Paper is no longer the scarce commodity that it was a like a hundred years ago. But these days, most paper sold in the markets by the reamful is made using ungreen processes and often have a huge carbon footprint attached to them. Here is a simple way in which you can make your own paper at home using very basic tools and whatever material you can find in your recycle cans.
Things you’ll need:
A storage tub
A stack of old paper (avoid glossy ones like magazines)
And old cotton sheet
A paper making mold and deckle
Clothes pins and a clothesline already in place
How to make homemade paper from recycled materials
Begin by tearing up all the paper you have in one inch pieces. You don’t have to go too fine or too crude and you can even use a paper shredder to do your work for you if you have one at home. Junk mail, brown paper bags, non glossy paper like decorative paper etc. and even old newspapers work fine. Since the process doesn’t need any finesse, you can ask your kids to do it too.
Once the paper is torn, you need to soak the paper in some warm water. Just add enough water to the shredded paper to make sure the paper is saturated enough and not floating around it.
When the paper looks fully soaked, you can scoop it out and add it to the blender. Remember not to add more than a cupful of soaked paper into the blender at a time. Blend well. At times, if the paper hasn’t blended well enough, you might need to add more water to it. To add more texture to your homemade paper, you can also add soaked fluffy dryer lint and soaked dried leaves and flowers too.
Pour the pulp into the storage tub and add more warm water to it. Stir well. Hold the paper making deckle on top of the storage tub and pour a few cups of the blended paper pulp on it. Spread the pulp evenly onto the screen to create as large a paper sheet as you want.
Allow the water to drain from the pulp. You may also use the sponge to press excessive water out of the spread pulp.
Remember to ensure that the pulp spread isn’t too thick. Once the pulp has set in a bit, you can allow it to air dry or you can hang the screen onto the clothes line as well.
To give the paper sheet a smoother finish, you can iron the flip side of the screen while the paper sheet is still clinging onto it and is a little moist. When the paper sheet is dry, you would be able to peel it off easily. However, it is highly advisable that that you don’t try to peel the paper off before it is completely dry as it will disintegrate and crumble.