Instructables
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Have you ever wondered what you can do with all that dryer lint that accumulates after you do your laundry?

In this Instructable I am going to show you how you can use lint to make paper.

Materials you will need:
Lint
Warm water
Wood frames (you can use two wood picture frames) or cardboard
Window screening
Scissors to cut the screening
Staple gun or hammer and nails
Tub
Blender
Fabric

 
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Step 1: First Soak the Lint

The first step is to soak the lint in warm water for at least 30 minutes. This helps the lint to break down so that it's easier to blend during the next step. You should soak the lint in warm water until it becomes saturated and soft, the longer the better. If you have the time then soak the lint over night. You can also add other ingredients to be soaked in the water like shredded paper or leaves. Both paper and leaves will give the lint paper more body in the end.

Step 2: Make the Deckle and the Mold

While the lint is soaking you can make the deckle and the mold, integral parts of paper making. The mold is a frame with screening (like window screening) in the center that is used to catch the lint. The deckle is a frame without any screening. It is placed on top of the mold and gives the paper smooth edges.

Both should be the same size.

The deckle and the mold are used together: the mold on the bottom (screen facing up) and the deckle on top.

You can choose to make the frames with old wood pictures frames, or even cardboard covered in duct tape (so that it is water proof.)

Make sure the screening is pulled tightly across the frame.

To add the screening to the mold, use a staple gun or nails.
mmortensen1 year ago
First time I've tried this, but I knew a guy who used to make REALLY cool paper. I didn't have any bleach to lighten it, so I used a bit of RIT fabric dye to the soak. Hopefully come out with some pretty purple paper! I'll let everyone know how it goes :)
foobear2 years ago
Ah, I knew there was a reason to save dryer lint!
gbunting2 years ago
If you lay a sheet of netting or other textured surface under the paper and then iron the top surface of the paper, you will get an embossed paper with a glossy side. That's basically how they do it in the paper mills when they make envelope paper.
avoss23 years ago
Instead of squishing the water out with books, I just rolled it out with a rolling pin between a few towels. That worked well and fairly quickly and then I set the sheets of paper in the sun on a paper bag to dry. They stayed pretty flat that way. How were you able to get yours such a light colour? I bleached the crap out of my lint and still it is that nasty red/grey. If you have any tips on that please let me know!!
rcovin3 years ago
Thank you!
I'd bet you could make the paper stronger and crisper by adding a bit of gelatinized cornstarch to it. Take 1 cup of water, mix in 2 teaspoons of cornstarch, and microwave it until it turns clear; add to slurry as necessary (as determined by experimentation) and you've got yourself some nicely starched paper.
ninjapants7 years ago
This is pretty cool. How sturdy is the finished product? Could you write on it with a pen? Or would you have to add quite a bit of shredded paper to manage that?
AshleyAmber (author)  ninjapants7 years ago
Hey, thanks for the comment. My paper actually ended up being a lot sturdier than I expected it would be. I can definitely write on it. I did add some shredded paper, but only about two sheets- I used mostly lint. One thing that might have helped to make it sturdier was the fact that I have pets, so my lint had a lot of dog hair in it. :) Another thing I meant to mention in my Instructable that you might find valuable is that if you would like the end product to be cleaner or prettier, you can add some bleach in the blender so that your paper is white.
I know that hemp paper can be bleached with ozone (as opposed to conventional dead-tree paper that they dye with chlorine, the source of the nasty rotten egg smell near papermills), maybe that could work here as well.
Isn't ozone poisonous?
Ozone is pure oxygen, which, like all things, is poisonous in amounts more than the body can handle, which in this case isn't very much :)
And...adding smog to your paper will turn it white? How odd. You could try pumping O3 in from a standard spa ozonator if you really want, but I think the "art paper" look might be a little cheaper...
fragmaster44 years ago
I think Felt would be best for this :)
fragmaster44 years ago
They did this in the old days except they used cotton pulp. The resulting "stuff" was called Slurry ;)
ellie1824 years ago
hooray for lint.

cutejuice5 years ago
I made some paper mache stuff out of dryer lint recently and I found it quite disgusting. Maybe my dryer lint is hairier than ordinary folks'. I wasn't banking on the hairiness. It was a little too avant garde for me.
chinchri5 years ago
hi...ahm, when i saw this project..i decided to make it because it is really FANTASTIC but then,we didn't come up with a "paper".i knew there was something wrong with our ingredients..i just need some advices..where can i exactly get the lint?
AshleyAmber (author)  chinchri5 years ago
Hello! I have a dryer at my house so I have always have dryer lint. Dryer lint worked really well for me. One thing that is kind of fun is if you are interested in having your lint be a specific color- like red, you can wash a red towel or something to give you red lint. If you don't have a dryer I bet laundry mats would have a good amount of dryer lint. Hope that helps!
I remember doing this experiment in middle school, it's really cool for homemade cards and the such, I added some glitter to the tub for an extra punch.
caramello6 years ago
Great stuff! Just a quick question, how much lint do you need to make that piece of paper? A rough description (a fistful, etc) would do. Thanks!!
liza.lu6 years ago
That is so cool! I'm going to make that! I have a recipe for making dryer lint clay that I've been hanging on to for like 10 years and have still never done it, but I'll be sure to do this one.
How necessary is the blender step? Could I just knead it with my hands instead? 'Cause I don't really have a blender... Thank you!
AshleyAmber (author)  threecheersfornick7 years ago
I'm sure that would be fine, just soak the lint for as long as possible so it gets really soft and broken down so it is easier to knead.
Okay, thank you!
rachel7 years ago
Fantastic! When I was in 5th grade or so, a friend and I made some paper as a science project. It came out about like egg carton. I don't remember at all what we made it from, though!
crestind7 years ago
Cool idea!
canida7 years ago
Neat! What a fantastic reuse project.