How To Make Beautiful Handmade Paper

handmade paper

This is another one of those crafts I have always had a hankering to do but thought it just looked too difficult. Boy oh boy, I could NOT have been more wrong on this one! Not only was it EASY as pie, it was probably one of my favorites yet! Taking scrap paper that would normally go in the recycle bin and making BEAUTIFUL handmade paper with it?!?? I loved everything about this paper craft. I hope you will too!

As I usually do, I looked at dozens of tutorials for making handmade paper to try and get a handle on the whole thing. Once again, it seems there are as many methods as there are fish in the sea! ;-)  So I picked and chose the ones that seemed to make the most sense to me….and here is my take on it.

 

handmade paper

This is all you need to make handmade paper:

  • 6-8 pieces of scrap paper
  • a large, shallow container
  • a blender
  • 2 screen splatter guards 
  • a sponge
  • a dry dish towel
  • water

I saw a lot of tutorials online that involved cutting a piece of screen to fit an old frame and then attaching it to the frame edge with tacks…but the chances of me getting to the hardware store to buy some screening, cutting it, and tacking it to a frame were pretty remote…so I used what I had. Two screen splatter guards that I bought at the grocery store for about 3 bucks each. They worked brilliantly!

Sure the paper ends up being “round”, but you can CUT it any shape you like when it’s dry! :-)

handmade paper

Start with 6 to 8 pieces of scrap paper. I had some bills, junk mail, etc laying around so I grabbed that and tore it up into smallish pieces. Mine were about 1 inch wide by about 2 or 3 inches long. Roughly.

 

handmade paper

Throw the paper in your blender and cover with hot tap water. Let it sit for a few minutes. I managed to wait about 10 to 15 minutes.

Then PULSE the paper/water mixture in your blender a few times until you get a slurry that looks like this:

handmade paper

My Blendtec made the paper into slurry in literally less than 5 pulses. Depending on the power of your blender, this will vary.

 

handmade paper

In the meantime, fill your large, shallow container (I used a disposable aluminum roasting pan from the grocery store) with a couple of inches of water. The containers just needs to be big enough to accomodate one of the screen splatter guards.

 

handmade paper

Then add your paper slurry to the water and mix it up.  This is going to be your paper…eventually!

 

handmade paper

Take one of your screen splatter guards and submerge it in the slurry mixture……..

 

handmade paper 9

……and then slowly bring it up out of the mix, holding it as level as you can, until it is evenly covered. You might have to try it a couple of times before you get a nice, even coverage.

 

handmade paper

Once it’s evenly covered, place the screen with the wet paper mixture on it onto a dry dish towel………

 

handmade paper 11

……..and then cover it with the other screen splatter guard.

 

handmade paper

Take your sponge and pat it down firmly all over the screen to soak up as much excess water as possible. Squeeze the excess water in the sponge back into the container with the slurry mixture, and keep doing that until you have most of the water out.

 

handmade paper

Remove the top screen and place the paper-covered screen somewhere to dry. OR, if you are impatient LIKE ME…you can get your hair dryer out and dry it in about 10 to 15 minutes! The only problem with drying it with the hair dryer is that it won’t dry as FLAT as it will if you just let it air dry, which really isn’t a PROBLEM because I just ironed mine flat before I used it in a project.

I tried drying the paper both ways. The air drying took about 4 to 6 hours…but keep in mind I live in a VERY DRY climate.

That is the basic process for making your own handmade paper!

Now that you know the basics…you can really have some fun jazzing your paper up! If you want to add flowers…that’s super easy to do as well.

handmade paper

I just happened to have a bouquet of fading Valentine’s Day flowers that I was able to scavenge some clippings from and after chopping them up finely, I tossed them into the paper slurry. The above picture shows how the paper turned out with the flowers mixed in. LOVE!!!

 

handmade paper

This was such a great weekend project. I ended up making about a dozen sheets of handmade paper AND some other fun things……that you are going to have to come back TOMORROW to see! :-)

But here’s a sneak peek…..

handmade paper

Let’s just say I have wedding plans on the brain……….. :-)

 

Have you made handmade paper before??

 

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Comments

  1. says

    I’ve made handmade paper from newspaper before when I was 10 or 11. You reminded me of it. Now I know what to do with my baby brother this weekend! Thanks Jillee!

  2. wendy says

    the timing of this post couldn’t be more perfect! I homeschool & wanted to make paper with my sons as part of our next unit–we’re studying newspapers–but couldn’t find a tutorial that made it easy enough to tackle with kids. Thank you, Jillee!!

  3. Michelle says

    If anyone wants to buy cheap paper making kits either for kids or craft, go to Arnold grummer online. I live in Australia and these are American, but they are the best product you can get – and I worked in a hand made paper factory for 2 years!

  4. Sherri McNeeley says

    Try adding some wildflower seeds onto the paper as it dries. Then the recipients of your note, placecards, gift tag, thank-you or whatever can plant the paper and have a living memento of your event. Keep up the good work, Jillee!

    • Terri says

      oh, sherri, what a great idea! i’ve bought paper with seeds in it before, but had no idea i could make my own!

  5. karen farmer says

    Go clean out your dryer vent and add to your slurry ~ you’ll get some nifty little fibers ~ I like to use raffia as an accent on my handmade papers, either as a small bow, pretty tie for a stack of cards, etc.

  6. Jennifer says

    When my kids were in elementary school they had an art special one year where they all got to make homemade paper. I got to help out and learn the process. Later I picked up a paper making kit at a kids toy store. I use scraps from my scrapbooking stash to remake paper for cards and such. I did make some with flower seeds in it last summer. It is such a fun project.

  7. Yvonne says

    If you have some thin wire lying around, make it into a frame or small shape (heart?) and lay it in the wet paper on the screen. The rust stain bleeds out into the paper and you have the raised shape of the wire too!

  8. April says

    Yes i have at school a long time ago. But it was fun i would love to do this with 16 year old daughter who loves paper and journals. thanks for the tutorial! I would like to add if you go to the 1 dollar store the they have spalter sheilds for a dollar each

Trackbacks

  1. […]  Press your flowers by completely flattening them using a heavy book. Sandwich your foliage between two sheets of paper as blotters then place in the middle of your heavy book, a dictionary is fine.  To flatten faster  add heavier objects on top.  Pressed flowers look great on homemade paper. […]

  2. […]  Press your flowers by completely flattening them using a heavy book. Sandwich your foliage between two sheets of paper as blotters then place in the middle of your heavy book, a dictionary is fine.  To flatten faster  add heavier objects on top.  Pressed flowers look great on homemade paper. […]