Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Paper Making

Today I made some paper out of the crayon wrappings from my heart crayon project.  I started by adding the crayon paper to my blender.  

 I added a little pink paper on top, because I was concerned the crayon paper wouldn't be enough.

Then I added some water.  Use enough to cover the paper, and let it soak overnight.  You don't have to let them soak overnight, but it does help the fibers loosen up in the paper.  At least let the paper bits soak for an hour or so.  

After the soak, fill the blender with water, and blend for at least two minutes.  The longer you blend the smoother the paper will be.  You may need to stop your blender, unplug it and move the pulp around the blender blades carefully.  Be extremely careful not to cut yourself on the blades!  This will help if your blender seems to get stuck, after moving things around just replug and blend again.  Once blended pour the pulp into a large container.  Bigger than your deckle or frame.  I got my kit from Dick Blick.  I bought the large kit for $20, it makes 8 1/2" x 11" paper.  My tub is on the small side, I would suggest a larger tub for better results and a smoother process.  Add enough water to cover your deckle, but keep in mind it's easier to add more water than to make more pulp and add that.  Pile your plastic grid, screen, and then frame on top of each other, and grip the sides together.  

Slide your hands down into the pulp water mixture.  Keep the items securely together, and rock the deckle and screen back and forth.  Let the pulp smooth out over the surface, then raise it out of the water.  Let it drip for a bit, and then remove the frame.  

If you need to remove some pulp around the edges, just roll your finger over it, and it will ball up together.  

Carefully pick up the screen with the paper on it, and place it on a towel.  I used an old hand towel.  

Cover the paper with the white screen that came in your paper making kit, and use a large thick sponge to soak up the water.  You will need to pat the paper, and ring out the sponge several times.  Do this until the sponge picks up hardly any water.  

Now place the paper on a different towel, where you will want the papers to dry. The nap of your towel will make a difference on the texture of your paper.  You can use felt, if you would like super smooth paper, or Dick Blick sells paper called couching paper specifically for this purpose.  Sponge the back over the screen a few times, and then slowly lift the screen off.  If the paper rips you can return the pulp to the tub and stir it back in!

Continue doing this until the paper is too thin to remove from the screen.  To dry your paper you can keep piling the towels and papers on top of each other.

Then you can use a press.  If you don't own a press you can get either large books or a large piece of wood, and place them on top of your papers, and then some bricks or cinder blocks.  

To prevent molding remove your papers from the press after a few hours, and then lay them out on a clean, dry, flat surface.  Let them dry overnight or longer.  The dry time depends on where you live and the weather.  

I will check in with you tomorrow to show you the results, and discuss other pulp making techniques.  Happy DIYing!