How to Make Handmade Paper




About: I've been making things since I can remember. Paper and Felt are my favorite materials. I can basically anything out of those two.

 I absolutely love to make paper. It's been a business for me for a while. So many people ask me how I do it and they are fascinated by the results. I have perfected a way to make fine paper. Most paper making tutorials teach you how to make paper, but they don't tell you the secret to getting a fine paper-like texture. 

You can see more here:

What I describe here is the simple and fast way to make it. It might seem like a long instructable, but I want to guide you step by step. Lets start!

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Step 1: What You'll Need

 This is what you will need to make paper:

-5 sheets of construction paper. (you can use any type of paper you have at home that does NOT have a shiny coat or wax on it)

-2 sheets of white paper (optional)

-About 3 gallons of warm water. (you won't necessarily use the entire amount)

-A big enough container to hold that much water and fit the mold. 

-A mold to make the paper (you can see my other instructables on how to make this mold out of screen sheet and a picture frame)

-10 felt sheets



Step 2: Method Part 1

 1. Heat 3 gallons of water on the stove or microwave until warm but not hot. It should be cool enough for you to touch. 

2. Break the five sheets of paper into small squares. Add half of the paper scraps to the blender with 5 cups of water. Let it stand for one or two minutes before processing. Mix in the blender for 1 minute. You shouldn't see big chunks of paper. Deposit the mix in the container.

3. Do the same with the remaining sheets.

4. If you want, you can mix the 2 sheets of white paper. The end result will have a smoother color.

5. Mix everything together in the container.

6. Add another 4 cups of warm water and mix well. You should have a fine pulp of paper. 

Step 3: Method Part 2

 7. Get your mold and start submerging it in the pulp. The pulp should form a fine film over the screen sheet. In the pictures you can see that my pulp was too thick, so I added 5 additional cups of warm water. Then my pulp was ready. You can keep adding a little more water if you think it's still too thick. The consistency should be soupy. You won't necessarily use the entire 3 gallons of water. 

8. Submerge the mold completely in the pulp, then pull the mold up. (with this type of mold that i made you don't need a decal because the extra pulp on the sides will slide off)

9. Let the excess water strain. 

Step 4: Method Part 3

 10. The paper pul must have settled now in the mold. Immediately after straining the excess water, put your mold (with the pulp facing down) on top of the felt sheet.

11. Like you see in the picture, press with the sponge to remove any remaining excess water. Do that until no more water comes out. 

12. Now start puling the mold from the felt sheet slowly. It'll come off easily if you got all the excess water out completely. Your paper should peel off completely from the screen sheet.

13. Once it is on the felt sheet let it dry. It takes about 2 says to dry completely. If you want to speed things up, you can put in the microwave for one minute. Then let it dry for 12-15 hours.

14. Repeat this process for every sheet of paper that you want to make. From this recipe you should get 8-10 sheets. (8 x 6 inches each)

Step 5: Method Part 4

 15. Now that your paper is dry. Peel the paper from the felt sheet very carefully. When it dry it comes off very easily with no pulling. 

16. Now you can write on it, even print on it with you computer printer. 

17. FINAL TIP: If you really want to have a fine and delicate look, while the paper is still wet, put another piece of felt on top and iron it. DO NOT iron directly into the paper, that's what the second piece of felt is for. The paper must between the two felt sheets. What this does, is that the final product has a smoother finish, instead of the rough marks of the screen. 

You can see more of this on: 

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    14 Discussions

    Jacqui W-W

    2 years ago

    what is construction paper? Why use new paper to blend and make it into paper? I'm wanting white paper why must it be blue?


    I have a slightly different question. this method shows paper from paper. is it possible to make paper from materials like cotton clothes, banana leaves , coconut tree leaves ? I live in a part of India where banana plantations , coconut plantations are a plenty and this adds to ecological imbalance, so paper making from these would serve the green movement better. what are the pros & cons of these 3 sources ? any other raw material inputs can also be suggested.

    1 reply

    You can absolutely use banana fiber (Abaca), that's what we use here in the Philippines. The fiber needs to be cooked in hydrogen peroxide solution to make it softer, then it will be easier to turn it into pulp. I added shredded bank notes to add to its design. I dried the papers under the sun that only took less than 2 hours. It's kinda hard to standardize the thickness of the papers just by using the mold and deckle.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Why did you use full size unuse paper, instead of paper scarps? I mean, you made paper from paper, why not do it in a way that it in a way that shows how to recycle paper from children's craft projects


    4 years ago on Introduction

    You are using paper to make paper. Revolutionery.


    5 years ago

    My papercame out way to thick


    I want to understand what is the positive or negative impact of Microwave oven ? what is the total time taken without this oven. because, one may not have this of the larger size than a traditional home usage size.

    this is a good step by step approach. I like it. I have a query : what if one uses normal room temperature instead of warm water - does it make any positive or negative impact . my mail id : . thanks & regards . Satish


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I add few spoons of instant starch powder to make the papers blot resistant. Makes it easy to use fountain pen.

    I love making paper! I never though of putting it on felt, I always get it terribly stuck to my walls. Thank you for the tip!

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

    I don't see the promised secret?

    Are you sure you meant "fine", because that looks pretty rough to me...

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     Maybe the picture didn't do justice. I will upload more pictures of the final product so you can see that the texture is like normal paper.