Handmade Paper

Hi everyone!

Making handmade paper is a pretty simple process. It’s also a great way to use up and recycle your old scraps of paper such as envelopes, junk mail and any other paper that you were ready to throw into the recycling bin. With just a few supplies you will be well on your way to making handmade paper for any of your paper crafting projects.

You will need: water, scrap papers, Rubbermaid bin, plastic dish tub or large roasting pan {big enough to hold the pulp/water and fit the mould & deckle}, *mould & deckle {instructions for creating this is found below}, blender, spoon, absorbent material such as towels, felt squares or chamois, iron, sponge or cloth, cutting board or cookie sheet. *Please note: I have not included a picture of all these supplies as there were too many big items to fit in one picture.


*Creating a mould and deckle:


You can purchase a mold and deckle from an arts and crafts store or make one yourself. But regardless of which way you choose to do it, you must have one as it is a neccesary piece of equipment for paper making. The two pieces to the mould and deckle are:

the mould ~ this is a frame that has some type of screen attached

the deckle ~ this frame does not have a screen and when it is laid on top of the mould, it forms the edge of the piece of paper.


1} You will need: 2 – 8″ x 10″ frames, varnish/paintbrush {if they are not already sealed}, window screen mesh or plastic canvas, no-rust staples/staple gun, ruler, pencil, scissors, duct tape {optional}, foam weather strip tape.

2} If the frames have glass and a backing, remove them.

3} For the mould ~ Measure and cut a piece of mesh or canvas 1/4″ narrower and shorter than the frame.

4} Stretch taut and staple in place all the way around on the flattest side of the frame. *It is very important that the mesh/canvas is stretched tightly and evenly.

5} This step is optional {it just makes the finished piece a little neater looking}. Cover all four edges with duct tape but do not go past the inside edge of the frame. I didn’t do this for mine though.

6} For the deckle ~ Apply the foam weatherstrip tape to all four edges on the flatter side of the frame. This creates a tight seal and prevents the pulp from leaking out between the mould and deckle when you’re forming the sheets of paper.

The mould and deckle is now complete and ready for paper making!



*I think a mould made with a screen would work better than the plastic canvas. The plastic canvas leaves some marks on the paper but I ironed it a bit and that seemed to help.



*Making the paper:

1} Choose the paper that will be used and tear into small pieces or run through a paper shredder. *Please note: if using mailing envelopes with clear windows, remove the clear plastic window before tearing up the envelope. Cover the paper pieces with hot water and let sit for 30 minutes to allow the paper to soak up some water.



2} Put soaked paper/water mixture into the blender {about 2/3 full} and run the blender slowly at first, then increase the speed until the pulp looks smooth and well blended ~ about 30 -40 seconds. Check to make sure that no bits of paper remain whole. If there are, blend a bit longer.



This is what the blended pulp should look like.



3} Fill the Rubbermaid bin {what I used} about half way with water. Then add about 2 blender loads of pulp. *The more pulp you add to the water the thicker the finished paper will be. Stir the mixture well to combine and bring to the surface of the water.

*I apologize for the glare in some of these pictures ~ I was doing this at the kitchen sink and there is a window above it.

IMG_2387   IMG_2388


4} Press the mould down into the pulp. Level it out while it is submerged by gently wiggling it from side to side until the pulp on top of the screen looks evenly spread out.



5} Lift the mold up slowly until it is above the level of the water. If the paper seems too thick, submerge the mould back into the water and remove the pulp from the screen and stir the mixture. If the paper is too thin, add some more pulp and stir. Repeat step 4.



6} After lifting the mould out of the water, tip it on an angle to drain off some water before laying it flat. When it stops dripping, gently place one edge onto the side of the absorbent material. Gently ease the mould down so that it is laying flat with the paper right on the fabric. Using a sponge or cloth, press out as much water as possible.

IMG_2391    IMG_2392   IMG_2394


7} While holding the edge of the fabric down flat, carefully and slowly lift the edge of the mould. The wet sheet of newly made paper should stay on the fabric. If it ends up sticking to the mold, it’s possible that not enough water was pressed out. Or maybe it was lifted up too quickly. Try pressing some more water out with the sponge or cloth and lift the mould.



8} If more than one sheet of paper is needed, repeat all of the steps above until there are enough sheets.

9} Put the sheets on a cutting board or a cookie sheet individually. Place another cloth on top of the sheet and iron firmly to partially dry it. Then remove the cloth so that the paper can dry the rest of the way naturally. Placing the sheets outside in the sun or hanging them on a clothesline will dry them quickly but they will also dry indoors just fine. It will just take a little bit longer.

Congratulations! You’ve just created handmade paper 🙂




*To the pulp you may add natural items such as flower petals {as shown in the picture above}, leaves and pine needles. Or bits of colored paper and threads. Even glitter or tiny confetti will give some pretty sparkle and shimmer. These little extras add pretty color and texture. *Please note: Be sure to use these extras sparingly or the paper will not hold together properly.




I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.



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Until next time,


The Country Touch

Website: http://www.thecountrytouch.weebly.com

Email: ctrytch@telus.net


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