All of us have stacks of used or discarded paper or notebooks at our homes. They either end up in waste bins, or they are sold for recycling. But what if the scrap paper could be used to make something beautiful and creative? And what if you can do so at no extra cost with the supplies present in the comfort of your home? The answer to all these questions is – Yes, you can!
Keep on reading further to know how you can easily make handmade paper, at home!
For making handmade paper, you will need the following items-
- Waste Paper- It can be anything ranging from newspapers to old notebooks, discarded (but clean) napkins, or paper towels.
- A bucket or a tub.
- A Sieve- You might find a circular mesh/sieve in your kitchen, generally used to sieve the flour.
- Colouring Agent- You can choose any color you want. Use turmeric for a yellowish tint, ink for blue, or any poster color. You can also choose to add no color.
- A small rough cloth.
- A larger absorbent fabric, preferably a bedsheet or dupatta.
- Colorful threads, dried flowers for added decoration (optional).
- A pair of scissors.
- A mixer, grinder, or chopper.
- A rolling pin or electric iron.
- Collect the discarded sheets of paper and cut them into small bits using a pair of scissors.
- Put the cuttings in a bucket and fill it with just enough water to submerge them.
- Let the cuttings soak in water for about 6 to 7 hours so that they start breaking down and become soft and pulpy.
- After 6 to 7 hours, take the cuttings out and put them into a mixer/grinder. Do not drain the water yet, and it can be used in the next part of the process.
- Once inside the mixer, grind the cuttings into a pulpy paste. Repeat in multiple batches. If you do not wish to use an electric mixer, a mechanically operated chopper will do the job just fine.
- Put this ground pulp back into the bucket with water. Add the color of your choice. You can even dissolve turmeric for yellowish color.
- For some added aesthetics, cut sewing threads (any color you prefer) into small pieces and mix them in the bucket.
- This is also the stage where you can add dried-up flowers or leaves.
- There is a liberty to be creative with the texture. After mixing well, take the sieve, dip it into the bucket and sieve the pulp.
- Press the pulp with a rough cloth to drain any excess water. Spread the larger fabric on a flat surface.
- After pressing out the excess water, very gently and carefully overturn the sieve on the fabric. Use the damp cloth to gently tap/press over the sieve and transfer the paper onto the fabric.
- Sometimes you might need a little more force, in which case you can tap with a spoon. But do not forget to be gentle; else, the handmade paper might break.
This Handmade Paper Can Now Be Dried In Two Ways
- Cold Pressed Paper – Cover the paper with a cloth and roll it with a rolling pin. This will squeeze out all remaining water. Let it air/sundry for a day. The resulting handmade paper will be textured and thick.
- Hot Pressed Paper – Cover the paper with a cloth and press it with a hot electric iron. Continue to do so till it is dry. Let it rest for a couple of hours, after which it is ready to use. The resulting handmade paper is less textured and thinner than cold-pressed paper.
You can try both techniques of drying and choose the best one for you. This handmade paper can be used for writing, painting, journaling, making cards, or bookmarks. The best part is that you can add elements of your choice and unleash creativity with the textures!