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By: Fran

Title: Homemade Paper
Categories: Tightwad, Crafts, Gifts
Yield: 1 servings

4 c Shredded scrap paper
Food colors
2 tb Liquid laundry starch
Laundry bleach (optional)
Newspapers
Iron
1 Window screen
2 lg Sheets blotting paper
Paper towling

: The type of paper you shred will determine the shade and
consistency of the final product, so choose tissue paper, old wrapping
paper, and interesting mail, and other odds and ends of paper with the
final product in mind. Don't worry about writing or ink, you can
bleach the pulp if it is too dark.
: This is a somewhat involved project that requires you to be
superorganized and work quickly once you've processed your paper pulp
in the blender.

Put the shredded scrap paper into a blender, 1 cup at a time. Pour
between 1 and 2 cups of hot water and 1 tbspn of laurndry starch over the
pulp. Add extra color if desired or a few drops of bleach if the
color seems too dark.

Pour the pulp into a large bowl and process the rest of the paper,
adding the additional pulp to the bowl until all the paper is
processed into a pulpy mush that is the consistency of thin oatmeal
or gruel. Mix more hot water into the pulp if it seems too thick,
and make sure you add color at this stage if you don't like the shade
of the pulp.

Organize you work space next to the bowl by firest covering the area
with several thicknesses of newspaper. Plug in your iron and turn it
on the woolen or warm setting. Place the screen directly over the
newspapers and spoon some of the pulp onto the screen. Smooth it
around evenly and let some of the moisture drip out of the paper.
Press the pulp gently with the back of the spoon.

Cover the pulp on the screen with a piece of the blotting paper, flip
the scree, pulp, and paper over onto fresh newspaper covered with
paper towling and carefully lift off the screen leaving the pulp
sitting on the blotting paper.

Cover the pulp on the screen with another piece of blotting paper and
change the newspaper undernieah if it's too wet. Iron teh blotting
paper sandwhich, moving the iron slowly and gently over the blotting
paper. Lift a corner every now and then to see how well your paper is
coming along--the paper is ready when youcan lift of the top blotter
and peel the new paper off the bottom blotter. Iron until the paper
is dry enough to peel.

Let the blotting paper dry out completely between ironings (about 1
hour) and spoon more pulp onto the screen. Repeat steps 4 and 5
until the pulp is used.

Variations:
: Try adding exotic items to the shredded paper in your
blender. My children have make paper from celery, banana skins, and
scraps of blue jeans that have soaked overnight in 1/2 c of laundry
bleach.

To use:
: You can use the variously shaped patches of paper just as
they come form the blotting papers, but you can and should trim the
papers with a paper cutter or scissors for a more refined look.
: Try adding a deckle edge to your paper by marking a straight
line where you want the edge to be and then dabbing along that line
with a brush or qtip dipped in water. Once the line is nice and wet
you can work it apart with your fingers. Let it dry completely
before using. You can titn the edge another shade by using water
colors in place of plain water.
: Many artists are making whole constructions from homemade
paper. Try draping a piece of still damp paper over and ineresting
shape and letting it dry for an interesting effect.

Yield: 10 to 20 sheets