Instead of throwing away old newspapers and other types of scrap paper, you can recycle these materials into handmade designer paper. Not only is handmade paper very unique and beautiful, it will also help to save trees. Making homemade paper is fun, and even small children can help tear the newspapers into squares to use during the papermaking process.
What you needAn old blender or food processor
An electric iron
Old wire coat hangers (one for each piece of paper you make)
One old pair of pantyhose (one leg of pantyhose will be used for each wire frame made)
Old newspapers or other scrap paper
Dryer lint or dried leaves to add interesting texture to the paper (optional)
Food coloring (if you want to make colored paper)
Access to a tub or sink that you can fill with water
Step 1: Choose a large table and lay down paper or plastic to protect the surface.
Step 2: Bend a wire coat hanger into a square shape, then cut off one leg of a pair of pantyhose, stretch tightly over the wire coat hanger frame until it is flat and secure.
Step 3: Tear the newspaper and other types of paper into two inch squares. Then put a handful of paper squares into the blender or food processor, add some water and blend until mushy. Keep adding more water and paper until a gray blob of paper pulp is formed. You can also add dryer lint or dried leaves to the mixture, if you’d like to make paper with an interesting natural texture. Blend or process well until the paper has all been dissolved. Then mix well for two more minutes so that the mixture is smooth. Add some food coloring at this step if you want colored paper.
Step 4: Fill the sink with four inches of water, and mix in two tablespoons of white glue. Add the paper pulp and use your hands to mix it well.
Step 5: Lower the coat hanger/pantyhose frame to the bottom of the sink, and lift it slowly and evenly through the water, taking about twenty seconds so that enough paper pulp settles on the mesh. Hold it over the sink for a minute to let the excess water drain, and then lay the frame flat on sheets of newspaper or paper towels to dry, or place in the sun outdoors.
Step 6: Once you make one sheet of paper, you can use other wire coat hanger/pantyhose frames to make more sheets of paper until all the paper pulp has been used out of the sink water. Make sure to stir up the water and paper pulp in the sink before making each sheet of paper so that the pulp is evenly distributed.
Step 7: Once the paper sheets are dry on the frame, gently peel the paper free from the pantyhose surface. Iron the paper sheet so that it is flattened.
Artist, Jessica Ackerman, is a consultant with WallDecorandHomeAccents.com; she demonstrates what a well-trained eye can accomplish with candle holders online as she createswall mounted wine racks online