Budget101 Discussion List Archives Gardening & Landscaping Making paper from natural materials

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    • #290505

      A few years ago I mentioned I made my own paper using natural materials but preferred making paper from okra or cat tails but I couldn’t find my notes until now,

      you will need:

      A stainless steel cooking pot (not aluminum)
      plant materiel (see below)
      Washing Soda (commonly sold in the laundry section)
      Heat source

      Plant suggestions: Starchy plants like okra work well. Plants with longer fibers make stronger paper. these work well: gladiolus, cattails (seed head and leaf) corn, flax and iris.

      I’ve used “cotton” from cotton wood trees, silky seed fibers from thistles and dandelions, as well as a sprinkling of tall grasses, flowers and occasional leaf or bark chips to add interest. experiment and keep notes on what you’ve used and how they work.

      Basic cooking Instructions: I keep things simple. simply put all your plant material in the pot and add water to cover it. if plants are to big cut them into pieces and then simmer like making soup.

      Add 1 to 2 tablespoons washing soda to the mix and swirl it around.(If you want to let this simmer all day longer and break down naturally , then you can leave the washing soda out of it) let this simmer for 3 to 4 hours. I’ve even cooked outside over an open fire letting it simmer all day. You could drain off excess moisture if yu want but by this time it’s all broke down and pretty slimmy.

      I just ladle it up liquid and all and form the pages.

      Now some folks have fancy paper forming trays and you can search on line on how to make them but I just use window screens. I set them up on cinder blocks and spread my mixture out to hand form the pages and let them dry there. My daughters like to press dry flowers into one small corner on some of them.

      Just play with it and have fun! I write lots of letters so we try to make paper up every few years but haven’t in a while so glad I found my notes again!


    • #429608

      Thanks!! Great info. Can’t see the picture — any way for that to be fixed?

      Thanks; Virginia

    • #429612

      I’m not sure what the picture was! My notes are on my other computer and I’ve been to sick to even use my lap top the last week or so. Had swine flu and dealing with complications from that now.

      Will check when able to see what it was and if it seems important will see if I can get it up there.


    • #432360

      Handmade paper was one of my most memorable college projects. I made art papers with many natural things embedded in the pulp. I uses seeds, flower petals and natural stains and dyes for colorants.
      The most beautiful paper I made was using cayenne peppers for texture and color.

      I also learned that it’s always a good idea to wear rubber gloves when using peppers because my hands burned for a week from the cayenne!
      I think I will be getting out my old screen frames and trying your recipe this weekend! Thanks for the post!

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Budget101 Discussion List Archives Gardening & Landscaping Making paper from natural materials