Paper-making, as my title suggests, is easy! Especially if you shell out a bit for a kit. I went fancy and bought Arnold Grummer's Papermaker Pro, which is a hand-pour mold, though I would eventually consider getting a dip mold for faster, more consistent production. (Don't I sound professional? I am, after all, a Papermaker Pro! I have made 25 sheets of paper!) Truth be told, I didn't look into the difference between hand-pour and dip molds, and thought that I was getting the latter, since that's what I used in high school. But hand-pouring is super easy and, as the websites will tell you, the clean-up is easy.
Basically, here's how it works:
- You get all your supplies lined up, and fill the kitchen sink about 2/3 full of water (depends on the depth of your sink, of course. Mine is fairly shallow).
- In a blender, combine about 1 1/3 sheets of torn-up, post-consumer paper with 2 cups of water. Blend for 30 seconds.
- Insert the mold into the sink, getting the water to within about 1/2" of the top.
- Pour the blended slurry into the mold.
- Agitate it with your fingers.
- Carefully, but without delay, lift the mold straight up in the air.
- Use various techniques to squeeze water out of the sheet, using a sponge and some screens (it's not that complicated, but you don't want to read about it, and I don't want to write it).
- Dry the sheet! I leave it stuck to the window for a while and then, when it starts to fall off, press it under some books (with dry "couch sheets," as they're called, to absorb the moisture).
Below is a scanned image of one of the sheets I made yesterday using this newly invented technique (which is, I'm sure, not unique to me, but hey! I didn't read about it or ANYTHING).
It's not like a money-saving hobby (although I do intend to use it as the basis for many Christmas presents), but it is a form of recycling, and it's fun! Plus, I haven't found anywhere around here to buy handmade paper for bookbinding, so it'll be useful there.