Homemade Paper – Ultimate Paper Recycling

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“Paper… pure paper!” I think that crazy guy in the epic film “Waterworld” said it best when he uttered those immortal lines about paper. But how can the people in “Waterworld” make paper when there ain’t no trees? Easy. They recycle paper, and now you can to. Here’s how to recycle paper into homemade paper.

First, you gots to make your paper frame. Use some leftover wood and make a rectangle; whatever size this frame is is the size your homemade paper shall be.
Wooden paper frame
Staple some old window screen across the frame, stretching it tightly. There, your frame be done. Now you’re ready to make you some homemade paper, hot dang!

First, get a bunch of scrap paper (some call it scratch paper, whatever floats your boat). Also, feel free to add some of the following:

  • newspaper
  • lint
  • toilet paper (gently used)….. just kidding on that one!!
  • paper bags

Remember, whatever you put in will affect the color and texture of your finished paper, so for the love of Pete, be careful in selecting your ingredients for your homemade paper.

Tear up the paper into lil’ pieces.
Noche with his shredded paper
Put the torn-up paper into a blender, filling it about halfway. Fill the rest of the blender with warm water.
paper_shreds_in_blender
Blend the mess out of that paper, starting with short burts, and finishing with a 20-second blend that purees the paper into a pulpy soup.
Why does it taste so bad?
Do this about three times, each time pouring the blended paper soup into a basin or tote.

Afterward, put in some more warm water, filling the basin about halfway. Add about two tablespoons of corn starch, too.

Stir the pulp around, then dip your wood frame into the pulp all the way to the bottom. Slowly raise it up, keeping it level. Your screen should be covered with pulp now.
wet_paper_on_frame
Let it dry somewhere. Once the frame stops dripping, sort of peel the paper around the edges.
paper_on_frame_peeled
Next, gently peel the very wet paper away from the frame. Slap that bad boy on some felt. Fun fact: I got my felt for 20 cents, and it’s made from recycled plastic. Ta-dow.
Wet homemade paper on recycled felt
Use a sponge and try to squish excess water out. Once you’ve done that, let it dry on the felt.
Bash that water out

Let all the paper completely dry on the felt or some newspaper.

Voila, recycling old useless paper into new homemade paper is just that easy. If you want to get fancy (and these days, who doesn’t?), try embedding some crazy mess in your paper (feathers, leaves, pictures cut out of a newspaper). Your friends will be TOO jealous of your customized paper, maybe even jealous enough… to kill?

Posted in paper, projects, recycle on Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 at 4:38 PM.

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