As the most influential and widely used form of communication, paper has maintained a long history, which dates back to ancient Egypt, where the ancient Egyptians used papyrus to fashion scrolls.
In contrast to the paper making industry, where paper is produced on a mass scale, mostly for printing and publication, paper can easily be made in the comfort of your own home or art studio, by simply recycling household items. There are various approaches to creating homemade paper; we have provided you with one simple paper making recipe to get you started.
There are many advantages to making your own paper. Here are just a few:
- Eco-friendly – items such as newspaper, egg boxes and paper scraps are all free and can easily be recycled to create wonderful works of art at no cost to the environment.
- So simple and affordable – all of the ingredients and tools needed for the paper making process are common household items, from which you can have beautiful sheets of paper in just a few hours.
- Great for kids – sticking to the simple recipe, the creative outcome of any paper making project is limitless; you can add herbs, leaves, glitter, coloring to any paper recipe to give it its own personal touch.
- Great for gifts – create great birthday and Christmas presents, such as notebooks, journals, sketchbooks simply requiring no additional money.
Getting Started – Paper Tools and Ingredients
Before any paper making project, the first step is to gather the tools you are going to need to make your paper. These include a plastic basin, sponge, blender, and a nylon screen. You will also need two identical frames, a stapler, and a piece of fine mesh to create your deckle and mould.
Next, you will need to scout your home for paper items to recycle. Collect old newspapers, egg boxes, scrap computer paper, cards, notebooks, napkins, tissue paper – anything paper items that are destined for the bin. Then, simply follow the step-by-step paper making recipe, and you will have fantastic paper in a matter of hours.
Paper Decorations – Adding Color, Texture and Character to your Paper
It’s all in the ingredients. Newspaper can produce a grayish color; boxes can produce a thicket pulp; tissue paper can give you a finer paper form. There are additional things you can add however to make your paper creations all the more unique. Consider adding some of the following:
- Dried herbs
- Dried leaves
- Dried flowers (roses are great; so are wildflowers)
- Food coloring
The best time to add these items to your paper are right after the paper pulp has been blended (Step 2). Other effects, such as making paper look old, can happen once your paper has been properly dried out. There are many ways to make old paper – the best are soaking the paper in tea or coffee, holding it over a candle flame, or pressing the paper over a stove. For more information on making paper look old, visit WikiHow for directions.
Paper Arts and Crafts
There is so much stuff that can be made from your homemade paper, including great gift ideas, such as notebooks, journals, scrap books, photo albums, paper bags and much more. You could even create recycled handcrafted paper for sale – as you have seen the costs of producing wonderful paper creations are next to nothing. All that is required is a bit of your time; and the more creative you are, the more valuable the outcome.
Once you have learned how to make paper, paper folding is another technique that may interest you, whether you want to learn the Japanese art of origami, or make simple decorations or create fun activities for kids. Quite simply, you are able to create a paper star, lantern, heart, gun, football, dragon, swan, frog, butterfly, airplane or paper snowflakes, dolls, trees, cranes, hats, – the options are limitless. Visit our paper making resources page to find out more paper folding instructions.