How to make Homemade Paper?
Making homemade paper is fun for some, and others adopted it as an inexpensive hobby. For me, it’s an excellent way to recycle all the discarded documents, utility bills, and newspapers into reusable homemade papers. In this way, you indulge in an environment-friendly activity that requires an hour.
To make homemade paper, you need a few supplies and a lot of patience on your side. Yup! But what you get at the end is a handmade masterpiece of paper.
Supplies required to make homemade paper
- Scrap Papers
- Plastic storage tub or a vat
- Kitchen blender
- Mould & Deckle
- Wood boards OR sponge & rolling pin
- Towels, cotton felt, or other absorbent material
Choose the right paper for recycling
The paper scrap choice and its characteristics dictate the quality of the final sheet. Papers used for printing and drawing are the best fit to make papers at home as they are made from solid fibers. You can also use Newspapers, junk emails, grocery paper bags, or advertising papers.
Remember that the color of the papers you use and the amount of dark ink on the scrap paper will affect the color of the homemade paper you make. Collect white sheets of paper with little ink to no ink to make white paper. Even the smallest amount of ink can turn your paper grey.
Remove any plastic or staples from paper scrap.
Remove any plastic and staples from the paper. Especially if you’re using junk mail, your paper scraps are likely to contain plastic from envelope windows. If nails or other contaminants are left in the paper, they could damage your blender during the pulping process.
Now our paper scrap is ready to be shredded.
Steps for making homemade paper from recycled papers
Step 1. Cutting
Cut all the paper scrap into small pieces using a paper-cutting scissor. The size of the segments varies. Alternatively, you can also do this by hand.
Step 2. Soaking
- Take a plastic bowl, half fill it with add.
- Add shredded pieces of paper into the water. Ensure to dip them completely.
- You can add more warm water if the papers are not dipped properly.
- Add half a cup of vinegar to bleach the paper if you want white paper.
- Set aside this paper and water mixture for 2 to 4 hours.
Step 3. Blending
- For this particular step, use a kitchen blender.
- Half fill the blender with the soaked paper and add 2 cups water.
- Run the blender on slow mode for approximately 30 seconds. Add more water if required.
- Repeat the procedure till no paper flakes are visible in a blender, and a smooth slurry is obtained.
Step 4. Pouring and stirring.
- Take a middle-sized rectangular plastic tub or vat and add water to it. For making thin sheets, half fill the tub, and for making course sheets fill it one-third with water.
- Pour the paper slurry into the tub and stir it to get a homogenous mixture.
- The ratio of slurry to water varies depending on how thick you want your sheets to be. The more slurry you add, the wider the paper will be. The less slurry you add, the thinner the homemade paper will be.
Step 5. Pull some sheets using mold and deckle
- Hold the mold screen side up, and place the deckle evenly on top.
- Holding them together at a 45° angle, dip the frames to the bottom of the vat, scoop them up, and hold them horizontally.
- As you lift frames out of the pulpy water, lightly shake back and forth and left to right to align the fibers and to get a more uniform sheet.
- If the stained pulp is insufficient, dip it into the slurry mixture again and pile more slurry on top of the screen. Similarly, you can remove slurry from the top of the screen to get thin sheets of paper.
Step 6. Drain the excess water
Hold the Frame over the basin for 4 to 5 minutes so the excess water can drip out of the pulp. Alternatively, place the Frame at the vat’s corner to drain water.
Step 7. Coaching
- Transferring the wet sheet from mold to an absorbent surface is called couching.
- Set up your towel or dry cloth as coaching material with a board underneath. In my opinion, cotton felt pieces best serve as coaching material and remove the deckle from the mold.
- Place a long edge of the mold on the coaching material.
- In one smooth motion, place the mold face down and use a sponge to press out as much water as possible from the other side of the screen. Wring out the sponge repeatedly as you continue pressing over the entire sheet.
- Now lift the Frame from that initial edge peeking underneath to see that the sheet has released, and then remove the mold.
Step 8. Pressing
Press the freshly couched sheet against a towel. You can also use an old paint roller to press the sheet.
Instead of using a towel, another coaching material is placed directly on the sheet you just made. Continue to couch another sheet, layer another felt, and repeat until you make a stack of sheets. Then place a wooden board over the pile. Take the stake outside to a solid surface and press the board by standing on it.
Step 9. Drying
There are many drying methods, but the simplest is to dry the sheet on the coaching material.
- Please ensure the sheet is pressed and firmly attached to the material and hang it on a clothesline.
- When dry, peel the sheet off the coaching material and put it under the weight if you wish to flatten it.
If you have leftover pulp in the tub, you can save it. Take a mesh paint strainer bag to drain the water. Squeeze that into a ball, and let it dry. To reuse it, soak it overnight, tear it apart, and blend it again to make a slurry.
Do you make paper from scraps? Did you find this tutorial helpful? Comment on this blog post and share it with us all!