Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Handmade Paper Pieces

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Handmade Paper Pieces

Article excerpt

IWAS talking to the lovely ladies on my Creative Journaling class this week (we chatted a lot!) and we discussed making your own paper to add to journals and altered art pieces.

Handmade paper is just gorgeous ... and easy to make. It's brilliant to use in all sorts of handmade projects.

This week, you could even use it to write a love letter.

WHAT YOU NEED? Plastic washing-up bowl. ? Sturdy old picture frame - small enough to fit comfortably in your washing-up bowl, laid flat.

. ? Fine mesh to attach to frame - I used old window screening but anything similar will do.

. ? Food processor, or pestle and mortar if you are patient. ? Liquid starch.

. ? Old scrap paper - newspaper, computer paper, etc.

. ? Old or cheap white face cloths. ? White felt.

. ? Sponge. ? Chosen essential oil. ? Chosen colouring, if any. ? Petals, leaves, etc.

WHAT TO DO 1. Tack or staple your mesh on to the back of the picture frame to make your paper mould.

2. Tear up the paper you are recycling into small pieces.

3. Half fill your blender jug with paper pieces. I keep an old blender specially for crafts. You could maybe get one at a car boot sale. 4. Top up the blender to full with warm water. Blend slowly at first then gradually increase the speed until the pulp looks smooth - about a minute's blending should do it.

5. Half fill the washing-up bowl with warm water. Pour the pulped mixture into the bowl. Prepare two more loads of paper pulp and pour them into the bowl, and stir.

6. Add about two teaspoons of liquid starch to the mixture and stir it in. This is to make the paper less absorbent, and easier to write on. If you don't use it, inks may bleed into your paper. If you aren't planning to write directly on the paper, you can omit the starch.

7. Next, stir in a few drops of essential oils, and any colouring you may want to use. Experiment with these. I like my paper highly scented but not too coloured, so I tend to use plant dyes from my garden. For stronger colours, use food colouring. 8. If you are adding petals or other small particles, add them at this stage. …

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