Paper Making

scrap paper of a similar color palette plus light neutrals, blender, warm water, liquid starch (Sta-flo is what I used- I had to order from walmart), large plastic bin, window screens (need to be small enough to lay down flat in your plastic bin, and make sure the edges aren’t sharp- cover with duct tape if so), white felt (cut to similar size as your screens)

  1. pour about a gallon of warm water into the large plastic bin, along with about 1/4 cup of liquid starch (doesn’t have to be exact, and you can even do this without it but the paper won’t be as sturdy – good idea to use starch if you plan to write on the paper)
  2. rip up pieces of paper into small bits (about the size of a quarter or smaller)
  3. make a pile of pieces (my students placed them on a tray)
  4. add bits to blender until about 1/3 full, then fill the rest of the way with warm water and blend until smooth (“paper soup”)- I was using an old blender where the blade is small, secure, and all the way at the bottom, be careful if you use the newer kind that has giant blades that fall right out!
  5. pour this into the large plastic bin and repeat until you have poured 4 or 5 blender-fulls
  6. you are done with the blender- move it out of reach from the kids!
  7. stir up the paper soup with your hands (fun) and then place a window screen into the mixture, swishing the mixture around once it is submerged
  8. gently lift the window screen while holding it parallel to the floor like a lunch tray- the water will fall through and the paper bits will have collected on the screen
  9. flip over onto a piece of felt so that the paper is touching the felt
  10. dry by pressing down onto the screen with a washcloth to soak up excess water
  11. gently lift one side of the screen and tap the back (I used my hand but I am interested to research how professional paper makers do this step) until the paper falls off onto the felt- the edges will be messy but you can cut them later!  no perfect deckle edges here…
  12. let dry over night
  13. use the paper for anything! to write on, to make collages with, to make DIY note cards, to give away, as gift tags, as wrapping paper…let me know if you have more ideas!

 

 

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