I had this crazy idea of having a paper making party…
to make our own paper for Mother’s Day cards with glitter and flowers and whatever else we can find.
I have never made paper before. I have never even thought about making paper before. Do I need to fell some trees for this? Do I need a paper making permit? What kind of a master blender do I need to blend a log into pulp? I had a friend recommend looking at the pulp under a microscope…I can’t even get my microscope to work! I think the lightbulb is burnt out or something. But the battery is also over 10 years old. Maybe it is a battery problem. What do I do with the pulp once we have it? Do I need a paper making machine, or is this like making tortillas? ….wait, I have never made tortillas either. Is this way above my Etsy paygrade….what are we doing?? What have I gotten us into???
Nah, I just looked up some YouTube videos on DIY paper making and bought a kit.
And We Did It.
I would highly recommend this as an afternoon craft. It was a lot of fun, and everyone got into it. Here is how to get started!
What You Need:
- Arnold Grummer’s Papermill Complete Papermaking Kit paper making kit (Amazon)
- Shredded/ripped Scrap paper
- A large pot of warmer water
- Blender/Stick Blender
- Glass measuring cup
- Rectangle casserole dish filled with water
- Lots of dry towels
- Ironing board
- Some flat surface that is safe to put things on to dry, that the dog won’t get into or the cats won’t find to eat the paper, or whatever hazards you have in your house
1) Rip scrap paper and put into pot of warmer water.
I would personally avoid ripping important documents or term papers that are due this week, and stick to scrap paper…but that’s just me. I did a few experiments using newspaper, binder paper and construction paper. I preferred the binder paper, because it was more white, but adding construction paper added more color. The newspaper was okay in texture, but it is a very bland gray…and it is hard getting the ink off your pot afterwards (use vinegar).
I tried boiling the pulp, and I tried just lightly warming the pulp…it seems like you just need to get the paper to break apart to become pulp, so turn the stove on for a few minutes to get the water warm, but that’s all you really need.
2) Add decorations to your pulp
Use 1 cup of pulp for 1 sheet of paper. No more, no less. Any more, and it is way too thick for paper. Any less, and it falls apart.
We had glitter, flower petals, different colored paper, herbs, ferns, flowers, leaves…this is definitely the fun part!
My glamorous friend, Melissa, helped throw our paper party!
They were putting all the glitter/flower petals/herbs into the pulp, which was in a glass measuring cup.
3) Blend the pulp together to make it a fine pulp
I used my stick blender, and it worked just fine. If I had a larger blender, I probably would have used that…but this pulp is very soft. You don’t need anything strong to get the job done.
4) Now, get out your paper making kit mold:
Set the mold, with the screens attached to the mold, into the rectangle casserole dish filled halfway with water.
Then pour the 1 cup of pulp into the mold, and just swish it around until it is evenly coated.
Then pull it straight up out of the water, and let it drain until no more water is leaking.
4) Take the mold and set it on your ironing board.
Release the velcro and lift the mold off of the screen.
It will look like this. This is already a piece of paper, and it holds together pretty well already. It is just very wet.
Now, flip the screens over onto a dry towel, and use the sponge to push water out of the paper.
Then take the screens off of the paper, and put a dry towel on top of the paper and push a hot iron on top.
5) That’s about it! I let the paper dry over night, and they were done!
This is a fun, interactive project that anyone can do. Also very nice for making your own cards, stationary, paper airplane paper….whatever you can think of!