Life on the creative side

Creative gathering: how to make paper

how to make paper

Hallelujah! Finally, my studio is restored and reclaimed! After months of repair and restoration, that threw my studio into disarray, I have my creative escape back.

 

cabin studio

 

I held a gathering to celebrate and the creative activity was paper-making.

 

how to make paper gathering at blue antler studio

 

Three of my five sisters – kindred spirits all – joined me in the celebration and the creative process of making paper.

 

making paper with kindred spirits in the studio

 

Having made paper with my small children, who are now ages 23-30 (admittedly a while ago),  I knew it was a simple, fun process. But I Googled “how to make paper” just to refresh my memory; it returned intimidating results with complicated, multi-step instructions. So I decided to turn off the computer and go with what I remembered about the process. After gathering supplies and putting on our creativity rings (a tradition among my sisters) we got started.

Supplies

Recyclable paper – torn or shredded (we had newspaper, junk mail, old magazines and paper bags).

Extra newspaper (blotting paper) and old towels – for blotting out water

An electric blender

Rolling pen

Chalk powder or crushed chalk pieces – for color

Flowers, leaves etc.

Water

Large container for water bath

A frame/screen sieve: This is a simple tool similar to what gold miners would use to pan for gold (the frame can be different sizes but need to be a few inches deep with the top side open and the bottom side covered with a taut, fine screen or sheer fabric) and must fit into the water bath container.

Hubby made a frame/screen sieve for each of us out of scrap 2×2 lumber and an old, torn window screen. For each sieve he cut the 2×2 lumber into two – 9 inch long pieces and two – 12 inch pieces (the size can be whatever you want and determines the size of the finished paper, but it must fit into the container used for the water bath).

Using glue, screws and the cut lumber pieces he constructed a simple, rectangular frame.

Then using the assembled frame as a pattern, he cut two pieces of screen, one slightly larger than the frame (which he stapled tautly across the bottom of the frame to create the sieve), the second piece of screen he cut to the size of the inner dimensions of the frame; on this piece he left 4×4 inch tabs on each end of the screen. The screen with the tabs fit snugly inside the frame/sieve with the tabs sticking up above the edge of the frame so we could use them to gently lift the paper out of the frame. (By using the extra screen with tabs to remove the newly made paper from the frame/sieve to dry, it allows you to make more paper with one frame more quickly: this step can be skipped and the newly made paper can be left in the frame/sieve to dry)

optional – creativity ring :)

 

making paper in our creativity rings

 

Step 1: shred recycle paper in blender adding enough water to make a thick soupy pulp (at this time you can add chalk for color, flowers or glitter etc.)

 

paper making using a kitchen blender

Step 2: fill water bath container with water

Step 3: place screen with tab inside the frame/screen sieve (make sure tabs are sticking up and out of the frame); place the frame/sieve into the water bath barely  submerging the screen; pour blended paper pulp into the frame/screen sieve until the screen is completely covered with a thin layer of pulp; gently swirl the frame in the water to evenly spread the pulp over the screen; at this point you can place pressed objects into the pulp, make sure there is some pulp overlapping the object.

water bath stage of making paper

 

beautifully embellished hand made paper

 

Step 4: lift the frame from the water bath, let drain and place on towel or layer of blotting paper and blot gently.

 

making paper using recycled newspaper

 

Step 5: using tabs on the screen gently lift the paper from the frame and place the screen with the new paper onto hard surface covered with a layer of blotting paper and cover with more blotting paper, gently roll with rolling pen (using no pressure) to express more water, then carefully peel off the blotting paper.

Step 6: carefully transfer the new paper to a drying rack with the newly made paper down and carefully peel away the screen with tabs.

papermaking, releasing from screen (2).JPG 2

 

We used another old screen as a drying rack.

 

making paper embellished with flowers and drying in the sun

It was a wonderful, creative gathering.

 

making paper gathering in the studio

And another moment for my collection.

Check out  the following link for more great sites full of inspiration

twig study

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6 Responses

  1. Kate

    I remeber doing this when we were kids!!

    July 18, 2013 at 8:19 am

    • I feel sure paper making will make it way into a Nanna camp activity one day.

      July 18, 2013 at 9:35 am

  2. Amber

    I wasn’t going to comment until I saw the last photo, which my funny bone forces me to ask the question, does your little dog rip through the screen like the Boston Terrier in the infomercial? Hehe! But I can’t let the substance of my comment be just that question. So here are my other thoughts: your studio could be a setting for pottery barn. Seriously, why don’t they know about your place and pay you huge money to use it? Also, I remember making paper but none so pretty as the pages you ladies made! And I thought it an excellent tutorial. =) Thanks for sharing.

    July 17, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    • LOL, yes Roxy was the reason we installed the screens. Thanks again for stopping by Amber. What creativity have you been up to?

      July 17, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      • Amber

        I’ve been sticking with my screen printing lately, printing small things like pillows and t-shirts. As I type this, I have my “Paint this with Jerry Yarnell” on in the background. Been thinking about painting more ornaments to sell at church to raise money for our new-building fund. Been doing a lot of thinking and not much doing, though.

        Congratulations on becoming a grandma! I thought I posted that on one of your blog entries, but I couldn’t find it so I thought I’d say it again. Cindy looks great and I know she’ll make a great mom.

        July 17, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      • It’s wonderful that you are staying creative, it’s good for the soul. Yes we are so excited about our grandson, I can finally start planning Nanna camp.

        July 18, 2013 at 9:34 am

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