Ancient Egyptians invented the first substance like the paper we know today called Papyrus.
Today there is a revival in homemade papermaking crafts. Not only is it a fun experience for adults and children, but it's a good way to recycle waste into wonderful possibilities.
Below you will find a simple papermaking recipe to get you started.
If this is the first time you are making paper, don't be afraid to experiment with different fibres, you don't have to stick with paper related products.
Add petals or tiny flower- heads to the pulp mixture after it has been through the blender.
You can add scraps of yarn, sequins, tin foil, even seeds.
It all comes down to what you want; some of your ideas will turn out while others may not.
It doesn't matter!
Have fun with it, express your creativity.
Many types of scrap paper that can be used to make your own paper include:
* Computer Paper (unprinted)
* Newspaper (If you want a grayish colored paper)
* Egg Cartons
* Old Cards (For heavier paper)
* Toilet Paper
* Paper Bags
* Non Waxed Boxes (Pre-soak in warm water)
* Office Paper
* Tissue Paper (For finer paper)
* Typing Paper
* Paper napkins
* Construction Paper
Paper is simple material.
It is essentially a mat held together by the fibres' roughness, and can be made from almost any fibrous material like wood or recycled paper.
The process for making paper was invented in China in the second century A.D., and all paper was made one sheet at a time until 1798.
To learn about the origins of paper, look on the website for Paper History.
While the technology has evolved dramatically over the centuries, the basic steps are simple enough to be able to make paper at home.
It can be great fun to do.
MATERIALS & PREPARATION
To make your own paper, you'll need:
The many types of paper that can be used are in the list above.
Apron, smock, or old clothing
A deckle frame (explained later)
Wire mesh screen
Stapler (depending on the type of frame you decide to make)
A 2½ gallon (or larger) tub that is larger than the wood frame
Dish towels (felt, blotting paper, or newsprint are good substitutes)
Old towels for cleaning up water
Pieces of coloured paper (optional)
Pieces of coloured thread (optional)
Dried flowers or herbs (optional)
WHAT TO DO
The papermaking process is a wet one, so plan to use a work space that won’t be harmed by moisture.
You might want to wear "wet gear" — an apron, smock, or old clothing.
Remove any plastic, tape or coating from the scrap paper, and tear the paper into small (1") pieces.
Soak the paper in warm water in the large tub for at least 30 minutes or, better still, overnight.
NOW MAKE YOURSELF A DECKLE FRAME
There are a few options:
1 (Best Option) Wooden Frame
Buy or build a frame which you will prepare for paper making.
If making a wooden frame, tightly staple or tack a wire screen to the frame.
A plastic or wooden picture frame can make an excellent papermaking frame.
2 Wire Clothes Hanger
Bend the wire hanger to make any shape of your choice.
Cover your hanger with a nylon stocking and staple it in place.
3 Embroidery Hoop
Place a screen or nylon stocking between two hoops to make another inexpensive frame.
Fill the blender halfway with warm water, then add a handful of the soaked paper.
Making sure the lid is on tight, blend at medium speed until you no longer see pieces of paper (the pulp has a soupy consistency called a slurry).
You can blend in a piece of construction paper for colour; or stir in by hand short pieces of thread, dried flowers or herbs for texture.
Pour the blended mixture into the large tub and then fill the tub with warm water, mixing thoroughly until the ingredients are evenly dispersed.
Slide your frame into the tub, allowing some pulp to settle onto the screen and, still holding the frame underwater, gently move it back and forth to get an even layer of fibres on the screen.
Lift the frame out of the mixture, keeping it flat.
Allow it to drip over the tub until most of the water has drained through.
You should have a uniform layer of the pulp mixture on the screen.
Press the pulp gently with your hand to squeeze out excess moisture.
Soak up excess water from the bottom of the screen with a sponge.
Place clean dishtowels, felt, or newspaper on a flat surface and carefully flip the screen paper-side-down on the cloth.
Lift the screen gently, leaving behind the paper.
Cover the paper with another cloth or piece of felt, and squeeze out moisture using a rolling pin.
Place the sheets out of the way to dry.
You may want to let the paper dry overnight.
When the paper is mostly dry, you may want to use an iron at a medium dry setting.
Or you could wait for it to dry naturally!
When the paper is dry, pull the cloth gently from both ends, stretching it to loosen the paper from the cloth.
Gently peel off the paper.
When you’ve finished making paper, collect the leftover pulp in a strainer and throw it out, or freeze it in a plastic bag for future use.
Don’t pour the pulp down the drain.
Use your paper to draw on, fold, or send to a friend!
Couching: (pronounced cooching) Transferring the sheet of paper from the frame to the absorbent material.
Deckle: A frame that holds the pulp in place and determines the size of the paper.
Fibrous: Made of fibres; a fibre is one of the thin, (generally microscopic) strands which comprise plant tissue.
Pulp: Fibrous material prepared, usually with liquid, from wood, fabric or recovered waste paper for use in manufacturing paper.
Slurry: A liquid mixture made up of fibres and fillers used in papermaking.
Do try, you'll love it if you don't mind getting damp!