What you need to make a hand made paper:

Mould and deckle 

stapeling mesh to old framemould and deckle

This can be easily bought from a craft store but since this is about upcycling it is always nice to make your own. I used a very old canvas painting, took the existing wooden frame and sized it down to make A3 size paper. Used a fine wire mesh and stapled it to the frame

The Deckle is just another frame made to the same size without the fabric attached to it. The purpose of the deckle is to place it on top of the mould, fabric side up and deckle on mould so when you scoop up paper pulp the deckle keeps the shape and makes for easy removal of paper when removing paper from the mould stage. 

You can use old picture frames for the frame parts and curtain liner fabrics, net fabrics, mosquito nettings and even old stockings can be used to be pulled taut over the mould frame. And if you not particular about size and shape even a kitchen sieve will do.

Liquid Starch

This is totally optional! I would suggest sizing (chemistry term used for changing the chemical constituents of the paper for absorption and wear characteristics of the paper) your paper if intend it to be used for writing. I made my own liquid starch.

Ingredients for liquid starch:

1 Tblespn cornstarch(maizena)
4 cups cold water.

Bring 3 3⁄4 cup of the water to a rolling boil whilst mixing the 1 tablespoon cornstarch into the remaining 1⁄4 cup water till all the cornstarch is dissolved. Slowly stir in the cold cornstarch solution into the boiling water. Let cool. Use 2 tspns for every Jar full of blended paper (in the blending stage)
PS – Gelatin can also be used in sizing but is not the preferred ingredient for vegetarians/ vegans.

If you are using newspaper, the resultant color will be grey because of all the ink used in newspaper. So the trick to whiten this newspaper is to add 1⁄2 cup vinegar to your diluted pulp solution.

Other and Miscellenous items you will need

Scrap pieces of paper, the main ingredient in paper making . This can be anything from magazine paper to egg cartons, toilet paper holders and newspaper. Do not use any plastic coated boxes. Tear into small pieces and soak in cold water for couple of hours or overnight would be better.

Liquidizer/blender/blending stick which you DO NOT use in your kitchen.
Big enough basin for your mould to easily fit in to scoop the pulp.
Sponge to soak up excess water
Absorpbent material to dry paper on
Heavy objects to flatten paper
Fragrance essence, lavender sprigs, cotton, vegatable for colouring eg beetroot juice, food colouring, flower petals etc. Basically anything that will make your paper look interesting.
Read through all the instructions first before starting this beautiful upcycle project.

Step 1 Making pulp

Soak your already torn up paper that you using in a bucket.

bits paper paper soaking in water

Step 2 blending paper

Take your blender and 1/3 fill it with soaked paper and 2/3 water and at this stage you will add 2 tablespoon liquid starch if you want and whizz

paper in blender

Step 3 Setting up paper bath

Once the paper is like pulp put it into a basin big enough for your mould and deckle to fit in filled with water. I was making a bigger batch of paper so I used 1/3 of my basin with water and 4 x the pulp. A average blender is about 1.5L so you can take about 500ml and add about 5l of water to it. Add at this stage colouring, and other interesting things you want to add to your paper or you will put 1⁄2 cup vinegar if you want to whiten your paper.

adding colour to pulp

Step 4 Submerging deckle

Place the deckle flash onto the mould and at an angle emmerse it into the basin and straighten it as you shake the mould and deckle slightly to allow access water to drain out.

deckle covered pulp

Step 5 removing excess water

Take an absorpbent cloth and place on the pulp on the mould. Take a sponge and press lightly to squeeze more access water.

placeing cloth sponge excess water

Step 5 removing deckle

Remove deckle and turn paper over with cloth onto a flat board.

insert flat board remove deckle

Step 6 drying paper

Place a board on top of this and put some weights on it to drain more access water. I literally had weights thanks to my son that uses them in weight training.At this stage you can actually make lots of sheets of paper and stack them on top of each other leaving the absorpbent cloth between each sheet of paper and then place weights on them. After couple hours or overnight, remove and place them individually, out to dry.

pulp drying paper under weights

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