How To Make Recycled Paper

Homemade paper tugs at my heart like no other. It’s delicate, beautiful, and thoughtful. I love the time and effort that gets put into making such a simple object; an object that we often take for granted.

It actually is not at all difficult to make paper. It just takes a bit of time, but each moment spent on any project is another opportunity to pour some love into the creation process!

Materials:

Fine-gauge screen (I purchased a window screen from a hardware store)
Wooden frame (I used an old picture frame)
Basin slightly larger in size than the wooden frame
Medium bowl
Nails or staples
Paper scraps
Food processor or blender
Liquid starch (optional)
Pressed flowers, seeds, pieces of thread, or anything else you’d like to add into your paper (optional)

Homemade recycled paper

Directions:

1. First, make your framed screen. Attach the screen to the back of the frame using nails or staples. Trim away the excess screen.

2. Next, tear your paper scraps up into small pieces, about 1×1 inch each. Soak these in warm water for at least a half hour. Thicker and stronger paper may need a full 24 hours before they become soft enough.

Homemade recycled paper

3. Combine a handful of soaked paper and about 2 cups of warm water into a blender and pulse until you reach a relatively smooth consistency.

4. If you’re planning to use your paper for writing, add in the liquid starch to your pulp at this point and mix.

5. Fill your basin with at least a few inches of water. Press the framed screen into the basin so that it’s submerged. Pour the pulp onto the screen, and smooth out evenly with your hands. Lift up the frame, and arrange any pressed flowers or other items into your pulp. Continue to hold the frame above the basin to allow the excess water to drain back into it.

Homemade recycled paper 2

Homemade recycled paper 3

6. Place the frame onto a counter or table, and press evenly on top using a towel or sponge to collect additional excess water.

Homemade recycled paper 4

7. Allow your paper to dry fully — this could take anywhere from a few hours to a full day, depending on the thickness of the pulp and how much water it has absorbed. Setting it in a sunny spot can help speed up the process!

Homemade recycled paper 5

8. Once it’s fully dry, peel the paper off of the screen and enjoy!

Homemade recycled paper

Homemade recycled paper

More DIY ideas from the BLDG 25 blog.

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Comments

  1. This is such a relaxing and rewarding craft project! I like pull colored paper from the recycling bin at work and combine it with recycled newspaper; it looks amazing. You can also add some food coloring or natural dyes like tea to give it color. If you want it to be super thin, once you get a lot of the water out use a rolling pin or a water glass and roll it out. If you end up with holes it’s okay, you can patch them up easily with excess from the blender! This works really well in the summer because you can put your paper outside to dry in the sun!

  2. This reminded me of when my mum and I made our Christmas cards with recycled paper!
    And a trick to make it even easier: stretch a wire hanger to a square and put on it one leg of an old, broken pair of tights (I keep mine in a plastic bag, they can ALWAYS be useful!) and ta-daaaa, there goes your 0$ investment frame :)

  3. So cool idea! This could be used as a gift! I can recycle all of my old fashion magazines and I can convert them in beautiful decorations! Thank you a lot for the original idea!

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