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You can create your own paper using waste newspapers, old paper bags, note books, used envelopes and other waste papers.

Age group: 7 years and above.
Adult supervision may be required when the blonder liquidiser is used.

MAKING PAPER AT HOME IN 5 EASY STEPS

Making paper at home is easy. You need to construct some basic equipment but the rest of the material you can either find at home or borrow from friends.

MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT NEEDED

  • A deckle and mould - this needs to be made by a carpenter. A mould is a wooden frame similar to a window frame but smaller to suit our purpose. It could be 5"X7" or 8"X10" in size for convenience of use. This wooden frame has a wire screen fitted on to it, so it looks very much like a sieve/mesh window. The deckle is a wooden frame (that has no screen) but fits onto the wooden mould frame. Its job is to prevent the paper pulp from sliding off the mesh, until we want it to.

  • Waste paper from used notebooks, old bills and newspapers can all be easily used.
    Remember when we use newspapers to make the pulp the paper created will have a grayish tint because of the ink that has been used for printing. While when the pulp is from old notebooks written on with ink the paper takes on the tint of the ink used.

  • Bucket to soak the paper pieces

  • Liquidizer / Blender - We require a household electric liquidizer / blender to pulp the cut paper.

  • Mug

  • Sponge - The sponge helps us to remove excess water from the sheets that are cast.

  • Cheap muslin cloth (2 meters should be fine) cut in sizes that are slightly lager that the size of the mould and deckle as once the paper sheet is cast we need to transfer it on to this cloth for the sheet to dry.

  • Old Newspapers - For the purpose of drying the cast paper the bottom layer comprises of a cross made with folded newspapers on to which the cloth and cardboard is then placed.
  • Bricks to put pressure on the cast paper.

  • Basin that can contain about 2-3 gallons of water.

  • Cardboard / wooden board in a slightly larger size than our mould and deckle. The cardboard ensures that our paper sheet stays flat and even.

  • Pieces of colored thread, dried flowers, colored paper and anything else you can think of.

STEP I

Tear the waste paper into as small a size as you can (1"X1") and soak it in a bucket with enough hot water so as to cover it completely. Keep it overnight or for 8 hours at least.


STEP II

The soaked paper needs to be pulped till it reaches a custard like consistency. This can be done by putting the soaked pieces of paper into a liquidizer / blender, half a mug at a time, for a few minutes each or till it reaches the correct consistency.


STEP III

Begin papermaking by pouring 3 mugs of the paper pulp into a basin that contains two to three gallons of water.


STEP IV


Stir the water with your hand and activitate the pulp.

Fit the deckle on to the mould and holding it firmly on both sides. Slip it into the basin that contains the water and pulp. Gently shake the mould and deckle under water and then slip it out. Keep it absolutely flat and let the excess water drain out.

You will notice that the pulp has settled in on to the mould in an even fashion.


STEP V


On one side keep the wooden board with folded newspapers in a cross shape. Over the newspaper place a single sheet of wet muslin cloth. Remove the deckle and gently turn the mould over the cloth paper-side down. Use the sponge to help press down on the reverse side of the wire mesh and soak in the excess water. Lift the screen carefully leaving the cast paper on the muslin cloth below.


Voila! Your first sheet of paper is ready.


You can then place another wet muslin fabric on to the cast paper and make the next sheet in the same manner and can keep on till the pulp is finished and you have a stack of paper ready.

Do remember to keep replenishing the pulp in the water basin. Add half a mug each time a new sheet is cast.

You can also add flowers, twigs and anything else you can think of to embellish the paper.

When you have cast at least 10 sheets place newspapers on the top, add some bricks for weight so the excess water drains out. You can then lift the individual muslin cloth on which the paper has been cast and either hang it up or lay it out to dry in the sun. When the paper has dried pull the cloth gently from both ends to loosen your paper and carefully separate it.


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