Free Tips & Easy "How to" Instructions
Are you into recycling? Have you ever wanted to make your own paper? Recycling and making your own paper can go hand in hand. With a few steps and the right materials, you and a friend, or your children, can enjoy the creative art of making new paper out of old materials.
You will need to create a mixture of old paper materials. The amount of ink and the color of the paper used will determine the color of the finished product, so consider that when gathering papers to recycle. You can use almost any type of paper, depending on the thickness, color, and weight that you want. Here are some types of paper that you can use:
Once you have chosen the paper that you want to use, you will need to prepare the supplies needed to make the new paper. Here is what you will need:
Here are some notes on the supplies: Consider the size of paper that you want to make. Your screen should be cut to that size, and the frame should fit around it. You will need to immerse the frame in the basin, so make sure it is large enough. The fabric or Formica will also need to be sized accordingly as well. Cardboard or any thickness should be pre-soaked so that it is soft enough to blend well.
NOTE: This process can be rather messy. Be prepared to clean up afterwards!
Secure the screen onto your frame. You can staple or nail it in place. Make sure that it is stretched flat and secure. This is now your mold.
Rip the paper you have chosen to recycle into small pieces and put them in your blender. You should use only enough paper to fill it halfway. Add enough warm water to just about fill the blender. Start blending at a low speed, and then gradually increase the speed until all of the flakes of paper have been broken down. This should take less than a minute. Check the mixture for flakes after 30 seconds or so to determine whether or not you need further blending.
Fill your basin to half-full with water. Add the blended mixture to the basin. You should make about three blender loads to add to the basin. If you desire to have thicker paper, use more.
Add about two teaspoons of liquid starch to the basin and stir.
Submerge the mold into the basin and shift it back and forth so that the material on top of the screen looks even.
Carefully lift the mold out of the water, nice and slowly. (You can see the thickness of the paper at this point. Add or remove some of the blended mixture to make thicker or thinner paper. If you add more, stir again.)
Hold the mold over the basin an allow it to drip. Once your mold stops dripping, gently place the fabric or Formica over the material in the frame. It is almost paper now! Set the frame down on a flat surface.
With extreme gentleness, press down on the fabric or Formica to squeeze out excess water. Carefully sponge excess water from the other side of the screen. (Don't flip the frame over, but hold it up and use the sponge underneath the frame.) You will need to wring out the sponge at least a few times.
Once you have removed all of the excess water, remove the fabric or Formica from the frame. The idea is to get the paper off of the screen. You must do this slowly only once you have made it as dry as possible. If you move too quickly or try to do this while it is too damp, the paper will stick to the screen.
Lay the paper fabric side down on a flat surface to dry. (You can speed the drying process with a hair dryer, but be sure to use a low setting.)
While you are waiting for your first sheet to dry, you can repeat the steps to make more paper. After the sheets have dried, gently peel the Formica or fabric off.
Now you have you very own homemade paper!
You can experiment with different materials to change the color and texture of the paper. Here are some items you might add:
Let your creative side run wild. You can make unique paper every time. The more you practice, the better you will become at the craft. Enjoy!
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