Do it yourself and see how good it feels to use a paper made with your own hands!
Selection of Raw Material Papers
The basic material required for the project is paper that can be any thing, unprinted computer paper, magazines, egg cartons, toilet paper, paper bags, office paper, typing paper, napkins, construction paper etc.
Just remember that old cards will make heavier paper while tissue paper will make finer paper. If using non waxed boxes then pre-soak them in warm water.
Avoid newspapers as the chemicals and ink in them lead to a handmade paper which is a muddy -looking sheet of poor quality. If possible, combine a recycled base with equal amounts of abaca or cotton pulp. Buy it in semi-processed form so that it can be used in a household blender.
Tools Required for Making Handmade Paper
A laundry tub
Handmade paper mold and deckle
Torn pieces of recycled paper or cotton pulp
Fabric square (felt or flannel square)
Newspaper or absorbent towels for a couching pad
Steps for Making Paper
Tear the selected paper into small bits and put them into blender with warm water. Make it about half full. Run the blender, increasing its speed slowly, for about 30 -40 seconds until the pulp becomes smooth.
Make a mold by stretching fiberglass screen (plain old door and window screen) over a wooden frame and stapling it. Make it as tight as possible.
Fill the tub about half way with water. Add loads of pulp and stir the mixture. The more pulp you add the thicker the paper will be.
Place the mold into the pulp and level it out keeping it submerged. Gently shake it side-to-side until the pulp on top of the screen appears to be even.
Now lift the mold up slowly until it is above the level of water. Wait until most of the water has drained. Add or remove pulp to obtain the desired thickness of the paper. If so, you’ll have to stir the mixture again.
After draining the water, slowly place one edge on the side of a fabric square and gently ease the mold down flat, with the paper directly on the fabric. With the sponge, press out as much water as possible.
Hold the fabric square flat and gently lift the edge of the mold in a manner that the wet sheet of paper stays back on the fabric.
Make more wet papers by repeating the steps above. Stack the fabric squares on a cookie sheet and place one fabric square on the top of the stack in order to cover the last piece of paper. With another cookie sheet, press out any remaining water.
Now gently separate the sheets and dry them either by hanging on a clothesline or laying out on sheets of newspapers.
And here’s your own handmade paper ready!