· Homekeeping · Crafts & DIY Projects · How To Make Your Own Beautiful Custom Paper
Crafts & DIY Projects · How To Make Your Own Beautiful Custom Paper
89

How To Make Your Own Beautiful Custom Paper

When I decided to try making my own paper, I didn't know it would be this easy (or turn out this beautifully!)

Paper making is one of those crafts I have always wanted to do, but assumed would be too difficult or require too much special equipment. But boy oh boy, I could NOT have been more wrong on both accounts!

Once I finally decided to try my hand at making paper, I discovered that not only was the process easy as pie, but was fun to do and turned out absolutely beautifully! I loved everything about this project, and I know you will to if you give it a try for yourself! 🙂

So without any further ado, let’s get right to it. I’ve broken down the process of making homemade paper into just a few simple steps, plus I’ve included all of the paper making tips and tricks I stumbled upon along the way!

How To Make Paper

You’ll need:

  • Scrap paper – Newspaper, recycled paper, old bills… any paper of any color will do! The color(s) of scrap paper you use will determine the color of your finished new paper.
  • Large, shallow container – An aluminum roasting pan, plastic dishpan, or anything of a similar size should work just fine.
  • Blender
  • Mold and deckle – This is a tool with two frames used to make paper. One frame has a screen (the mold) and one does not (the deckle), and the paper pulp is pressed between them to form a sheet. You can also use…
  • Two mesh screen splatter guards in place of a mold and deckle — costs less and works just as well!
  • Sponge
  • Dish towels – A stack of clean, dry dish towels will come in handy.
  • Water

Directions:

Step 1 – Make The Slurry

Start with around 6 to 8 pieces of paper, and tear the paper or cut it up into small pieces (around 1 inch by 1 inch or so.) Place the paper pieces in your blender cup, then pour in just enough hot water to cover the pieces.

Let the pieces of paper soak in the water for 10 to 15 minutes to soften them up, then pulse the mixture in your blender until it forms a slurry.

Step 2 – Scoop And Press

Grab a large, shallow container and make sure it’s big enough to accommodate one of the splatter guards, then fill it with a couple of inches of water. Pour the slurry into to the water and give it a good stir.

Submerge one of your mesh splatter guards into the pulp mixture and slowly raise it out of the pan while holding it level. Make sure to get a thin, even layer of paper pulp on your screen—if there’s too much, your paper may take a long time to dry and be difficult to cut or fold. (If you’re finding it difficult to get the paper pulp on your screen in a thin and even layer, add more water to the container and try again.)

Once you’ve achieved a nice even layer, place the screen down on a dry dish towel and cover it with the second splatter guard. Press down on the top screen with a sponge to absorb the excess water, wring the sponge out into the container of paper pulp, and repeat until you’ve removed as much water as you can.

Step 3 – Transfer And Dry

Carefully remove the top screen and lay a clean towel over the wet sheet of paper. Flip the towel and bottom screen over together, then carefully remove the remaining splatter guard so the sheet is resting on the towel on a flat surface.

(Fun Fact: The process of removing the wet paper from the mold is called “couching,” which is pronounced “coo-ching” and not “couch-ing” like I initially assumed!)

All that’s left to do is dry the paper, which you can do in one of two ways:

  • Option 1: Let the paper dry as-is at room temperature, or with the aid of a hair dryer to speed things along. The paper will dry rather wavy and wild this way, but you can always iron the paper later on to flatten it.
  • Option 2: Place the wet sheet between two thin, lint-free towels and stack a couple of heavy books on top. Check on it once a day for 2-3 days until dry (but the paper will come out flat this way!)

Customize Your Homemade Paper With Add-Ins

Now that you know the basic process for making your own homemade paper, let’s talk about how you can jazz it up! You can add all sorts of things to handmade paper to make it more beautiful and unique, in small amounts for a subtle effect or large amounts for a more dramatic impact.

For example, say you want to add dried rose petals to your paper. One option would be to crush them up into little bits to give a speckled effect to your paper, or you may want to layer entire petals on your wet paper before letting it dry to create a half paper, half flower piece of art! What you include and how much is totally up to you, and there’s no reason to not run as many experiments as you like! 🙂

Here are some other types of material worth considering as add-ins:

  • Dried flower petals
  • Seeds
  • Pieces of felt
  • Pieces of thread
  • Glitter
  • Metallic flakes
  • Food coloring
  • Pine needles
  • Citrus zest/peel
  • Rosemary leaves

Add your add-ins to the container along with the blended paper slurry in Step 2. (If your add-ins need to be broken up a bit first, you can add them right to the blender cup just before you start pulsing the soaked paper bits.)

Using Your Homemade Paper

Once you’ve trimmed your sheet (or sheets) of paper to size, you can use it however you’d like! You can even run a piece of it through an inkjet printer to print names for place cards, to make invitations or thank you cards, etc.

You can also write on your paper, but I advise sticking with pencil or ballpoint pens. The texture of handmade paper may cause marker, gel ink, and other liquid inks to bleed into the fibers.

Homemade paper is not only fun to make, but it adds a great handmade touch to just about anything you could think to use it for. It’s also a great way to make use of recycled and used material you have at home to make something new!

Have you ever tried your hand at paper making?

How to Make Paper (Paper Making Recipe)

Jill Nystul
Taking scrap paper that would normally go in the recycle bin and making BEAUTIFUL handmade paper with it?! I loved everything about this paper craft.
Prep Time 5 mins
Active Time 15 mins
10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Cost $5
Yield 6 sheets

Equipment

  • Blender
  • Mold and deckle
  • Screen splatter guards
  • Large, shallow container
  • sponge
  • Dry dish towel
  • Hair Dryer

Ingredients
  

  • 6-8 pieces Scrap paper
  • 2 gallons Water

Instructions
 

  • Start with 6 to 8 pieces of paper, and tear or cut the paper into small pieces (around 1 inch by 1 inch or so.) Place the paper pieces in your blender, then pour in just enough hot water to cover them.
  • Let the pieces of paper soak in the water for 10 to 15 minutes to soften them up, then pulse the mixture in your blender until it forms a slurry.
  • Grab a large, shallow container (big enough to accommodate one of the splatter guards,) then fill it with a couple of inches of water. Pour the slurry into to the water and give it a good stir.
    Submerge one of your mesh splatter guards into the pulp mixture and slowly raise it out of the pan while holding it level. Make sure to get a thin, even layer of paper pulp on your screen—if there’s too much, your paper may take a long time to dry and be difficult to cut or fold. (If you’re finding it difficult to get the paper pulp on your screen in a thin and even layer, add more water to the container and try again.)
  • Once you’ve achieved a nice even layer, place the screen down on a dry dish towel and cover it with the second splatter guard. Press down on the top screen with a dry sponge to absorb the excess water, wring the sponge out into the container of paper pulp, and repeat until you’ve removed as much water as you can.
  • Carefully remove the top screen and lay a clean towel over the wet sheet of paper. Flip the towel and bottom screen over together, then carefully remove the remaining splatter guard so the sheet is resting on the towel on a flat surface.
    Let the paper dry either as-is at room temperature, or with the aid of a hair dryer to speed things along. It may dry wavy, but you can always iron the paper later on to flatten it. Then cut and use as you like!

  • I may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website. I always offer my own genuine recommendation. Learn more.


  • image

    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

    Read More

    MORE IDEAS FROM

    Homekeeping

    89 Comments
    most voted
    newest oldest
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments
    Menu