Friday, September 16, 2011

Making Paper From Scratch

I am going to show you have to turn your scraps of paper into new artsy pieces of construction paper!

What you will need :

-a food processor
-scraps of paper (better if you have a variety of color,
and if it is shredded but it can also just be ripped to small pieces)
-a large tupperware tub that you can fill with 4-5 inchs of water
(preferably longer without a too high of a brim)
-wooden frames with thin screens stapled on them 
(make sure the holes on the frame are only small enough for water to get through)
-optional : food coloring, sparkles, or any other decorations
-dull butter knife

Step 1 :
Collect paper that is non plastic/non metallic - which can be anything else ranging from newspaper, thin cardboard, egg cartons, and more commonly photocopy paper :)
Tear the papers up into tiny squares and put about 4 hand fulls into the food processor with around 2 cups of water.
Keep adding water and paper alternatively until the mixture has turned into a nice pulp, and has been chopped up quite fine.

Step 2 :
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees f, if you are going to be using an oven to dry your paper.
Pour the pulp into the tupperware container..

and mix with 4-5 inches of water 
until well stirred and the water looks quite cloudy,
but not too thick...

Now take your frames...

Slide the screen on to the bottom (with the frame side up) 
by sliding the screen down the side of the tub gently.
Hold the screen on the bottom of the tub and continue,
moving the pulp over the screen so you get
a nice even layer of pulp. 

Then carefully with both hands,
lift the screen from the bottom evenly,
so that you have a thin layer of pulp on the screen 
with no holes or thin spots. 
Allow the excess water to drain out through the screen, 
and you are ready to place it in the oven. 

*If you are not happy with how it came out, 
simply turn it over and gently tap out the pulp and start again.

You can either use the oven to dry your paper or just leave it on a even surface to for approx 6 hours.

Step 3 :

Set the frames on the oven rack, and remove when the paper feels dry to touch...
*Note : the instructions I used when I first made paper said to leave them for 20 mins, but I found that was not long enough. I would not recommend turning up the heat of the oven as you could melt the screens, but instead leaving them for approx. 45 mins and keeping a keen eye on them :)

Step 4 :
Once your paper is dry to the touch. Run your fingers over the bottom of the screen to simply lift the paper from the screen and then take a dull knife around the edges to break the paper away from the frame gently. 

You have made paper!

*Note : If you have any extra pulp please do not put it down the sink,
simply drain out the extra water and freeze the excess pulp,
till the next time you feel creatively paper inclined :) 


1 comment:

  1. I love your pretty hands showing off the details. But I'm kind of biased.....