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Homemade Paper
March 26, 2010
8:41 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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This is easy, easy and a great way to use up junk mail!  And to add special things to make it your own!

 

Cut into 1" pieces or run through a shredder (it doesn't need to be crosscut shredder -- if you have an older one that just cuts strips, that's ok, just use the strips!) any odds and ends pieces of paper.  Any paper that has writing on it (pen) will take on that color of the ink........  I used some paper that had just a little bit of blue ink on and my paper ended up a light blue...... This is where your imagination is your only limit!!!!

 

In a big bowl fill loosley with shredded paper.  Fill bowl with boiling water.  Allow to sit.  It depends on the thickness, type of paper, how long it takes to soften.  Regular copy paper doesn't take very long.  I usually wait until the water has cooled down.

In batches, put the softened paper in the blender, make sure there is plenty of water.  You want a very watery product here.  I just use the water that's in my bowl.  Make sure you hold the top of the blender!!!  Blend until all the paper is just pulp.  It doesn't take very long.

Pour into a tub.  I use a short tote that I have for my 8x10 size.

Frame -- I used an old picture frame, took everything out leaving just the wood part.  Put the frame inside  an old knee high nylon.   Yes, it can be done!  Just tie the end in a knot.  I have an 8x10 and a 5x7 that I use.

Now is when you want to add any additives -- small pieces of thread, raffia, yarn, tinsel from the Christmas tree gives you small specks of sparkle, glitter, broken up pieces of pinecones.....almost anything works!

Mix everything up good.

Take your frame and dip at an angle at one side and slide down into water, and back up the other side.  How deep you go, how mixed up the pulp is, how much pulp you have will determine how thick your paper is.

Place the filled frame n a folded up towel that's the size of your frame.  Use a few layers of paper towel that's the size of your frame, lay on the top of the frame and press (really press here, I put my weight behind it).  It will blot up alot of excess water.  I continue using the same towel and paper towel, just wring excess water out.

Sometimes the homemade paper will stick to the papertowel, sometimes not.  Either way is ok.  Now, just start working one side up and work carefully to pull the entire piece up.  The more water soaked up, the easier this is.

I've used my microwave before, but if you're doing more than a couple pieces, the oven is easiest.  In the microwave, lay the paper on a plate, and microwave for 1 minute at a time, flipping it over after every minute.  In the oven, set it at the lowest temp, mine is 200.  Lay a piece of aluminum foil on the rack.  Place the paper on and let it dry out for a bit, checking it, times vary as each piece of paper could be wetter than others.  Turn over when you're able.  The oven is the fastest method!

 

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

March 26, 2010
9:04 am
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mamawolf
Colorado Springs
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Thanks Cindy.  I have wanted to do this for a long time but to purchase all the materials was more than I wanted to spend for something I wasn't sure I would stick with.  This sounds easy and will give me what I want for pennies.

Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt and dance like you do when no one is watching.

March 26, 2010
9:09 am
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wvhomecanner
North Central WV
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ohhhh nice use for the dehydrator too......

 

dede

If common sense were truly common, wouldn't there be more evidence of it?

March 26, 2010
9:14 am
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wvhomecanner
North Central WV
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Cindy, have you ever used office paper with black print? Does the paper come out pale gray?
I have access to LOTS of that. And shredders .....

 

dede

If common sense were truly common, wouldn't there be more evidence of it?

March 26, 2010
9:46 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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oh dede, the dehydrator!!!!  hadn't thought of that.......however, I didn't have my dehydrator when I started this, so that wasn't part of my thought process!  LOL!

 

The office paper may take on a gray tint, but if you want a different color, just add some colored (construction paper or solid colored copy paper) scraps to it.  I haven't really noticed the gray that much.  The ink from a pen came out soooo much more than printed paper.

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

March 26, 2010
9:50 am
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wvhomecanner
North Central WV
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COOL! Was hoping you would say that  - most all of the printers are laser. I am thinking this would be a fun recycling project at work and we have the materials. Need a few blenders is all. Hmmmmm off to work...and the Excalibur dehydrator I have will be perfect for this with the 9 square trays!

 

dede

If common sense were truly common, wouldn't there be more evidence of it?

March 26, 2010
10:56 am
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Pete
WV
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Don't forget that you can add (natural) fibers in as well!  Think dryer lint...

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

March 27, 2010
9:16 am
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Suzanne McMinn
Sassafras Farm in Roane County, WV
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This is such a cool idea, Cindy!  Thanks for posting this!

Clover made me do it.

