Thursday, January 14, 2010

Handmade Paper Fun

I had some fun making paper and I thought I would share the results. This is “Going North”, a pen and ink with watercolor on my handmade paper.

There are lots of complicated ways to make paper, I am sure, but I picked a very simple way to do it. I shredded paper (yep, in my paper shredder!) and then I put the paper and a little bit of water into my blender. The directions said to make it look like oatmeal. Obviously, they have never eaten my oatmeal. Hey – I like it really thick with lots of raisens in it. You will never get it to spread out if you make it like my oatmeal, so make it more like wall paper paste.

After you have your paper soup, all you have to do is spread it on a screen – like hardware cloth – and let it set up for a bit. I put the screens on some flannel pieces and it soaked up the extra water. Once most of the excess water is out of the paper, then you can peel it off the screen and hang it up to dry. I hung the flannel pieces up with clothes pins on hangers in the bathroom. Since I live alone, nobody complained about the mess *winks*

After the paper was dry, I did some drawings and paintings. The surface is very soft and a little bit difficult to work with when I am doing pen and ink. I use a dip pen with bottled ink and the nib wants to catch a bit on the soft fibers. The paint absorbs differently, too, that it would on a heavily sized paper, but I like the effect that it has. The paper is heavily textured and has a few thin spots and holes which I think adds to the fun handmade look.

I had so much fun doing this, that I want to make some more. Um… but I have to get a new blender, though. Mine had a little accident. Oh, not in making paper – no, that didn’t do any damage to my blender. Um. It had to do with making dog food…

Well, I’ll save that one for another day!


PS  "Going North" is my tribute to the children who were sent away from home during WWII in England.


  1. Very cool :)
    I haven't made handmade paper in forever! It can be so much fun!!!

  2. Fun, and great outcome. I love to make paper, I once made some from corn husk which was a very interesting process and a lot of time and work, it turned out great but way too much work pounding the fibers to break them down.

  3. Paper making is on my list of crafts to do this year...along with making soap. These are two crafts I have always wanted to do and just never took the time!
    I love your pen and ink drawing! Such talent!

  4. Paper making is lots of fun! I love putting different things in the soup - my favorite so far has been lavender petals - I tried the buds but the paper comes out sort of bumpy - okay for some projects but not so good for writing on! I look for blenders at thrift stores and yard sales. I thought about using my VitaMix, but I haven't gotten around to that yet.

  5. memories - it was fun!

    Marlene - that does sound like a cool paper, but I agree - that's a LOT of work!

    Graceful ~ thank you =) Pen and ink is a favorite medium of mine and has been for many years. I enjoyed playing with the paper - very fun. Do make soap! - it's lots of fun and not nearly as hard as people think =) I used to make goat milk soap when I had goats 'in milk'.

    Karin ~ that sounds really pretty! I put bits of paper with numbers on it in this batch, but I have lots of bits of leaves and weeds for another batch.
    Yeah, I thought about getting a mixer at the thrift store, but I might be able to fix the one I have - it's old enough to be worth fixing. Scary thought, huh?! LOL!

  6.! I made paper once, always wanted to do it again.

  7. I had a lot of fun - this was the only time I ever made paper, but I would like to do it again.

  8. Wow what a fun project! And your pen and ink artwork looks so cool on it!

  9. Thanks, Pam. I love to do pen and ink - just haven't done a whole lot recently. Love the way it looks on this paper, though - fun!

  10. What a fabulous drawing, on beautiful handmade paper - nothing beats that!



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