Making paper was shockingly easier than I expected, the class was a lot of fun and my old friend Brandi was in the class (we met in quilt-making, she’s actually finished her quilt).
To make paper you need some supplies that you might have around the house, or you might want to make yourself.
You will need:
- a blender
- scrap paper that has been soaked in water for a few days in the fridge
- a frame which is made like a picture frame with a tight, not flexible, screen stretched across it
- a deckle, which is a frame the same size as the one above without a screen
- a water safe bin
- some scraps of material with texture you like to transfer to your paper (couching sheets)
- a few clean dry towels
To make paper:
- blend your soaked paper scraps with added water until you get an apple sauce consistency
- dump the blended paper into your water safe bin
These next few steps are a little tricky to explain and takes some practice (if you feel you messed up, simple mix it back into your bucket and try again).
- Take your frame and hold it screen side up, place your deckle on top of the frame, sandwiching the screen on your frame between the frame and the deckle.
- Hold them snuggle together over your bin that’s now filled with applesauce consistency blended paper & water at a 45° angle, deckle up.
- Take the frame and deckle into the water at 45° until it’s submerged, then put it parallel to the water
- Lift the frame and deckle out of the water while parallel, let it drip over your bin for a few seconds
- Remove the deckle from the frame, you can now see your papers edge (it will get thinner as it drys)
- Put your first couching sheet on a water safe surface with a towel folded as flatly as possible
- In a rolling motion you want to lay your newly made paper onto your couching sheet for drying, start at one side and try to make a smooth, slow roll, releasing the paper from the screen and onto your paper (I found this to be the hardest step)
- Add another couching sheet to the top of your paper, repeat until your out of pulp in your bin.
- During cleanup, strain your bin before emptying it down the drain, you can freeze and reuse that pulp instead of it clogging your drains (DO NOT PUT PULP DOWN THE DRAIN).
- Allow your stacked between couching sheets paper to dry for 12 hours, then flip the entire stack onto a new dry flatly as possible folded towel.
- I separated out all my paper into stacks of 5-10 sheets and repeated steps 12 with the smaller stacks, I repeated this step every 6 hours with increasingly smaller stacks until my paper was completely dry.
- I put my entire stack of paper under “The Complete Collection of Calvin and Hobbes” hardback, the “Harry Potter” box set, and the “Eldest” box set for 12 hours
- I sorted the pages into thick, medium, and thin and let each smaller stack placed the thick stack under the very bottom book, the medium stack between the second book up, and the thin stack between the third book. I left them like this for 6 hours and switched the order until each stack had a turn at the bottom.
Now I have a beautiful stack of handmade paper to give the people I love.
This year for Valentines Day I made Daniel’s card, paper making, watercolor painting, and fountain pen penmanship. He liked it, I gave it to him a day early before he saw the practice water colors in the trash.