Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Simple Paper-Making

One of the things that has been on my want-to-do list for a long time has been making paper. I just don't have the tools or ability to make a mold and deckle, the basic framework for homemade paper-making. (Although, I have seen them made from pre-made screens and picture frames modified to work, so perhaps it is the patience it requires that keeps me from making one.)
I decided to try a slim-lined process, which might not make paper with square corners and even edges, but will show how paper is made and will make unique rough-edged pieces of paper.
First take a piece of window screening of a fairly small size and tape the edges to make it comfortable and safe to use.
You need to start with some paper cut into tiny pieces. Tissue paper works really well because it is so thin and the fibers are long. Newspapers, on the other hand, because they have already be recycled, has short fibers and with it's ink, will produce gray paper. I tried construction paper today, in blue and white. Put the pieces of paper in a blender.
Pour enough water in the blender to make about a 20% paper to a 80% water, and blend. I should look like lumpy oatmeal.
Put the prepared screen on the bottom of a baking dish and pour the mixture on the screen. My boys loved the feel of the soft, watery paper so they wanted to put it on the screen with their fingers, but it makes a smoother, more consistent surface to pour it on.
Pat it down a little, if you wish. Told you I couldn't keep their hands out of it.
Lift the screening out carefully, let it drain into the baking dish and place the screen, pulp side up, on newspaper. If you want to add dried flowers or anything to your paper, now is the time to add it.
 Place two layers of newspaper on top of the pulp. The paper on the screen is now sandwiched between newspapers. Use a rolling pin to squeeze the water out of the sandwich.
Remove the top layer of newspaper. Turn the sandwich over so that the screening is on top.

Remove the newspaper and screening, being careful not to move the pulp. Place dry newspaper on the pulp and let it dry.

You can trim the rough edges or you can leave them. I think it makes it kind of quaint.
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5 comments:

  1. I've wanted to make paper for a while, too. It looks do-able. Do you have plans for your homemade paper?

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  2. The making of paper isn't as easy as one would think. Great lesson!

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  3. Ages and ages ago I got a home paper-making kit on clearance. It had a hand turn crank. Can you believe that? Needless to say we didn't use that crank.

    I need to get that out and try it again.

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  4. Your paper came out nice! I was curious how they made paper and now I know! We'll have to try this!

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  5. Yes, Susan, I plan to use them as matting for photos of the kids to give as gifts.

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