Here are steps on how to make homemade paper. This is an easy DIY project using old receipts, newspapers, small pieces of paper, scrap paper, or pretty much anything in your recycle bin. The paper turns out so beautiful and is perfect for craft projects or art.
After opening our printable wall art Etsy shop we thought wouldn't it be fun to share how to make homemade paper from recycled paper to print the designs on. After we took small pieces of old scrap paper and made one piece of paper we were hooked and couldn't wait to share the steps.
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How to Make Homemade Paper
Believe it or not, you need few supplies to make recycled paper. But before we jump into the supplies you might be asking what is handmade paper?
What is Handmade Paper?
Handmade paper is paper made from recycled paper. You can easily make it from paper products in your home like old receipts, newspapers, and the list goes on. Making paper is fairly easy to make and comes out with a beautiful texture and frayed edges. You can use it for many things like printing designs for wall art or cards.
Here is a list of what you will need to make your own paper.
Supplies to Make Handmade Paper
- Scrapes of paper (receipts, old newspapers, paper scraps, junk mail, or anything in your recycle bin)
- Screen or screen printing starter kit
- Old picture frame
- Paper towels
- Clean sponge
- Blow dryer (optional)
Most all the items you have around the house except for the screen. You can find them on Amazon or you can make one from an old picture frame. Now let's start making your paper.
How to Make Paper Pulp
Your first stop is very easy. We used three sheets of used printer paper to make one sheet of paper that ran through the printer easily. So if you want to print one of our Etsy wall art designs on a piece of this beautiful paper use three sheets of paper.
Begin by tearing the paper in to small pieces.
Now add your pieces of paper to the blender pitcher and add 3/4 of water. Do not fill to the top or when you turn on the blender it will spill out the top. You want to start blending with soaked paper.
Now turn on the blender and let it run for 60 seconds or one minute. After the time is up you will have a good mixture of wet paper pulp.
This is how is should look when you are finished blending. You will notice the water has color. If you want your paper to be a bright white color then stick with paper that has very little printer ink on it or any other colors.
If you want your paper to have color look for recycled paper with the colors on it and last if you want little dots of color or added texture consider adding flower petals after you blend the paper. Give the flower petals a stir in the blender before going to the next step.
Let's start the paper making process by filling your clean sink with water. We filled ours about halfway. And fold a towel in half and set it on the counter near the sink.
Next sit your screen down in the water and sit a frame on top. Make sure to keep the screen and the frame together. Don't let then slip apart.
Then pour the paper pulp into the middle of the frame and smooth it out giggling it back and forth in gentle motions.
We used our fingers to fill in a few spots that seemed empty but for the most part, as we moved the two frames back and forth the paper pulp leveled out nicely.
Now pick up the two frame and transfer them to a towel and remove the top frame.
Next, sit another screen on top of the paper that is sitting on the bottom screen. So basically you have two screens with the paper sandwiched in between.
Now use a clean dry sponge and start pressing down on the screen to extract the excess water in the paper. Start on the top left and work your way down to make sure you cover all the paper.
Once you have squeezed out as much water as possible remove the top screen and flip the paper and screen over on to a paper towel.
This part can be tricky. Be patient and work gently to remove the paper. I saw where one person sprayed his screen with cooking spray to make this step easier but we were able to remove the paper without any problems by taking out time and working from the top down.
Your paper will look like this photo above. Now take another paper towel and sit it onto top of the paper and iron by holding the iron in one spot at a time. This will help dry it more and make it flat.
This is how your paper will look at this point. We pulled out a blow dryer to dry out paper the rest of the way.
And you are all finished. Now all you need to do is print a beautiful design on your paper.
Now that you know how to make homemade paper you might be looking for ideas on what to do with it. Here are a few of our favorite ideas.
If you want to print a design on your paper check out our designs in the Life on Summerhill Etsy shop or here is the Rabbit Inn design. To print a design all you have to do is print just like you would on a regular piece of printer paper.
We slide the handmade paper on top of the print paper in the print tray and shut the door. Because the paper was a little smaller than the printer paper I made sure to place it in the middle and all the way to the front. This way the printer would grab the recycled paper and print it in the middle.
Now, all we have to do is decide how to frame it or decorate with it. We have you covered there too. Here is a post with many DIY printable ideas framed and a simple DIY paper bag planter project to add to your decor.
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How to Make Homemade Paper from Recycled Paper
Step by step tutorial on how to make homemade paper from recycled paper like old newspapers, junk mail, scrap paper and pieces. Using paper pulp, water, blender, screen printing kit, iron and towels you can make writing and printer paper for wall art or cards.
- Scapes of paper
- Paper towels
- Garment iron
- Screen printing kit
- Old picture frame
- Blow dryer
- Tear three sheets of printer paper or scrap paper and place in blender
- Fill blender pitcher 3/4 full
- Blend for 60 seconds
- Sit printer screen with old picture frame on top in water
- Pour paper pulp from blender in the middle of the picture frame
- Move the paper pulp around until it is even inside of the frame
- Lift the screen and frame together and sit it on a towel
- Remove the picture frame that is on top
- Sit another screen on top of the paper pulp
- Press a sponge down on the top screen to remove excess water and squeeze out the sponge as you go
- Remove the top screen and flip the bottom screen and paper over onto a paper towel
- Carefully and gently remove the screen from the paper. This can be challenging so take your time and work tiny steps from the top to the bottom.
- Place another piece of paper towel on top of the paper and iron it flat with a garment iron
- Remove the top sheet of paper and blow dry if you don't want to wait for it to dry all the way.
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Tuesday 10th of January 2023
Thanks for your informative work. I do have a few questions.
1. What's the best way to add color to your paper if you don't have a needed color in your recycle bin? Does food coloring work? How about pigment dyes like Tints-All? Other options?
2. As far as additives to help give your paper some character what are some other suggestions? Dried flowers make sense but have you tried anything else? What about a few pieces of deeply colored paper mixed in with your pulp by hand before producing your sheets? Glitter? Dried leaves and grasses? Other options?
3. Once you've couched your sheet, what are the details regarding drying? If using an iron (or blow dryer/heat gun), what temp should be used and about how long does it take to dry each sheet? I'm guessing it makes the most sense to dry slowly to help keep the paper from curling. If you hang your sheets to dry, about how long does it take for the sheets to dry naturally? And if doing that I'd guess you could use a ceramic heater (or even just a fan) to speed up the drying process.
Appreciate any tips you can provide. Thanks.
Sunday 22nd of January 2023
Thank you! These are all good questions. We have only made paper from recycled paper with no tints or dying.
Saturday 14th of August 2021
Thank you for the paper making tutorial. If using newspaper, about how many sheets would it take, also, how would it turn out of you added glossy sale ads? Would those areas accept print?
Saturday 14th of August 2021
These are all good questions. I would take a piece of paper and sit it on the newsprint and count that area where the paper sits as one piece. Repeat that to get the three pieces. As far as glossy sales ads it would have to be trial and error. I am not sure how it will turn out but I would try it. Another idea is to put pieces of the glossy print into the newspaper. It would give the paper a pretty texture. However, I am not sure how well it will go through the printer. Good luck!