I’ve always wanted to make my own paper with real plant material. However, after researching the process, I decided to take an easier approach and make handmade paper with pressed flowers using household paper waste.
The process is simple. The first batch I made was just okay but the second time was much better, and I’m going to share them with you here today.
- Scrap paper torn into small pieces
- Large plastic bowl
- Large plastic bin
- 2 – 8 x 10 picture frames
- Piece of screening material to cover one frame
- Old towels
- Sponge or absorbent towel
- Old blender or chopper
First put your paper scraps into a large bowl and added hot water to cover, and let it sit. The first time I used copy paper from the trash. Then I remembered that my husband uses a shredder in his office and that paper worked much better because it was really smaller and saved me the time it took to tear or cut the paper.
Staple the screen material to the smooth side of one frame. Place the second frame on top. I bought these two from the dollar store and they worked great. You can used old frames from you home or Goodwill. I even saw one person use splatter guards for the screen. Someone else mentioned using old pantyhose.
Fill up a large plastic bin about 1/3 with water. This tub was really big. I could have used one much smaller. I’ve even seen some use disposable aluminum baking tins.
Make pulp by blending the soaked paper and water in a blender or some other chopping instrument. One person was using a hand mixer and bowl. Another used a mortar and pestle. I used an old chopping machine.
Pour the pulp into the large container and mix around with your hands. Then dip the frames in at angle to scoop up the pulp. Hold the frames under the water with one hand and lay the pressed flowers on top with the other. Then with both hands move the frames around a bit to thoroughly coat the frames and using your hand gently over the pressing flowers.
Lift the frames out the water and tilt slightly to drain as much water as possible. Remove the top frame and gently place a cloth on top of the paper.
Then carefully flip it over and place on the counter.
Using a rolled up towel or sponge gently press on the screen and soak up as much water as you can. Wring out the towel into the pulp container and repeat.
Gently remove the screen and let dry. The first batch dried naturally overnight but then when I made a second batch I used a hairdryer to speed up time.
The first batch looked pretty gray when wet and the second was a greenish blue.
However, they both dried a lot lighter. This picture above shows the first batch where I used only copy paper and it turned out really white. The rose bud petals bunched up to the one end and in the next picture where I placed the ferns by hand turned out a little better but I really like them both.
This is definitely something I would want to try again. Although it’s not great paper for writing on, it would make beautiful gift tags and backing paper for vellum shower or wedding invitations. Oh and sometime I want to make some cards with flower seeds that can be planted in the ground. Ahhh but I’ll save that idea for another post.