After reading about paper making, and seeing the deckles, screens, and vats that were used in the process; I thought there was no way for me to make paper. I live in a small apartment in the city. I simply don't have room to store the supplies, or hang a line for the paper to dry.
I am so glad I happened to find the Papyrus paper making kit, while shopping for art supplies. The Papyrus paper making kit makes postcard sized sheets of paper. (Ideal for note cards, collage, scrapbooking, or binding into handmade books.) The kit is simple to use, and small for storage purposes. It comes with a variety of textured screens to use for papermaking.
While I am still relatively new to papermaking, I have found that brightly colored greeting card envelopes make great recycled paper! I have posted a short tutorial, below.
Making Paper from Recycled Envelopes:
- Papyrus paper making kit (or similar kit)
- used greeting card envelopes (any size or color will do)
- blender OR empty plastic bottle with cap
(single serving 9 oz. water bottle will do)
- old newspapers, old towels, paper towels
(any or all of these)
- a flat area where the paper can dry overnight undisturbed
The first step is to shred your envelope. I simply tear the envelope into tiny pieces. You may also cut it into tiny pieces using scissors, or run it through a shredder. When you have shredded up your envelope, place the pieces into your blender along with enough water that the paper moves freely. Blend until the paper has completely broken down.
If you do not have a blender, you may use a somewhat old-fashioned method called "shaking". Why not burn a few calories while pulping your paper? Put your shredded paper into your bottle and add water to fill your bottle about 3/4 full. Give it a little shake & then let the paper soak. Pick it up every now & then and shake it for awhile. I tend to have several bottles of different colored papers soaking at any given time. I keep them next to my computer, so that when I am waiting for something to download -or- reading an article, I pick up the bottles and shake them. It usually take a couple of days to break down into pulp this way, however.. there really is no rush.
If you have the Papyrus papermaking kit, simply follow the instructions from number 4 onward, just as if you were making paper from the pulp included with the kit.
If you are using another type of kit, or a handmade screen and deckle - here are some general instructions. Set your deckle with screen into your vat. Pour your paper pulp evenly over your screen. You may use your fingers to spread it out, if need be. Place your second screen on top and lift up from your vat. Press the screens together to remove as much water as possible.
Blot the screens between layers of toweling (or newspapers, or paper towels) to remove as much water as possible. Remove the screen that is attached to the deckle - or largest frame. Spread a cloth or paper towel over the wet paper, apply some pressure and flip it over. Gently remove the second screen. (If you stretch or tear the paper, you may break it up and put it back into your bottle - add water & shake up to reuse immediately.)
Flip the cloth or toweling, so that the wet paper is on your countertop, or other flat surface for drying. Gently peel off the cloth or toweling and let the paper dry overnight. The paper will shrink slightly as it dries, and the color will become lighter. If your paper curls at all during the drying, you may press it between heavy books, or iron it as needed.
Tips:If you find that you are tearing your sheets when you remove them from the screens, experiment with thicker paper -or- use more pressure to squeeze water out of your pulp when between the screens.
After pulping or blending your paper, you may stir in a number of different things to create a wide variety of papers. Try glitter, or bits of thread, or leaves, or flower petals. There is no limit to what you can create.
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