This is one example of many projects found in the book The Best of Making Things – A Hand Book of Creative Discovery. Find out more about the book!
You wil need: 8 strips of wooden lath (or cut a wooden yardstick) – small nails – hammer – window screening – staple gun – dry vegetable fibers (such as corn husks, onion skins, celery strings, sawdust, weeds, or straw) – scissors -blender – paper towels, napkins, paper bags, newspaper or tissue – dishpan – newspaper – sponge – iron.
- Make 2 wooden frames the same size (any size that fits in a dishpan). Staple a piece of window screen onto one frame. This is your mold; the other frame is your deckle.
- Cut dry vegetable fibers into bits.
- Put them in a blender, then add a torn-up paper towel or other torn-up paper as filler. Fill blender with water, and blend until smooth. This is a called a slurry.
- Partially fill dishpan with water, and pour in slurry. Position the mold screen side up, and place the deckle on top of it.
- Holding the mold and deckle tightly together, dip them into the slurry.
- Holding them level, raise mold and deckle horizontally. Allow water to drain, leaving mash undisturbed on screen. This is called a wet leaf.
- Set mold and deckle down on a sheet of newspaper, and remove deckle.
- Place a newspaper sheet on top of the wet leaf, to act as a blotter.
- Turn mold and newspaper blotter over, and put them facedown on table.
- Sponge away excess water through screen.
- Carefully lift mold up off the wet leaf.
- Put another newspaper blotter on wet leaf, and iron it dry. Remove blotters.
See how many kinds of paper you can make.