Paper making tutorial

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, school is wrapping up so I’ve been busy with random papers, projects, etc. Hopefully soon I can start to post on a regular schedule rather than so randomly. Anyway, I finally had a little time to craft, so I decided to make paper. Exciting!

Here are some pictures of my journey:

I took our paper scraps out of the shredder so I didn’t have to rip up each piece of paper. I also soaked them for a few days… I meant to just soak them for 24 hours, but I got busy and I couldn’t make paper for a while, so I had no choice but to let it sit there.

Fill the blender about halfway up with the paper mixture and then fill it up with warm water a little bit more than the paper. Blend. Pour into a tub that is already halfway filled with water.

Mmm, yummy!

Here’s what you need now.. your tub of paper-water, a few pieces of felt, a sponge, a screen and a piece of plastic that fits in the screen. I just made my screen with an old frame and metal window screen.

Put the screen in at an angle.. kind of like you’re going to scoop up the paper-water mixture.

Straighten out.

Pull the frame up slowly and as even as possible. Let the excess water drip out and put your plastic on top of the screen.

This part you would need two people.. You would really have someone holding the frame, and the second person putting one hand on top of the screen and pushing the sponge against it from the bottom to push the water out. Every few pushes you’ll have to wring the sponge out.

Peel the plastic away from the paper. If it sticks at all then the paper has too much water in it still and you’ll need to keep pushing it out. If it doesn’t stick, and you get the plastic off the paper, flip it out onto one of the pieces of felt.

Like so. Put another piece of felt over this one.

Repeat and repeat and repeat until you’re all out of paper pulp! I believe I got about 20 sheets from this batch. I put pressure on the stack of paper to get the extra moisture out. A lot of places recommend hanging up each piece with clothes pins at this point.. but I didn’t only because I don’t have any clothes pins πŸ™

A stack of paper! ..wow, this picture is kinda green.

I’m planning on making a book out of some of these pieces of paper.. They just take forever to dry if you can’t hang them! Making paper is pretty fun, you can experiment with different colors of paper, different consistencies, etc. Mine has a few random flecks of color and text dispersed throughout the paper, but I didn’t really mean for it to happen.. I figured that after soaking for forever the paper would be broken down enough that it would be mostly gray. I’m happy with the result though.. it was a happy accident. πŸ™‚

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  1. April 25, 2008 at 12:07 am — Reply

    I am so going to try this later on. Can you say custom letterhead paper?

    • April 25, 2008 at 12:19 am — Reply

      Nice! If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could try to emboss your paper by putting something under it (before it’s completely dry) and putting pressure on it until it’s dry. I kind of did that accidentally on some of my sheets.. but I straightened them out before they dried all the way.. cuz I wasn’t going for that look with these…

  2. April 25, 2008 at 10:36 pm — Reply

    Wow that is very cool. I think I will try that with my kids, should be a fun project! Maybe you should write an eBook on this?!

    • April 26, 2008 at 12:43 am — Reply

      Thanks! It’s super fun to do with a bunch of people πŸ™‚ I’ve never messed with eBooks before.. I wouldn’t know where to start!

  3. Cool. Now i know how 2 be green at work πŸ™‚

    • May 1, 2008 at 5:27 pm — Reply

      I’m glad you liked my tutorial πŸ™‚ Thanks for visiting

  4. May 4, 2008 at 11:00 pm — Reply

    You’re so talented. This is way too cool. Thanks for the tips.

    • May 4, 2008 at 11:55 pm — Reply

      Thanks and you’re welcome! πŸ™‚

  5. Tan
    May 7, 2008 at 4:00 pm — Reply

    Hi, I just came across your blog by chance ^^

    Great tutorial!

    I am thinking of giving it a try and was just wondering if it would be ok to just use the frame glass instead of the piece of plastic.


    • May 8, 2008 at 12:18 am — Reply

      I would imagine so. I think it might make it a little bit harder to pull it back up after you’re done squeezing the water out.. with plastic, obviously, it’s flexible enough to pull back up. Glass should work though I’d imagine, it’s worth a shot if that’s all you have πŸ™‚

      Thanks for visiting!

  6. Nina
    May 8, 2008 at 10:47 pm — Reply

    That’s awesome!!

    I actually used this method to make invitations for my wedding. I mixed hand-fulls of dried chamomile in the blender which scented the paper and also showed some spores and stems and stuff. Then I stirred in some strips of green tissue paper. They turned out quite lovely. I even sprinkled some wildflower seeds on some of the paper while still wet, and pressed it down. It came out really neat, but I don’t know if it could really be planted. I’ve yet to experiment…

    You’re blog is lots of fun!- Keep up the good work!

    • May 9, 2008 at 2:49 am — Reply

      Thanks! That’s awesome that you did this for your wedding invitations.. I never even thought about mixing stuff in to make them scented, that’s genius! I threw some seeds into a few of mine too, I was gunna water them and see if they bloomed hehe πŸ™‚ I’ve seen places that sell paper with seeds embedded in them so you can plant them later.. so I’d imagine they’d still grow πŸ™‚

  7. Kat
    August 21, 2008 at 10:24 pm — Reply

    Hey, I just wanted to tell you:

    1. I think you’re fabulous
    2. I have a very similar sewing machine, but mine’s and even OLDER model to the one on the top of the page. It’s so brutal trying to figure out why it messes up all the time. Stupid old machine haha.

  8. kori
    December 2, 2008 at 3:20 pm — Reply

    Waah, this looks like so much fun, I can’t wait to try it. I wish I had stumbled upon your blog sooner in the semester so that I could make my own paper for Silk Screening instead of having to cut up fresh paper. But that’s what next semester is for!

    I think you’re rather splendiforours, as I have always dreamed of making my own paper.
    I’m a nerd, I know.

    And real quick – what kind of plastic?

  9. December 10, 2008 at 5:33 pm — Reply

    […] Chezlin published a great walk through on how she took post consumer waste paper and made her own paper . I can’t wait to see what she creates with the paper she […]

  10. December 31, 2009 at 3:30 pm — Reply

    I made some lint paper recently, and found it was very floppy and not very suitable to book binding, much less even printing on. (not to mention the six hours it took to bleach. yuck.) It just wasn’t sturdy! What is the sturdiness with this kind of paper? I have been trying to figure out how to make my handmade paper more durable, but don’t really feel like adding two cups of elmers to my mix. Does it just come down to what kind of paper one is putting in?

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