  • Wire gauze or fine mesh
  • Water

Lets Start!

  • Step 1

    Tear the paper into very small pieces (not more than 1 inch square) and place in the bowl/kitchen blender.

    TIP

    Drawing, printmaking, and watercolor papers are best because they are generally made from stronger fibers (such as cotton rag, and not chemically treated tree fiber). Your fiber/scrap choice and its characteristics dictate the quality of the final sheet.
    Why not experiment with junk mail, office paper, paper bags, the yellow pages, rejection letters, and more. Remember NO PLASTIC!

  • Step 2

    Fill the bowl/blender with water (warm water is best). If you want to use starch, add two teaspoons to the water now.

  • Step 3

    Let the paper soak for ten minutes, then beat it with the egg beater or kitchen blender until it becomes mushy, with the fibres well separated.
    Empty into a large bowl of water then proceed to step 4 below.

    ATTENTION

    If a kitchen blender is used don’t fill it with too much paper, or you’ll burn the blender motor out.

  • Step 4

    Dip the mesh into the bowl, tilting it so that the edge goes in first. Then lift the mesh up flat.

  • Step 5

    Let the water drip back into the bowl.

  • Step 6

    Turn the mesh upside down onto the blotting paper. This must be done carefully so that the pulp does not come apart.

  • Step 7

    Carefully remove the mesh and place the second sheet of blotting paper on top, and roll firmly.

  • Step 8

    Iron carefully until it is dry.

  • Step 9

    Peel back the blotting paper slowly, leaving your first sheet of hand made paper. This must then be left for 24 hours to dry completely.

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