March 27, 2010
10:08 am
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Linda
IN
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Thanks Cindy! You have the best imagination and research skills. Your the greatest!!Kiss

March 30, 2010
4:40 pm
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kathy
San Augustine, Texas
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Hello everyone. Did this as a college project for art education. Alittle different that Cindy's dip method, but we made massive amounts, several hundred sheets. Our "press" was old phonebooks we had been given by the recycling center. We had a room of phonebooks. We air dried ours for a week or so, then pressed them with the phone books (wax paper to keep from sticking). We bundled the sheets, as well as made envelopes(unfolded one and used it for a template). We sold them at a city parks festival and donated the proceeds to the blind school. We sold out in under 3 hours. I thought you might like some of our "add ins". Dehydrated lavender was the most popular, but marigolds and zinnas were nice too. Blades of plain old grass and the tips of cedar trees with a touch of green coloring to the paper pulp, tiny feathers (a girl's parrot sheds), clover of course, and my favorite, aspen leaves. We also made some heavier sheets, card stock weight, folded them in half and made envelopes for them to sell as blank cards. One of fellow students was also photographer and made black and white prints and made a few for display, sold every one he made to one person. We should've made lots more, and charged a bit more. I'd like to someday make some large enough to make wrapping paper! Hello  

March 31, 2010
6:46 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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Handmade wrapping paper would be amazing!  One big sheet???  That's beyond me right now on how to accomplish that!

And yes, all those natural adds would be wonderful!  That's why I think handmade paper is great....it's your imagination that makes it sooo wonderful!  I can't wait for flowers to bloom!  I want to make lavender paper to match with the lavender soap I want to make as soon as it makes it's way out this summer.

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

March 31, 2010
7:26 am
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Pete
WV
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All you have to do, Cindy, is increase the scale of your tools!  Try an old window screen (non metal) as your "dipper" in a larger tub/vat of some sort.  (Or the poly screening material afixed to a larger wooden frame.)

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

March 31, 2010
7:37 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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And you know I've been thinking of this since I posted that at 6:45!  An old oven rack with old screening wrapped on the top.......now I'm just need to think of some big tub/vat that I have........will scour the shop/storage area later!  Those bigger pieces would be much easier (I think Wink), already fit to the oven..... I have to be able to put them in the oven.....air drying takes too long, and I'm all about fast gratification! Laugh

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

March 31, 2010
1:07 pm
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JeannieB
Columbia, South Carolina
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Nope, no, nada I will not try papermaking---- I do not need another hobby!!

Don't cry because it's over—smile because it happened!

April 15, 2010
9:56 am
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CindyP
Hart, MI
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Here's a link to a homemade paper frame using a hoop (the paper will be round) and old screening.  Then you can use it for tags.  Here she's adding seeds that the recipient can then "plant" to have flowers grow!  Celebrating Earth Day!

http://www.alphamom.com/holida....._paper.php

“Learn all you can from the mistakes of others. You won’t have time to make them all yourself.”  ― Alfred Sheinwold

April 25, 2010
6:02 pm
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whaledancer
Southern California
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How about a small plastic kiddie pool for a tub?  In a few weeks they should have them at the discount stores for under $10.  And it can do double duty as a dog bath! Smiley Puppy

November 29, 2010
9:36 am
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JenW!~
Ohio
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I have been making homemade paper for years. I have tons of supplies for it. I've made two of my cousins wedding invitations using my paper. And a few years ago when my friend had a bead shop she sold it for me. I love all the little things you can add to your paper. My family and friends enjoy receiving handmade cards and stationary I make with it.

This is a fun craft and one I think everyone should try at least once.

 

JenW!~

November 29, 2010
9:40 am
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JenW!~
Ohio
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I used picture frames with window screen for my mold when I first started out. But now I have ones my hubby made for me. for the tub I use my childrens old plastic baby tub. The one I have is actually shaped like a bath tub. It works great.

 

JenW!~

November 29, 2010
1:54 pm
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I Wanna Farm
Michigan
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My cousin learned to make paper out of old cotton clothing many years ago. I looking online and this is the only recipe I could find.

Steps for Jean paper:

1- shred jean till fine fibers
2-mix paper adhesive (you can find them in any art supply store) with water solutions
3- dissolve jean fibers in the adhesive and mix
4- take cheescloth or stocking, wrap it around a square coathanger, or any rectangular shape
5-dip cloth into the mixture
6- let the mixture dry
7- remove and ready to use once its dry

I'm not sure what they mean by mixing with 'adhesive and water solution', this is a copy and paste recipe from Yahoo Answers. But I'm sure we could figure it out. I remember the paper was soft and pliable, and pretty.

Heather B.

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.
Mark Twain

December 1, 2010
12:03 pm
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kellyb
Mighty Chicken
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I used to make paper in my science club with my kids.  I used screen in an old embroidery hoop.  It worked really well and I had several different sizes.  I also used a rectangular snap together quilt frame. 

 

Dede,

I wonder if you could change the color by adding some powedered dehydrated veggies?  You wouldn't want the color too dark but what about light pink from a tiny bit of tomato powder?  Or pale green from powdered dried broccoi stems? 

I have to quit my job so I can have more time to play!!!!  You guys come up with too many good ideas.

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