My friend Tracy Hildebrand is a former art teacher who volunteers at her daughter's preschool teaching art projects. She recently told me about a papermaking project she did with the children that sounded easy and fun. I asked Tracy to share how she did it. Here's her tutorial:
- Paper to recycle
- Plastic containers to soak paper
- Cookie cuttersÂ (we used heart, butterfly and flower shapes)
- Frame with fine mesh screen stretched tightly across and affixed with staples or tacks
- Large container to catch water (this should be the proper size to hold frame and allow water to seep through)
- Old but working blender (there is the chance of burning out the motor if you are making a large quantity, so don't use your good blender. we used one from the thrift store.)
- 9×12 pieces of nylon felt
- Glitter (optional)
1. Tear paper into nickel-sized pieces and put in plastic container filled halfway with water. Soak for at least 24 hours. If you are using colored paper, you may want to separate your colors into different containers, or put similar colors together. We used yellow/orange, blue/purple, and pink.
2. Add about a half-cup of torn paper to your blender with about a cup of water. Add glitter if desired. Process until paper breaks up into a pulp
3. Position your frame screen across the large water container and place the cookie cutter on top of the screen.
4. Pour paper pulp into cookie cutter, making sure to get pulp into all areas of the shape. Wait a few minutes allowing water to drip through.
5. Using your fingers, carefully tamp down on pulp to squeeze more water through the screen.
6. Carefully lift the cookie cutter, allowing your paper to remain on the screen. Lay a piece of felt on top and gently press with the palm of your hand to soak up as much moisture as you can.
7. Gently lift your paper from the screen and lay on newspaper to dry.
You can use your finished paper shapes as ornaments or to decorate cards. If you want to write on them, permanent felt tip pens work best (ballpoint and rollerball pens dig into the surface too much).
Thanks for the tutorial Tracy!