Learn how to make your own beautifully crafted sheets of handmade paper!
I just adore handmade paper! I’m getting that out there right now. If I feel in the mood for making something and I’m not sure what, paper usually wins. Mostly I recycle paper and am never completely sure how it’s possible to turn ugly old bills and newspapers into the most beautiful sheets.
Make a plain sheet to write a letter, a colourful plant based sheet for a scrapbook or just experiment and throw anything in. We’re going to walk through some really easy steps to getting started on what I hope will be a love affair with paper.
You will need:
- A blender
- Paper making frame (Mould & Deckle)
- Paper scraps
The first thing to do is tear up a bunch of scrap paper. This paper is for my pom pom & paper garland tutorial and needs a white base so I’m using scrap paper from bills and letters mostly. Add the scraps to the blender and cover with water. Blend it to a fine pulp and pour into a bowl with some more water.
Take the mould and dip it into the water at an angle and then level it out. Ensure an even spread of pulp across the frame. Hold it steady over the bowl and wait for most of the water to drain away. You can now put the frame onto a flat surface. Now remove the upper mould part and put it to one side.
Using a J Cloth or similar kitchen cloth, place it flat over the new handmade paper sheet. There is still too much water in that sheet so we are going to remove it. Gently flip the whole frame over so the kitchen cloth is face down on the flat surface.
Using a sponge, press down all over the sheet from the back of the frame. You will be pressing down on the mesh. As you do this you will notice water coming to the surface. Soak up as much of that as you can with the sponge. When no more water seems to be coming through it’s time to gently lift away the rest of the frame. This will leave you will a newly formed sheet of handmade paper attached to the J cloth.
Now all you have to do is hang the j cloth up, on a laundry rack or laid flat. It was a really sunny day when I made this so I put all the sheets on the airer. In the heat of the sun they were dry in an hour!
Sometimes I leave them to dry out on the kitchen table and this can take 1-3 days which is fine. If you are in a hurry, it’s not my favourite method but, you can place the sheet between a clean white cloth and iron it dry.
When the sheets are fully dried you can peel them from the kitchen cloth really carefully and that’s that.
If you want to add flowers, seeds, glitter, more colourful pieces of paper, sequins, leaves you can just add them to the water at the beginning with the pulp. This batch of paper was made with tiny bits of coloured card and pieces of wool that I was using in another project.
I’m not sure there is a sight I enjoy more than seeing freshly pressed handmade paper drying in the sun.
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