Home > Papercraft > How to Make Paper from Recycled Paper

How to Make Paper from Recycled Paper

By: Jane Pullen - Updated: 14 Mar 2011 | comments*Discuss
 
Handmade Paper Recycle Paper How To Make

Handmade paper adds a texture and quality to projects that is quite unique. While it is possible to buy handmade papers in a wide variety of styles and colours, it is also possible to make paper at home using recycled paper and cardboard. A few pieces of basic equipment are all that is required to make paper at home and this is a great project for children as well as adults.

Types of Paper to Recycle

Recycling paper and cardboard to make new pieces of handmade paper is a good way to reduce waste. Most types of paper are suitable for recycling in this way, however items such as newspaper, cardboard from cereal packets or tubes from rolls of paper and other similar items work particularly well. Coated paper, such as photos or shiny calendars are not suitable for turning into handmade paper.

Paper Making Frame

A frame is required to make paper. Special paper making frames can be purchased from craft shops or paper making suppliers. It is also possible to improvise and items such as a window frame with an insect mesh or a frame made from a bent clothes hanger and covered with nylon tights make suitable low-cost alternatives.

Equipment Required

  • A bucket
  • Large potato masher or whisk
  • Frame
  • Towels

Instructions

  1. Before starting it is important to remove any items such as staples or paper clips. Then tear the paper into small pieces and place in a bucket. Cover the scraps of paper with water and leave to soak for at least an hour. It is important that the paper is completely soaked through
  2. Pour off the excess water and use the potato masher or whisk to mash the paper into a pulp. The finer the pulp the smoother the finished paper will be
  3. Pour the paper pulp over the frame. Smooth the pulp over the frame so that the surface is evenly covered. Let the excess water drain through the frame
  4. Place a towel on a flat surface and place the frame, pulp side down, onto the towel. Carefully peel away the frame and leave the paper pulp on the towel
  5. Place another towel on top of the paper pulp and press down firmly on the surface to remove any remaining water. This will help to compress the paper fibres and make a compact piece of paper
  6. Let the paper dry completely before using

Variations

It is very easy to vary the basic paper making process to add texture and colour to the paper. Pieces of tissue paper will add colour to the paper pulp or it can be coloured using food colourants or dyes. Add items such as pieces of wool, yarn or fancy threads to give texture and interest to the paper.

Plantable Paper

A fun variation is to make plantable paper. Seeds are added to the paper pulp and the finished paper can then be planted and plants will grow from the seeds. As the seeds will start growing in damp conditions it is particularly important to ensure that the paper pulp dries as quickly as possible to stop the seeds from starting to germinate.

Handmade paper with its rich texture adds a wonderful finishing touch to projects. The fact that it is made from recycled paper and therefore is kind to the environment is a great reason to give this project a try.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Engineer
    Re: Using Ribbons in Papercraft
    I would like to ask for a help, I am planning to make an envelope for packing food that is safe for health and economical so, I…
    8 August 2018
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Taragosun - Your Question:Can you please let me know what M means in the following baby jacket pattern. M st 6, k to last 6…
    20 June 2018
  • Taragosun
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Can you please let me know what M means in the following baby jacket pattern. M st 6, k to last 6 sts, m st 6. Then the lace…
    17 June 2018
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Trisha - Your Question:Yes it is a lacy bobble effect, but I have solved the problem by going to my wool shop for advice. The…
    11 May 2018
  • Trisha
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Yes it is a lacy bobble effect, but I have solved the problem by going to my wool shop for advice. The pattern was using an…
    9 May 2018
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Trisha - Your Question:I am knitting a cardigan for my new great granddaughter and am just trying to decipher the pattern…
    9 May 2018
  • Trisha
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    I am knitting a cardigan for my new great granddaughter and am just trying to decipher the pattern meaning of : using C,p2…
    8 May 2018
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Gram - Your Question:I do not understand the following instructions in a knitting pattern: for starting a neckline shaping -…
    1 May 2018
  • Gram
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    I do not understand the following instructions in a knitting pattern: for starting a neckline shaping - work 79 stitches…
    30 April 2018
  • CraftExpert
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Confused - Your Question:I am knitting a dress for my granddaughter and the pattern for yoke says. Cast on 30 sts at…
    27 April 2018
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the CraftExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.