Instructables
Picture of Homemade Paper
I've been rocking my handmade paper out newspaper and other types of "recyclable" papers, but I found that already recycled paper (post-consumer) is the best for achieving durable yet flexible handmade paper.

Where to find this awesome material? Grocery stores.

One use for the material is creating small pallets for produce, like apples. It keeps the individual fruits/vegetables from bouncing around ontop or into one another during transport. Kind of like how an egg carton secures the eggs but isn't completely stiff and rigid.

Check more paper at my Etsy store: http://thickneckarts.etsy.com

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Gather your tools.

Picture of Gather your tools.
2.jpg
To be as green as possible, I cut out a few things used in other paper making instructables.

You will only need the mold/deckle, a household sponge, one "apple pallet", a mixing spatula, and a blender.

The mold/deckle can be created using old picture frames or even just scrap wood you have lying around. To create my deckle, I used a screenprinting frame by removing the silkscreen and replacing it with a nylon-type mesh used for screen-windows. The mesh is relatively cheap and durable. For the mold, I used an old picture frame.

Any household sponge will work.

Any grocery store should have some of these "produce pallet/carton" things lying around somewhere. To save gas and time, you may want to call ahead.

If you cook/bake, you probably already have a mixing spatula in a drawer somewhere. But a word to the wise, once you use it for paper-making, buy a new one for cooking.

As for the blender, once you use it for paper-making it's not a good idea to use it for making anything else. So if you use your blender a lot for cooking, juicing, or whatever, maybe purchasing another one at a thrift store or a yard sale would be good.

Step 2: Preparing the material.

Picture of Preparing the material.
4.jpg
5.jpg
Tear up the apple carton into small pieces. The smaller the better.

Put the pieces into the blender.

