How to Make Botanical Handmade Paper | from Blue Bells and Cockle ShellsI’ve been wanting to try my hand at making handmade paper for some time now. I like the idea of being able to recycle my own paper. Plus, this year I am trying a new approach to nature journaling. Instead of buying fancy journals, Sola and I will making our own journals and I thought some botanical homemade paper would make a pretty cover. If you’re interested in making some handmade paper of your own, here’s what you need:How to Make Botanical Handmade Paper | from Blue Bells and Cockle Shells

  • Shredded paper scraps (you can use pretty much any type of paper, just nothing that has a coating or plastic in it)
  • Dried flowers and leaves
  • Vat (some sort of tub that is a minimum of 3″ deep and is longer and wider than your mold and deckle)
  • Mold and deckle – I bought this papermaking set from Amazon (affiliate link), but here are instructions to make your own mold and deckle
  • Blender
  • Cookie sheet
  • Rolling pin
  • Sponge
  • Towels
  • Couch Sheets or felt sheets (at least as big as your paper will be)
  • Iron

And here’s how you make the paper:

  1. Add four cups of water and 1/4 – 1/2 cup of shredded paper to a blender. Blend until the mixture is pulpy (about 15 – 30 seconds).How to Make Botanical Handmade Paper | from Blue Bells and Cockle Shells
  2. Pour blended mixture into your vat.
  3. Repeat until your vat is filled at least 2″ deep.
  4. If you want to blend your flowers and leaves also, as opposed to using them whole, blend them the same way as you did the shredded paper in step #1 and add the mixture to your vat.
  5. Holding your mold and deckle together, dip them vertically into your vat of pulp
  6. Slowly slide the mold and deckle’s bottom towards you, lowering the top into the pulp, so that the whole thing is horizontal under the pulp.
  7. Bring the mold and deckle up slowly, gently move the mold and deckle sideways, forwards, and backwards, to distribute the pulp evenly.How to Make Botanical Handmade Paper | from Blue Bells and Cockle Shells
  8. Hold the mold and deckle above the vat for about 30 seconds and allow it to drip, then move the whole thing to your cookie sheet.
  9. Remove the deckle and top the sheet with a couching paper or felt sheet.
  10. Create a stack of towels or paper towels on your work area. Take the deckle/sheet/couching sheet stack and carefully flip it over on to the stack of towels.
  11. Run a sponge over the back of the mold/screen to absorb extra water, wringing out the sponge frequently.
  12. Carefully remove the mold and screen.
  13. If you are using any whole flowers or leaves, this is the time to add them to your sheet.
  14. Place another felt or couching sheet on top of your sheet.
  15. Run a rolling pin all over your entire stack to squeeze out more water.
  16. Finally, transfer your sheet, between your two couching sheets or felt pieces to your ironing board and iron the whole stack on high.
  17. Turn the sheet over and iron it until your sheet is dry (peel back the couching or felt sheets to check).How to Make Botanical Handmade Paper | from Blue Bells and Cockle Shells
  18. Remove your felt or couching sheets and you are done!

How to Make Botanical Handmade Paper | from Blue Bells and Cockle Shells Didn’t it come out pretty! It makes a great journal cover too! Why not give it a try yourself with some flowers and leaves from your neighborhood?

How to Make Botanical Handmade Paper | from Blue Bells and Cockle Shells

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Disclosure: Maureen Sklaroff is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. All opinions expressed, however, are 100% my own. To read my full disclosure policy, click here.
Maureen
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