Monday, November 23, 2009

Paper making

A little while ago I was clearing out some things from the loft, old craft stuff and the like and came across some paper I'd made a few years ago and forgotten about. I made it in the late '90's as part of my Interior Design course.

If you've ever bought posh handmade paper from a fancy shop (much like that pictured below) you'll know how expensive it is.

But paper making at home is so simple and great fun! You need very little equipment ~ just an old blender (I just used mine and then gave it a darn good wash...oops!) paper, a container for your pulp (cat litter tray; works and it's cheap) old towels and j-cloths for removing the water and drying out and a deckle. "What's a deckle Deb?" It's the device that you use to lift your paper pulp out of the water with. You can buy these but they're very simple to make. You need a wooden frame and some fine mesh.

Depending on the size of your pulp container, an old picture frame works well. Take it apart so you're left with just the wooden frame and then staple gun your mesh to it. Remember that your finished sheet of paper will only be as big as your deckle (actually slightly smaller)

I'm not going to go into the method here in great detail because for one, it doesn't make much sense unless you have some pictures to help you along. And I haven't. But google it and you'll soon find out all you need to know. There are also lot's of books on the market and even You Tube has paper making videos. A lot of the stuff out there, in my humble opinion, seems to make it more complicated than it has to be.

It's just a case of tearing up your paper, then whizzing it in the blender with water until it's broken down and pulpy. You can add colour at this point by adding poster or acrylic paint.

Then tip it in your container, slide the deckle in and lift it straight up and out and you should have a layer of pulp on your mesh. You then need to remove the excess water and leave it to dry overnight and you've got paper!

I should say you can also throw in sequins, glitter...anything that will be caught in the pulp. Just experiment! The type of paper you use will affect the finished result too.

To make a shape such as a loveheart in your paper, like that below, you need to cut the shape you want out of another piece of mesh.
You then immerse it in the pulp and when you lift it out you'll have a heart shaped piece which you can then put on top of the piece of paper you've (hopefully) just made.
Clear as mud? Trust me, it's really easy. Just go find some proper instructions!

I made lot's of different colours of paper but the ones here are all I have left. I've used some to make decorative tags to attach vintage buttons to for the website and also used some for card making. If you're at all crafty you'll find umpteen uses for it.

Looking through my paper again reminded me just how much I enjoyed making it and maybe one day I'll make some more...

And now for something completely different...I've added lot's more stock in the Christmas shop
over at This Vintage Life today including some wonderful and rare chalk tree ornaments and lot's of paper ephemera.

I've still got more, would you believe and I'll try and get it all on before Christmas actually arrives but I can't make any promises!
I'm also hoping to upload some general vintage stock this week but it's got left behind a bit as the Christmas items have had to take precedence. I've managed to add a couple of things to the What's New category and as I say, more coming very soon.

I must once again thank all my lovely customers for keeping me busy of late.

I'm off to see Ricky Gervais tomorrow so here's to a good night! I hope he doesn't disappoint (like Steve Coogan...) especially as it's a five hour round trip just to get there...