Recycle and Create: Turn that stuff in your recycling bag or box into new paper.

How full is your recycling bag or box right now? How about turning that stuff into new paper?
As an avid gardener I always loved pressing my own flowers and leaves to embellish my handmade paper stationery. I believe that when someone receives one of my handmade cards they receive a piece of my garden as well.
I recycle and make my own paper pulp using paper scraps such as envelopes without the plastic windows or stamps; non-glossy printed paper; white or colored computer paper; brown grocery and lunch bags; napkins, etc. I select and organize the paper scraps into groups by colours and textures.

Materials needed to make your paper pulp:
  • Blender or food processor
  • Wash basin or laundry tub
  • Mold and deckle set {available at craft stores in different sizes}
  • Recycled papers {envelopes, tissue papers, construction papers, grocery and lunch bags, egg cartons, etc.}
  • Lukewarm water
  • Dried flower heads and leaves
  • Pressed flowers and leaves
How to make your paper pulp:
  1. First select the recycled papers you want to blend together to make your paper pulp.
  2. Rip the paper into small pieces (about an inch) and place them into the blender or food processor.
  3. Blend the pulp thoroughly for an even-colored handmade paper. You can also get an interesting chunky effect, if you blend them lightly. Write down your pulp recipes.
  4. You should have about half a blender or food processor full of pulp. Fill the blender or food processor with lukewarm water.
  5. Run the blender or food processor slowly at first and increase the speed until the pulp looks smooth and well blended. Make sure that no large flakes of paper remain. Remove any unblended paper chunks.
  6. Pour your pulp and water into your wash basin or laundry tub.
  7. Gently stir the pulp with your hands and add enough water to have your pulp floating freely in the wash basin or laundry tub. Let the pulp rest a few hours.
  8. To embed your pressed flowers and leaves as part of your card design add the pressed flowers and leaves to the wash basin or laundry tub.
  9. Dip the mold and deckle into the bottom of your wash basin or laundry tub.
  10. Lift the mold and deckle to the surface of the water collecting the paper pulp with the pressed flowers and leaves on top of the mold and deckle.
  11. Let the excess water drip off and drain for a few minutes.
  12. Boot trays are great to place the paper molds to dry. It will take about 24 hours to dry depending on the weather.

    Handmade paper from recycled by Gabriela Delworth
Gather your materials and enjoy making your own handmade paper cards! Make a stash and decorate them for any occasion.
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