Making Paper at Home | Part 2

How to make paper at home

7 Tools You Need for a Handmade Paper Making Kit

Not only is making paper super fun, but it makes for beautiful handmade cards, wrapping paper and gift tags. But before you get started, you do need to put together a paper making kit. Kits are available online, but it’s very easy to make your own. Here are the seven (7) tools you need to get started!

How to Make a Paper Making Kit at Home

Tools at a glance:

  • 1 x Deckle
  • 1 x Plastic container (at least 15l)
  • 12 x A3 Fabric rectangles
  • 12 x A3 Absorbent layers
  • Timber board (larger than A3)
  • Clothes line
  • Big book

Tool 1: Paper Making Deckle

You can either purchase one of these online or make a paper making deckle from a timber photo frame using the instructions from our Making Paper at Home | Part 1.

Tool 2: Plastic Container (15-25L)

I purchased my paper making container from a bargain shop for about $10. I selected one with a lid so I could pack all the paper making ‘tools’ inside when not in use. Keeps the supplies tidy & easy to store.

Remember, you want a container that will fit your ‘deckle’ easily, with enough room on the sides for hands.

Tool 3: Fabric Rectangles

You need at least twelve (12) fabric rectangles the size of an A3 sheet of paper (29.7cm x 42cm). Normally you will use two (2) fabric pieces per single sheet of handmade paper, but for smaller papers you can fold fabric in half (it will make sense when you get to making your handmade papers).

Old bed sheets, t-shirts, calico or fabric that grandma has had stashed for a few millennia is perfect. I use a combination of old curtain materials, calico and cotton fabric—some from my Mum, some from the thrift shop, some recycled garments. If the fabric has texture, don’t stress, this will actually make the surface of your handmade paper all the more interesting!

Tool 4: Absorbent Layers

For paper making, you do require absorbent layers. I use felt (the cheapest place I could find was East Coast Fabrics at Lawnton, they sell by the metre) and old bath towels folded in half. If you don’t wish to outlay for felt, you can just use old toweling, cloth nappies (the old-school kind) or kitchen ‘Chux’. Really, anything that will absorb the excess water away from the paper pulp is perfect.

I use up to 6 old towels and 6 felt layers (cut to A3 size).

Tool 5: Timber Board

You need a piece of board (or equivalent hard surface) that you can place on top of your papers and stand on to push out the excess water. I use a board I pilfered from the other half’s shed (shhhh… don’t tell him, he’ll never know!). It’s slightly larger than my fabric rectangles, I have no idea what type of board it is, it just works!

Tool 6: Clothes Line

You might want to take your clothes off the line before you start paper making! Each sheet of paper has to dry and I’ve found the quickest way is on the clothes line. Don’t worry, paper pulp (unless you’ve used dyes) generally will not stain your clothes or the line itself.

Tool 7: Big Book

It’s not unusual for handmade papers to curl at the edges or be a little wonky when dry. So it’s worth having a big old heavy book in your kit to use as a paper press to get your sheets to lie flat.

There you have it! Seven (7) tools you will need for a paper making kit. Once you get started you can use them over and over and over and over again!

Many thanks to Renee Nugent from About The Garden for this article. 

How to Make a Paper Making Kit at Home

More about Renee Nugent:

Hi, I’m Renee and I’m a self confessed fun maker. Whilst I’m not the world’s best gardener (I’ve killed cactus), I believe that getting my kids gardening is one of the most important experiences I can give them as a parent. It’s my way to teach them about the environment, food production, healthy living, science and sustainable practices in a fun and physical way. I love that they are willing to taste our garden produce and that we incorporate many of our garden ‘treasures’ into our craft activities. 

So don’t let past gardening failures burden you, we’ve all killed plants and that’s OK. Just get out there and garden with your kids, because… well… it’s fun! Find more of my garden fun at www.aboutthegarden.com.au

Now that you have put your full paper making kit together, you’re ready to make paper! Take a look at our instructions for making Paper Pulp and we’ll be sharing the next steps to making paper at home very shortly.

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