top of page
  • Writer's pictureKonstantin

How To Make Your Own Paper For Drawing Based On Recycling

Updated: May 31, 2020

How is it possible to create your own recycled paper? I'll explain it here today.

Making your own paper for drawing is a great way to handcraft something that is actually very useful. I've wondered how people do that and read and watched a lot about it online. I'll share my favorite ways to make your own paper today.

How can you make your own paper at home?

You can make your own paper for drawing at home with several different methods. Almost all methods require a blender, deckle, and water. You mix the preferred material (e.g. old paper) with water, straighten it with a deckle and a window screen, and let it dry.

In the following paragraphs, we'll have videos and detailed step by step instructions for my three personal favorite ways of making paper at home. I'll also talk to you about why you should consider doing something like this at all.

I. The 3 Best And Easiest Ways

As I already said there are many different ways to make paper on your own at home but now in this first section of the article I want to introduce you to my three personal favorites. These are the easiest or coolest ways to make your own paper.

These are my three top methods to create homemade paper:

1. Old Paper

2. Coconut Coir

3. Actual Wood

Let's start with the first one that is also the easiest one.

1. Old Paper

The most common way that you will find most tutorials about online is this one. For this technique, you will make your new paper out of old paper that would usually be trash. It is, therefore, a method to recycle some of your paper.

What supplies do you need to recycle paper at home?

1. Deckle

2. Blender

3. Tub Of Water

4. Sponge

5. Window Screen

6. Bath Towel

7. Paper Towels

8. Old Paper

9. Iron

If you don't have a window screen or a deckle at home you can buy them online on Amazon. Click on one of the words in the previous sentence and a new tab will open sending you to an Amazon shop site where you can buy these things.

The instructions are based on this video below in case you don't feel like reading and just watching a video instead.

What steps do you have to follow now to get it right? Let's take a look together at what you need to do to get your own paper as fast as possible.

Step 1: Blending Old Paper With Water

The amount of paper should approximately equal the amount of paper you would get from tearing up 5 sheets of paper in DIN A4. A little more or less won't have a dramatic impact on the result, of course.

Put these shreds in the blender now and fill the rest of it with water. The more water the cleaner the paper will be at the end. Blend it now for about a minute. Again, it won't do any damage to your paper if you let the blender run longer.

While blending the paper-water mixture you can pause a few times to add some extras to your paper. You can use old newspapers or colored paper for example. Another great add on for your homemade paper could be dried flowers. I read that in a comment beneath a youtube tutorial. I think this is a great idea!

Step 2: Combining Deckel, Water Tub, And Paper-Water Mixture

It already says in the title of the second step that you will now need to have the tub filled with water right in front of you. Put together your deckle and let it swim in your tub on top of the water. The net is supposed to be in the water.

Now fill the net in the deckle with the whole content of your blender. Make sure to get every last piece of it so your paper will have a sufficient thickness. At this point, you can also add little extras if you didn't want them to be shredded in the blender.

The flowers would be an even better choice at this point here I think. If you have little dried blossoms that you want to be complete in the paper you can add them now. This will result not only in a simple piece of paper but in a little piece of art without even drawing something on it.

Step 3: Get Your Paper Out Of The Tub

At first, you just need to simply take the deckle with the almost ready paper sheet in it out of the water tub. Put it someplace next to the tub and remove the upper half of the deckle. Place the window screen on top of the mush net instead.

Soak your sponge with excess water by dabbing it all over the area where the paper is located to make it stick to the window screen on top of it. This dries the paper already a little bit. Now you need to turn around your paper-making construction and remove the deckle completely.

You now only have the window screen with the almost-paper on it remaining. Only the finishing measures need to be taken.

Step 4: Dry The Paper Sheet

Take a regular bath towel and place it on your working surface. Lay a paper towel on that towel and then your paper on top of it. If you don't have a paper towel that is larger than your handmade paper, just use multiple smaller ones. This works just as fine.

Carefully you have to remove the window screen from your paper so that your recycled paper sheet lies on top of the paper towel (or paper towels). Cover your own paper with a second paper towel layer.

Pretty much the very last step in this process is to iron this pile of papers and towels to dry your paper. It also softens and straightens the paper and it removes possible lumps in it.

After that, you can either wait many hours to let it dry naturally or you can use a hairdryer to dry it a lot faster if you want to use your new and self-made paper as soon as possible to impress all your artistic friends or family. Of course, you don't need any of that to have fun with your own paper.

2. Coconut Coir

In this method, you repeat the same process as I've explained it in the first technique almost exactly. We'll only talk about the things that change now! Just so you're not surprised that there are no actual steps for this paper making method.

The supplies you need for this technique also stay almost completely the same except for a few things that need to be added.

What additional supplies do you need to make coconut coir paper at home?

1. Coconut Coir

2. Bowls

Before you start with the actual process you need to do one specific thing that is responsible for the name of this technique. You need to take some of the coconut coir, put it in a bowl, fill the bowl with warm water just until everything is covered, and let it rest like this for a whole night.

Take a decent amount of scrap paper and tear it into little shreds. Take as much paper as you want to and remember that approximately three to four DIN A4 sheets of paper will be needed for one new piece of paper. Put that in a second bowl and let it rest together with just enough warm water overnight as well.

Now, add one hand full of that coconut coir mush to the blender and three hands full of your new paper mush. If you have to much paper and coconut coir compared to the amount of water in the blender, your paper will get very "hairy".

That's the reason why you should take three hands of the paper mush and not four as that would equal the amount of paper in the first method.

Besides that, you can follow the rest of the steps just like in the first instructions.

3. Actual Wood

The same rules from the coconut coir paper technique also apply here for the technique using actual wood. Everything that is different from the first method will be mentioned now. Let's start at the beginning, with the supplies.

What additional supplies are needed to make paper from actual wood at home?

1. (Soft) Wood

2. Wood Plane

3. Bowl

4. Bleach

5. Food Coloring

Now what you wanna do at first here is to get yourself some wood. I highly recommend using softer wood in case you've never done this before and because softer wood will always result in a very soft paper at the end.

Pinewood is perfectly suited for this handcrafting paper method.

Use the wood plane to break the pinewood down into small and thin stripes. Break these stripes down to shreds of about 1 inch in length and width. Do that in order to make them similar to the paper shreds.

With these shreds (again equalling about four sheets of paper), you will now repeat the blending process from the first step. Add as much water as possible as I've already mentioned in the first method. Before you continue with the next regular step you can insert an additional step optionally.

If you want to color your self-made paper so that it'll be white or any other color you'd like it to have you can take a bowl now and fill it with the mush from the blender. Now, you can either add bleach for the paper to get white or food coloring to make the paper colorful in any way you want it to be.

Whether you decide to do this or not is irrelevant since you can proceed with the second original step with your wood and water mixture instead of the paper and water mush.

One last tip for the blending part:

It is always possible to plus-minus determine the roughness of the finished paper by adjusting the amount of time the mush is being blended in the blender. Decreasing the time will increase the roughness and the other way around.

II. Related Questions

1. What Kind Of Paper Can Be Recycled?

All kinds of paper can be used to recycle at home and to handcraft new paper. Options for that would be old newspapers, colored paper, printer paper, cardboard paper, tissue paper, and also cartons like an egg carton for example.

2. How Long Does It Take To Make Homemade Paper?

The blending part of the whole process takes up approximately one minute. Another minute is needed to tear the paper into proper pieces. From blending to letting the paper dry one needs another five minutes and drying the paper with a hairdryer can take another five to ten minutes. Making paper at home takes all in all 12-17 minutes.

225 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page