6. Making Paper

A few weeks ago one of our craft group gave a demonstration on paper making.  ‘Perfect for my blog’, I thought. Here goes-

You will need:

An empty plastic bottle.  The bigger the bottle, the more paper pulp you can make.  I used a 1 litre bottle.

Some clean waste paper.  I used 2 different colours of tissue paper (the stuff you wrap gifts in) but you can use the other type of tissue.  Val used toilet paper in her demonstration.

  • Tap water
  • A shallow dish or plastic container
  • A piece of mesh. The size of the mesh doesn’t really matter except that a smaller piece is easier to manage to start with.  I used a piece of plastic mesh I found in the shed.  You can buy metal mesh in craft shops.
  • J cloth or similar
  • A sponge
  • A small tray
  • A cooling rack or similar

First of all tear the paper into small pieces and feed into the empty plastic bottle.  Half fill the bottle with tissue.

Next add the tap water to about the top of where the label of the bottle would have been (or is if you haven’t taken it off).

Leave it like this for 24 – 48 hours until it looks like it is going mushy.  Feel free to shake the bottle as much as you want as it hurries it along.  Some people do this stage in a liquidiser as it is faster but if you don’t get every last piece of paper out, it sets like concrete.  For the same reason, please do not tip any leftovers down the sink!

When it is ready, pour the mush into the shallow bowl.

Get the tray ready by placing the J cloth on it.  This will be where you place the paper while you layer it.

Next, using the mesh scoop out a layer of paper.

Turn this over so that the paper is on the J cloth

Press down with sponge so that it absorbs a lot of the water. Wring out the sponge and press down on the mesh again.

Gently peel the mesh off the layer of paper.

Repeat the process adding more layers on top of the first.  If you want to make a larger piece of paper then place the layers side by side, overlapping them slightly until you get the size you want. I decided to make 3 small pieces of paper.

The next step is to add some embellishment.

I left one piece plain and added wool in the shape of a heart and some gold foil scraps to the other two.

I then covered the wool and foil with another layer of paper but if you press the pieces into the pulp using the mesh you may not need to use another layer of paper.  I found that it covered the pieces up too much. It may have been because my layers of paper were too thick.

When you are happy with the thickness of your paper, transfer the J cloth with the paper on top onto the cooling rack.

Leave overnight or until dry.

My layers of paper pulp were definitely too thick as my paper took forever to dry.

In fact, while they were drying they looked distinctly unsavoury.

How can I possibly  pretty them up?  (A, if you are reading this…I was intending that one of these would adorn your birthday card. Bet you’re glad it didn’t! Happy Birthday for yesterday!)

Here is the final version.  I will probably have another go at papermaking sometime.  I think there is a lot of potential in it that I haven’t found yet.

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February 15, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Paper.

2 Comments

  1. sarah replied:

    I think it looks good! As you know I am always a fan of the slightly messy look
    xx

  2. 17. Needle Felted Purse « madebypin replied:

    […] learned how to needle felt from Val who also showed me how to make paper. So far I’ve made many brooches and a couple of pictures but I wanted to make Lily something […]

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