Homemade Paper Making

Have you tried homemade paper making? There are so many ideas about materials and techniques, there's a lot you can experiment with to create different kinds of paper.

I first tried making paper when I was in elementary school. I received a paper making kit for Christmas one year. It didn't get off to a good start because one of the screens became mixed up in the post-celebration mess of wrapping paper and was thrown away!

My first experience used newspaper chopped up in the blender. I added food coloring to make it green. It turned out thick like cardboard. I was disappointed because I wanted paper, not cardboard.

It turns out that missing screen was important!

The surface was rough, so I decorated it with colored chalk and it ended up looking like a colorful neon cave painting on a green background, which I thought looked really cool. I'm sorry I don't have a picture for you.

We'll soon try papermaking as part of our homeschooling and then I'll have more stories and photos to share with you.

How to Make Paper

The process for making basic paper is fast, but it will take several days to dry completely.

  1. Use a blender or food processor to shed the ingredients. Newspaper is an economical start, but you will end up with a grey color from the newsprint ink. Add enough water to make it damp but not runny. A little white glue is good, too.
  2. Spread the goop on a fine screen. The flatter and smoother you make it, the flatter and smoother the paper will be.
  3. Place it somewhere dry and wait. If it starts to grow mold, you will have to throw it out and start over again. A good drying spot has low humidity and good air circulation. Do not place it in direct sunlight.

One of my favorite books on this subject is Trash-to-Treasure Papermaking: Make Your Own Recycled Paper from Newspapers & Magazines, Can & Bottle Labels, Disgarded Gift Wrap, Old Phone Books, Junk Mail, Comic Books, and More because it uses a variety of recycled materials.

How to Use Homemade Paper

Like I said, mine turns out thick, but it's nice for extra special gift tags.

It would be really neat if I could make some thin enough for Origami, but I haven't accomplished that yet.

For me, the exciting part is the process of making paper, so I'm still figuring out what to do with my product. I might try using some homemade paint to decorate it.

What do you like to do with your handmade paper?




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