I watched a short clip on Instagram of someone making paper from used/scrap paper, and it looked really easy. I thought: I can do this!
So, I took a piece of double corrugated card of approximately 30 x 40 cm and tore it into smaller pieces. I put this in warm water in a small bucket (this is a paint bucket from B&Q):
I pushed all the card under water and left it for a couple of hours. I then used an old hand blender to blend the card into pulp. I did have to add a fair bit more water as the card got blended up more (I used cold water for that as I had that to hand):
To do paper making properly, you need a mould (screen) and deckle (frame), which I don’t have. I thought I could just pour some of the pulp on top of a folded sheet (probably about 6-8 layers, it’s a big sheet!) and then see how it turns out. But it’s clear that the surface ends up very irregular this way:
However, I do have calico fabric (used for creating toiles) and a small cross-stitch hoop:
I was surprised that the fabric does not let water from the pulp through unless you rub on the underside of it, ideally with wet hands. I placed this on the folded sheet to let the sheet absorb the water:
When the majority of the water has been absorbed by the sheet, I removed the hoop so I could use it again:
The water was absorbed by the sheet more quickly when I wetted the calico fabric before filling the hoop with pulp.
I moved these fabric pieces with paper in the making to the radiator. This helped massively with drying the paper very quickly but also made the paper curl. The top of the paper is quite rough/textured:
The bottom, that was on the fabric, is quite smooth:
When you have the right tools and equipment, you also press the paper to smoothen it (before it dries out), so there’s a lot of things that can be improved. However, it was very easy to get started with this.
I might look into getting a mould and deckle to make proper paper that I can use for lino printing and painting. The possibilities seem endless as you could colour your paper, choose different fibres, choose any size or shape you want. This was a fun, small project and worth repeating!