Thursday, March 5, 2015

Easy Papermaking

Feeling like you need a new indoor hobby (since we have 5-11 inches of snow on the way)?

Making paper is pretty easy- and fun for kids from 4 or 5 on up.  The only difficult part for me was getting the screens.  I didn't have any conveniently rigid metal screens, so I stapled fiberglass screens over some empty picture frames.

Actually, for me that was very easy since I did that in 2008, the first time I did this project! But I remember I had to rummage in the basement to find the frames and screen.

I had the kids tear scrap paper in pieces and soaked them in warm water.  We used mostly regular paper with a little blue construction paper for color.

We whirled it in batches in the blender until it was a milkshake consistency and poured it into a tub.  Actual amounts of paper and water don't seem to matter. We added a little bit of silver glitter at this point, but you can also add small flower petals or leaves.

Our tub was a little small for one of our screens, so we ladled the pulp on. Usually we just dip the screen in and pull it up horizontally.  You want to put the pulp on the flat side (the one with out the raised frame).

We let most of the water drain off (back into the tub), then put the screen in the sink.

Then we covered it with an empty gallon sized bag and pressed out more water.

Then we peeled off the bag (carefully!), and placed the paper (still on the frame) against a window. This part is easier with a second pair of hands, but I've done it solo.

You hold the frame against the window and press the paper against the glass. 

Some more water will come out, so put a paper towel on the sill.

When the paper seems stuck to the glass, peel off the frame.

The next day, when the paper is dry, it will peel off the window easily, and you will have paper with a smooth side and a rough side. 

Very fun for calligraphy and/or home made cards!

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