Monday, May 24, 2010

Homemade Recycled Paper

Last night I had one of my crazy dreams in which a bank wanted to pay for all of my expenses for three days just for being a good customer. See, crazy huh? But in the dream I also made homemade paper - from onion skins! Crazy? I don't know, I think it could work actually. It just so happens I came across a great tutorial last week for homemade paper that I thought would be good to pass on. While you practice your homemade paper, I, meanwhile, will start collecting onion skins. I'll let you know how it works.

What You Need
  • Old picture frame to create the deckle (whatever size you want your paper to be)
  • Wire mesh or aluminum window screen
  • Staple gun
  • Paper - newspaper, printer paper, scraps, wrapping paper, flowers, dried bits and pieces, etc.
  • Blender or food processor
  • Basin or tub larger than your frame
  • Towels or scrap felt
  • Rolling pin

Step By Step
Here are the basics, but go to Unplug Your Kids for the full directions and LOTS of tips.

1. You could buy a fancy deckle or make your own. Take the old picture frame and cut the aluminum frame to match the size of the back. Use a stable gun to attach the screen to the frame.

2. Tear up the paper into 1" square pieces (no need to be exact, they're going into the blender anyhow)

3. Fill the blender 3/4 (no more) with water and then add a handful of scraps. Start blending and keep adding scraps until you've got a porridge (approx 4:1 ratio or water to paper). After blending add embellishments that you didn't want chopped up into bits.

4. Pour pulp mixture into basin, then tilt basin and slide frame underneath the pulp. Swish water around to distribute fibers evenly and then lift up the frame. Let the water drip away from the frame until only a few drops remain.

5. Set out towel or felt and tip deckle upside down onto the towel. Tap the frame to release the paper from the screen. Then cover with another towel and using the rolling pin, press out as much of the water as you can. Then gently peel away the new paper from the towel and hang to dry!

[Via Unplug Your Kids]