Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hand Made Paper 101 - Part III - Straining the Paper

Hand Made Paper 101

Part III

Straining the Paper Pulp

For this step you will need a container large enough to fill with 3-4" of water AND your chosen screening frame can fit into easily.

1. Dump your paper goop into the container.

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2. Fill the container until you have approx 3-4" of water. Mix the paper goop into the water so all of the little tiny bits are mixed well and floating. It should now have the consistency of a thick tomato soup.

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3. Place a dish towel on your work surface and then place a Handi-Wipe/jay cloth on the towel ~ (thanks Cher & Tammy for the name!!) If you can't find this particular dish cloth any thin absorbent dish cloth* will do.

*Keep in mind, if the cloth you are using has a textural pattern this will transfer to the paper.
4. Slide your screen/strainer into the container from the side. You can push it straight down into the water because all of the paper bits will be under the strainer. Going in from the side allows you to slip under the paper mixture.

Once your strainer is in the container, lift straight up. You should now have a nice layer of paper pulp on the top of the screen as shown.

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5. Gently tap the strainer on the side of the container a couple times shaking off some excess water.

6. Flip the screen/paper onto the Handi-wipe as shown.

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7. Gently lift the screen off of the towel leaving the paper behind. NOW, don't freak out if some of the pulp is left on the screen...(trust me, I did when I first started!!) Simply peel the paper off of the screen and place it where it needs to be. You can also fill in any holes by scooping out a bit of the pulp from the container and adding where it is needed. Cover with another layer of Handi-wipe. In this case my paper was small enough I was able to fold the Handi-wipe over and use one sheet for two pieces of paper.

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8. Repeat steps 4-7 until you have gotten as much of the pulp as possible in this fashion.

9. (optional) I don't like to waste any of the pulp so I normally take the remains outside, lay the screen on the ground and pour the pulp water SLOWLY over the screen. This catches just about all of the remaining paper pulp without wasting anything.

10. Once you have all of your paper on the Handi-wipe, cover the pile with a dry dish cloth. Hand press excess water out, exchange wet dish cloths for dry as needed.

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11. After you feel you have pressed as much water out as possible, place the stack on some dry towels and use the rolling pin to extract any remaining water possible.

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12. Your paper will feel pretty dry but it still needs to dry out a bit more. Attach each Handi-wipe to a hanger with clips and allow to dry...

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End of Part III

Pretty cool huh?

And the best part is - it's WAY easy and costs just pennies to make!!! Doesn't get much better than that :)

I will share the finished product as well as some ideas on how to use your Hand Made Paper tomorrow ~


oh...I'll be pulling the 100,000 Biggie Size Surprise tonite around 10:00pm EST so you still have time to get in on the fun!!!


  1. I Remember Doing this as a child In School, I loved it! Thanks for Sharing, never Tried it at Home. I will have to now! :)

  2. EASY!!!!! wow it is really that simple,,,, I will take some time out and get some much needed stress relief and make me some pretty papers. Thanks for sharing.
    Caryl K

  3. LUV to try this! and I will fairly soon...I have everything I need I think...and I think the thin things u are talking about are called Handi-wipes? They are usually green n white and very thin but absorbant. TY again Roni...I will get back to you on how my paper turns out! And good luck on the drawing, Cher

  4. Hey Roni... I think they are called jay cloths?

    Thanks so very much for the tutorial. Iam going to try tomorrow!
    I have been wanting to try this for a long time!
    Thanks again,

  5. I also remember doing this as a child along with spinning wool and dying it with onion skins. I have so much scrap paper I could use this for. Thanks for bringing back the memories and nudging me along the recycle path.

  6. Another great way to use up all my scraps, thanks for the great tutorial...

  7. Cool! Thanks for the tutorial Roni.


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!