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.
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
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! :-)
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.
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:
My Blendtec made the paper into slurry in literally less than 5 pulses. Depending on the power of your blender, this will vary.
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.
Then add your paper slurry to the water and mix it up. This is going to be your paper…eventually!
Take one of your screen splatter guards and submerge it in the slurry mixture……..
……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.
Once it’s evenly covered, place the screen with the wet paper mixture on it onto a dry dish towel………
……..and then cover it with the other screen splatter guard.
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.
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.
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!!!
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…..
Let’s just say I have wedding plans on the brain……….. :-)
Have you made handmade paper before??