Fill the blender with at least 2x as much water as pieces. Too much water is better than too little.
noahw5 years ago
This is a great Instructable, but you need to add a main image of the final project to the intro step. Please do that and leave me a message when you have so that we can publish your work. Thanks!
dryan161 year ago
Is this paper ok to fold?
tinajuarez1 year ago
Pour pulp through some fabric. It will dry and you will have a linter you can use for another papermaking day.
SuzanneE2 years ago
Found these instructions very helpful and will be using them as i want to make my own cards and envelopes. The pics are great and i will be back to check out more instructions i'm sure. Please let us know the approx. dry time. Thanks!
ultraorient5 years ago
If one wanted to use the paper for stationary what kind of sizing would you suggest and how much?
Gelatine - the unflavored sort sold at the grocery store - can supposedly be used for sizing, so it won't bleed as much. As can a bit of elmer's glue, I've heard. This is all secondhand, though - I haven't made any paper of my own to be sure.
Thanks so much, Mr. VanMeter. :)
thickneckarts (author)  ultraorient5 years ago
Probably a small picture frame for your mold. The pieces above are about 10"x8", which is a good size for cutting down to make stationary. As far as thickness, the more mixture, the stiffer the paper, so just use a bit less to start with and experiment with adding more if needed after it's dried a bit. Honestly, experimentation is the best answer I can give you.
I apologize that I did not make myself clear. Sizing is a liquid that is added to the pulp so that when writing on the paper the ink does not sink into the paper, thus distorting the letters to the pint of not being able to read it. I have heard that a tablespoon of liquid starch puts a semi-permiable film on the paper. I have not tried that yet. I did, however use a piece of lace instead of the extra screening material and let the pulp dry in it. It makes beautiful embossed paper.
Yes, that is correct. The amount of starch to be used varies a great deal based on the stock you use and the desired effect. Cornstarch can also be used although it takes some preparation. Traditionally paper is measured in pounds per ream (500 sheets) so 20 lb paper uses 20 lbs of pulp to produce 500 sheets. So practice a bit and when you feel comfortable start tuning down the amount of pulp actually in the water when you dip your screen. This will reduce the thickness of your finished sheet. Also if you have a rolling pin and a marble cutting board (or something similar) wait until the sheets are almost completely dry and then press them with the rolling pin to get to finished surface.
Thanks for your info, egbertfitzwilly. It so happens I have a marble cutting board AND a marble rolling pin.
thickneckarts (author)  ultraorient5 years ago
Good to know. lol. I haven't used such a technique yet but definitely will try it out! Thanks :)
How long does it generally take to make a sheet of paper? I'm looking to make a journal with handmade paper (I'm thinking of adding cotton to the mix for longevity and resistance to wear,) and I would like to know what kind of time I'm investing. If it's going to take very long to make 80 or so sheets, I may wait until summer break when I can work outside with more resources to attempt this project. But if I can do the ~80 pages in a couple of days, then I'll likely make it my New Year's project.
Starrystar5 years ago
With my weak apartment sink disposal, I'd be a little afraid to put paper pulp down there. It's a nice idea, though.
thickneckarts (author)  Starrystar5 years ago
We don't even have a disposal.
you can drain it over a tubberware and throw it in the garbage thats wat i did
 if it'll eat apple cores, it'll eat paper
You could always add the paper pulp to your compost. If you don't compost, then it shouldn't hurt to dump it directly into your landscaping, changing the location each time.
I've seen hand made paper before with rose petals etc in it. At what point in this process would you add it ?
Great instructions by the way!
thickneckarts (author)  sneakyparasol4 years ago
I haven't tried that yet but I'd say probably when spreading the pulp across the screen. When the pulp's pressed, the petals should stay in place.
man ray4 years ago
my grand mother used to do somthing like this with the stuff left over from the dryer
thickneckarts (author)  man ray4 years ago
I've heard of lint papering too but haven't tried it yet.
dobbylvr4 years ago
how long does it take to dry? wonderful ible by the way
thickneckarts (author)  dobbylvr4 years ago
Drying depends on thickness, humidity, etc. I built extra screens so that both sides can dry evenly and that takes some time off the process too. I've used a dehumidifier but that can make the paper curl :( All in all, I'd say at least a day-day.5
jessica92324 years ago
do you need to use a blender? i recall doing this as a kid, but i don't remember using a blender.
thickneckarts (author)  jessica92324 years ago
You can use a pestle & mortar.
awesome idea i'm gonna make loads of this
thickneckarts (author)  Alexbretherton4 years ago
Sweet! Have fun!
thickneckarts (author) 5 years ago
Hey everyone! Don't forget to vote for the Epilog Challenge! If you dig my paper, vote for it! :D
noxelt5 years ago
2 Questions...1. Does your paper "stick" to the screening? Mine does and I am wondering what to do to prevent that. 2. Have you (or anyone) tried a dehydrator or other way to speed up the drying process? Answers/suggestions appeciated.
thickneckarts (author)  noxelt5 years ago
I have a few make-shift screens that are only for drying so I usually transfer the still-wet paper to another screen for drying. Thumping the back of the screen (opposite the paper) with you finger should loosening it up. I have used our dehumidifier which speeds up the drying process but not enough to warrant using the extra energy.
Thank you! How soon after pressing the paper between the screens do you transfer to the other screen? I assume you still keep a another screen on top to keep the paper flat. Is that correct, or do you use felt? Again, thank you!
thickneckarts (author)  noxelt5 years ago
Time isn't necessarily of the essence but I tend to do it all in one go so I can get on to the next piece. I set a larger screen ontop of the drying paper screen. The weight of the larger frame's edges will keep the paper flat. The plus to this process is having screens on both sides of the paper, rather than felt on one side, will allow it to dry faster.
dolldr5 years ago
Although not a 'green' process, I like to vacuum the underside of the screen between steps 6 & 7. Impatient, yes.
RoyalPayne5 years ago
I use the paper from my shredder. The stuff I have left over after I use it for mulch around my garden plants. This way, all the paper I receive through the mail is used greenly, and does not end up in the land fill. Wonderful colors, your paper. Has any one a instructable for envelopes to match?
daniboi19775 years ago
I agree, this is a great instructable! I've been making recycled paper off and on for a year or so, and it's a great way to reduce your waste. You can also make your pulp in bulk, then use different colors of it to have a lot of control over the design on your finished paper. You can also use garden clippings as well. Some plants work better than others. I've made some really cool paper out of tiger lily leaves, just as they were starting to die out for the year.
thickneckarts (author)  daniboi19775 years ago
Making bulk pulp is actually how I got to using the post-consumer material I'm using now. I was making pulp bulk out of newspaper, etc. but the ink made it stink! This material has no smell what-so-ever. Thanks for the tip about garden clippings. I will definitely try that out. :)
Any plant with long straight fibers can be used. You just have to cut the piece, and soak them in a solution of non corrosive builder's lime and water for about a week. I have seen paper made from iris leaves, corn leaves, grass and a couple of other plants. It just has to have long, straight fibers.
i wasnt able get any of the paper grocery apple holder things so i subsituted used notebook paper it gives it a nice light purple color and works pretty well
deedeedee95 years ago
just curious... would it be possible to use this paper for folding? i know of some origami artists who make their own paper, but i was still wondering
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!