After I had fun one afternoon making my first batch of recycled paper in a while, I wanted to experiment with different techniques and make a few different motifs for my window decoration project.

Walk-through

Recycled paper basics

If you’re unsure as to how to get started on making your own recycled paper, you can check out this post before moving on.



Adding dried flower petals

The first step is identical to making a plain sheet of paper. I start by collecting a base layer of pulp on a screen.

I lay the dried petals on top of this layer.

Then use another screen to collect a second thinner layer of pulp.

I flip this layer and lay it on top of the first one. Then I use a sponge to absorb the excess water so that I can peel the doubled layer sheet off the screen and proceed with the usual next steps: pressing it down with a roller between two towels and drying it between two books.


Layering and transparency

For that one, dispose shapes cut in cardboard on the screen. You can tape them with a little piece of double sided tape so that they don’t come floating around during the next step.

Proceed to scooping up your base layer of paper pulp from your bucket of water/pulp mix.

Peel off the carboard pieces, revealing areas without pulp representing your shapes.

Lay a second layer of paper pulp on top of the first one and proceed with the usual next steps to finish your sheet.

Another example of what can be achieved with this technique. The shape in this case is the outline of the island of Gran Canaria.


Watercolor motifs

The last one is very easy yet offers a beautiful result.

Simply dab some watercolor paint on the paper pulp when it is just out of the bucket and still quite saturated with water.

Wait until the pigments spread out as much as you’d like it to before moving on to the next steps of making your sheet of paper.


Wrapping-up


There’s a lot more options that can be explored, such as adding little pieces of fabric during the blending process so as to end up with bits of colored thread weaved into the final paper, using spices, coffee or tea to change the color of the paper, adding leaves…imagination is the limit!

Footnotes


The following online content provided some assistance and/or inspiration during the making of this project:


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