Did you know that you can make beautiful, homemade paper by recycling materials from around your house? It’s an easy way to re-purpose newspaper, junk mail, or any other kind of paper you have lying around.
1. First, make a frame: Bend an old wire coat hanger into a square, fastening the ends together with tape in the middle of one side (not in the corner). Pull a pair of pantyhose over the square. Trim the ends of the pantyhose, and tie a knot on either side of the square.
2. Fill a sink, washbasin, or bowl (large enough to fit your frame) with three inches of water.
3. Tear newspaper into long strips, and then rip the strips into tiny squares. (You can use any paper, though boil or soak heavier papers first to break them down. You may want to try printer paper, magazines or even egg cartons.)
4. Put a cup of the paper into a food processer half-filled with water and blend for 3 minutes. If there are any large pieces left, blend a little longer–the mixture should be the texture of oatmeal.
5. For color and variety, you can add bits of dried leaves, flowers or grass, the papery outer skin of an onion, glitter, fluffy drier lint, bits of string, scrap fabric, or tissue paper. Experiment!
6. Pour the mixture into the sink along with 2 spoonfuls of white glue, and mix it evenly with your hands.
7. Slide your frame along the edge of the sink all the way to the bottom. Counting to 20, lift the frame up slowly through the mixture, letting it settle evenly on the frame. Hold the frame over the sink for 1 minute, letting the water drain.
8. Hang the frame on a clothesline or set in another sunny place until it is completely dry! Carefully peel the paper from the frame. You can then place it between 2 towels to press it with an iron on low heat, or let it sit overnight under heavy books to smooth it out.
Voila! Use your handmade paper for unique cards and invitations, picture matting, scrap booking, gift-wrap and anything else you can think of!