HOW TO MAKE: HANDMADE PAPER

by admin

This week I’m sharing an extract from Snail Mail by Michelle Mackintosh, published by Hardie Grant Books

If you have an afternoon free, why not make your own paper? It’s a wonderful way to personalize your post and is endlessly customizable. You can decorate your paper with stamps, pressed flowers, confetti, or gold sparkles, or make paper laced with seeds, so the recipient of your letter can plant it in the garden.
Wherever your creativity leads you, this is a perfect project to get your snail mail looking like no-one else’s. You’ll never buy a paper from the store again!

You will need:

  • 2 x picture frames Choose frames that are the size you want your paper to be – just make sure that the frames are the same size and can sit together.
  • Flyscreen mesh You can buy this at any hardware store.
  • Tacks or staples
  • Waterproof duct tape
  • A blender If you plan on making a lot of paper, buy a used blender. Making paper won’t break your good blender, but it can get messy … paper plus water equals gluey goo!
  • Microfibre cloths or tea towels, sponges, and newspaper
  • Scrap paper You can literally use any paper, depending on what effect you want.
  • A tray This can be an old cat litter tray (preferably one that Whiskers isn’t using). You can even use the sink or a plastic out-tray as long as your frame can fit and be submerged in it.

If you’d like to stitch your paper like the example shown, you’ll need a sewing machine.

How to:

1. Remove the glass and backing from one frame and a piece of mesh a little larger than the entire frame. This will ensure you have enough mesh to stretch and fasten over the opening. Stretch the mesh over the frame and fasten it with staples or tacks. Ensure it is stretched tight across the opening.
Cover the edges of the mesh with duct tape, taking care not to let the tape overlap the opening.

2. Stretch the mesh over the frame and fasten it with staples or tacks. Ensure it is stretched tight across the opening. Cover the edges of the mesh with duct tape, taking care not to let the tape overlap the opening.

MAKING YOUR PAPER

3. Tear up the scrap paper and place it in the blender with enough water to cover completely. You can add extras at this point. For a flecked look, try kitchen spices, herbs, grass, or flower petals. Don’t add extras that you want to remain whole, like pressed flowers or leaf skeletons. These will be added later.

4. Blend the paper and water mixture. You can blend for a short time for the chunkier paper, or for a longer time for a finer paper.

You may also like