How to Make Paper




Introduction: How to Make Paper

About: I'm a person, into Science, Physics, Weapons, String Theory, Altoids tins, Vacuum Formers, Explosives, Computers and pretty much everything else.

Lots of people think very lowly of paper making. "Its Sissy/Girly/Stupid (WHYDONTYOUJUSTBUYATWOBUCKPADOFPAPERYOUIDIOT), etc. Actually, its a way of saving the planet (cue corny music).

About 40- 50 percent of waste contained in Landfills and dumps all over the world is paper products: Boxes, computer paper, notebook paper, egg cartons, food packaging, etc. All of this can be EASILY and SIMPLY recycled into paper that is almost as good as new.

So why not?

And remember to vote for me in Burning Questions 7!

Step 1: What You Need

-Paper (howls of amazement). Most, if not all, types of paper work for this, but a few work best. you can use notebook paper, computer paper, newspaper (for a grayish paper), egg cartons, anything really.

- A blender OR a bowl/jar/Bucket/whatever and wooden spoon/spatula. If you use a bowl/jar/whatever, make sure its really big.

-Warm water

-Tray to dry paper in (bendy plastic is nice :D, I'm using the lid from the lid of a plastic Container)

-Sponge/Paper Towels/Towel to soak up water

Step 2: Prepare Paper

Rip your paper into small pieces, about an inch long at most. Not much to this step, but make sure you have A LOT.

Step 3: Dumping Time!

Take your mound of paper scraps and....

If using the Bowl and spoon method...
Fill the bowl 3/4 of the way up.

If using a Blender (lucky you)...
Fill the blender about 1/2 of the way up.

Then take your warm water and dump it over the scraps, enough to soak them all the way through and a bit extra.


If Using the Bowl and spoon...
Beat those papers! Stir them, mash them, and slowly grind them to a pulp. There shouldn't be any strips of paper left.

If Using a Blender...
Turn it on and start at a slow speed. Slowly increase the speed until paper pulp is smooth and even and pretty.

Step 5: Draining Water

Pour the paper pulp into the tray, preferably over a place that can get wet, i.e. sink. Let the pulp sink for a bit and pour off excess water. Once its possible without spreading the water TOO much, start to suck out water and flatten with the sponge/hand. You may have to repeat this a few times until it's relatively flat and not soaking. Then cover with a towel/ fabric and place heavy books/tools/ jump up and down on it screaming "DEATH TO THE PAPER INDUSTRY!!!!!!" for an hour or two.

Step 6: Tricky Bit

This is where you get the paper OUT of its tray. Hopefully you used a bendy plastic tray like I said. Then, when the paper's dry enough, just pop it out!

You didn't!!! >:[
Then, it its flat/ doesn't have too much of a lip over the edges, you may be able to pick up a corner and drag it off. Or if its non-stick, you may just be able to pick it up.

*Pictures Coming Soon, my paper is drying*

Step 7: The End


You now have (somewhat) tough, cool, recycled paper! Good for writing, to break the ice at parties, to make into cards, anything really.

*Pictures Coming Soon, my paper is drying*

Step 8: Tips

If your paper fell apart:
Just the luck of the draw sometimes, sorry. Here's some stuff that helps keep your paper together. Why not throw in the scraps from your failure to the new batch?
Try adding:
-Index Cards (might have to soak separately, as they're harder to get apart)

You can also put tape around the edges to help in getting it out of the tray.

I don't like the color

Actually, color's one of the easiest things to change. To get different colors, use different scraps. Use printer paper or other white stuff to get white or light gray. Use newspaper for a dark gray, etc. Or, if you're lazy, just throw in a small amount of paint right before molding, just enough to tint the pulp (or a bit more).

I cant write with Pens!
Well, that has two different cures.

1. Use writing paper for scraps, duh.

2. Add a bit of starch to the pulp, to help the ink stay on the surface.

What, normal paper to boring for ya? Spice it up in a few ways:
-Add flowers, beads, colored paper scraps, pictures, or other small things into the pulp right before pouring into the tray or right before pressing down the paper.
-Add Paint, Food Coloring or Dye to color it. You add these to the pulp right before pouring.
-Tin Foil, if it will be used to decorate
-Thread or Yarn

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    Did this years ago to make price tags for my items at craft shows. I used a clean window screen set on a board then pressed with towels and plywood weighted with rocks. after an hour remove pressing items and let dry till it will flex off the screen. On some I ironed out the screen marks. Added tiny snips of colored thread to my mush. Great project!


    8 years ago on Step 7

    It looks cool, but you really could use just paper if that's what you're using to make this...


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I prefer to use a screen (you know, like from an old window *hint, hint*). You can staple-gun it into a wooden frame, or duct tape it if you're not so keen on tools and don't have scrap wood laying around. The screen lets the water pass through and leaves the pulp behind without awkward pouring. It also dries a lot faster because it has better front/back air circulation.

    I recommend you do the pouring over your compost bin, if you have one. If not, do it in the shower - you're going to wash it out anyway when you bathe, which prevents running extra water to clean out paper fibers that float away with the water.

    Can also "dye" the paper with food coloring, or add flower petals/leaves/sand, etc. to give texture/color/pattern... but that might be a bit "girly" even for an eco-friendly modern man such as yourself.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Oh, and handheld mixers work way better than a spatula.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Fun use for old paper. But you can take it further. When it's still a wet goo, you can put it in molds to shape it, or use cookie cutters - dry, paint, get creative! Following the steps in this instructable does result in an interesting art medium.

    For home-crafted paper, you do need to spread it out flat and even, then compress it. You can make good paper for cards this way as well, paying attention to the color(s) of paper you are using.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Ok, this is not making paper. This is soaking up water, WITH paper. I can tell from your other instructables, that you smoke a bit to much of the sticky icky. Please put down your bowl, and actually do something. I know i do not contribute, and that will stay that way.


    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    .................a weird square grey cookie!


    13 years ago on Introduction

    this probably would have worked better if there was a pressing step maybe using 2 pieces of plywood and clamps! otherwise its awesome and i want to try this myself....eventual


    13 years ago on Introduction

    That looks super thick and like it will fall apart if you pick it up.


    Reply 13 years ago on Introduction

    1. Read the instructable, FGS 2. I've hit my desk with this, its really strong