- Paper or Newspaper
- Mould & Deckle*
- Large Bin
- Earth & Mineral Pigment
- Felt or Couch Sheets
- Wooden Boards
- Glass Palette (optional)
*If you do not have a mould and deckle you can either buy one or make one. They are easy to make with some wood and screen or you can use two of the same sized picture frames to create the frame for them.
Step 1: Tear or Shred the Paper
Start by tearing or shredding your paper. If the paper is in smaller pieces it will be easier for the blender to break it down into paper pulp which is what we need to make our paper with. If your paper is not finely shredded, that is okay but in the final product the paper will still have words visible on it.
Step 2: Soak the Paper
Soak the paper overnight in water so it will be fully saturated and easier for the blender to break apart.
Step 3: Blend the Paper
Blend the paper in a blender with water. You can use the water that it soaked in or add in more water.
Step 4: Add the Paper to the Bin
Pour the blended paper pulp into a large bin. You want the bin large enough that you have room to move the mould and deckle in the bin. If you do not have a bin and you do not want to buy one, you can use a large sink or a bathtub. But, make sure to clean out the paper and don’t wash it down the drain when you are done. The larger the container, the more pulp needed to fill it.
Step 5: Set Up Your Work Space
Once you have your paper pulp in the bin you need to set up your workspace. Next to the bin, it is a good idea to have a surface to work on such as a stack of newspapers or a wooden board. It is great to use newspaper underneath because it can absorb some of the excess water. When your space is set up, before beginning to make paper, make sure you lay a couch sheet or piece of felt down. This is what you will be putting the paper on.
Step 6: Add Your Pigment
Stir four spoonfuls of your Earth & Mineral Pigment into the pulp and adjust as necessary. The more pigment you add, the brighter and more saturated color you will achieve in the end result. Less pigment will give a lighter and more muted tone.
Step 7: Master the Mould & Deckle Technique
Put your mould and deckle together, making sure that the flat side of the mould, the one with the screen, goes against the deckle. You will be making your paper on this side that way the deckle can be removed for switching the paper onto the felt.
If your paper pulp feels too thick and difficult to work with, you can always add more water to the mixture to thin it out.
Step 8: Make Your Paper
Hold your mould and deckle, with this side facing you, and at an angle put it into the tub and then raise it. Wipe off any extra pulp sticking to the sides of the frame and give it a little shake to remove any excess water.
Dried flowers can also be added for extra decoration. Slightly cover some of the flower’s edges with a bit of paper pulp to help adhere them to the paper.
Step 9: Transfer Your Paper to the Felt
In one fluid motion, roll your mould and deckle towards the felt, transferring the paper to the felt as you roll away the opposite direction from where you began.
Step 10: Press the Paper
Put the stack of paper, newspaper and felt included, that you created into the center of a wooden board. Add a board on top and then step on it. This will remove all of the extra water to prepare the paper for drying.
Step 11: Transfer the Paper to Dry
Carefully lay the paper against a wooden board to dry and slowly pull back the felt from the paper. Lightly tap the sides of the paper to make sure it is laying flat so it will not be warped when it is dry.
Step 12: Create!
Use your handmade paper to print, paint or draw on. You can even use it to make a card for a gift!
More of a visual learner? Check out our video tutorial here!