Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Design

Make Your Own Paper

  • Print
  • + Share This
Papermaking is a simple process that has so many possibilities for the graphic designer. In this chapter from their book, Robin Williams and Carmen Sheldon show you how to make your own paper.
This chapter is from the book Tools and materials
  • Cotton linters or papers
  • Large plastic tub
  • Blender
  • Papermaking screen (wooden frame with screen attached) and deckle (empty wooden frame)
  • Shallow tray larger than papermaking screen
  • Piece of plastic window screen same size as deckle
  • White craft felts
  • White tea towels or cotton napkins
  • Press bar or a clean household sponge
  • Household iron

(or use a papermaking kit from ArnoldGrummer.com or a craft store)

Papermaking is a simple process that has so many possibilities for the graphic designer. The beautiful feathery edges that you get, called deckle edges (the hallmark of handmade papers) are one reason I like making my own paper.

You can also put a variety of elements right into the paper pulp to create perfect background textures for many graphic design pieces. I am always finding new things that can be mixed in the pulp for interesting effects.

Although this process looks like a lot of trouble, it actually takes a lot less time than you’d think. And it is extremely satisfying.

  1. Fill a plastic tub (large enough to put your papermaking screen in) half full with warm water.

    Fill a blender to the four-cup mark with warm water.

  2. If you’re using recycled paper, tear it up into small pieces and put a large handful in the blender. If you have purchased whole sheets of cotton linter, tear up the sheet into small pieces. (If you want to use old rags, first see pages 146–147.)

    Be careful! My darling students have caused the sad end of several machines this way. And be sure to use plenty of water.

    These linters (which look like heavy lint) create a very white paper, just aching for some color or inclusions. These are also terrific for paper casting—see the next chapter.

  3. Whiz the paper in the blender thoroughly. You usually want a fine-grade pulp—the finer the pulp, the smoother the paper. (And the more pulp you put in the tub, the thicker the paper.)
  4. Pour the pulp into your large plastic tub of warm water. Depending on the size of your tub, it will probably take more than one blender full of pulp to get the right proportion of pulp to water. My eight-gallon tub takes three or four blenders full of pulp.
  5. Swish the paper pulp around with your hand until the pulp and water are thoroughly mixed.

    Hold your papermaking screen vertically, screen side towards you, and plunge it vertically into the plastic tub of pulp. Do this with as little wiggling and movement as possible. Smooth, graceful, quiet hands make better, even sheets of paper.

  6. When you hit the bottom of the tub, turn the papermaking screen horizontal—screen side facing up.
  7. Pull the screen straight up with one deliberate motion. You want the pulp evenly distributed on the screen, so if it’s lumpy or thin on one edge, dump the pulp off your screen, stir it gently, and try the process again.
  8. Put your papermaking screen into an empty tray to catch all the dripping water. Put the empty wooden frame (the deckle) on top of your pulp. Match it up with the sides of the paper screen and press hard; this creates that lovely feathered (deckled) edge.
  9. Carefully remove the deckle without disturbing the paper pulp.
  10. Put a piece of window screen on top of your paper pulp.
  11. Using a press bar (if you have one, shown above, perhaps from a papermaking kit) or a book wrapped in a plastic bag or a clean household sponge, press the water out of your sheet of paper.

    Press hard. You want to get out as much water as you can. However, you don’t want the screen to move, so hold it firmly in place as you press the water out with your free hand.

  12. After you’ve gotten out as much water as you can, wipe the water out of your big tray with a towel.

    Gently peel off the window screen and set it aside.

  13. Put a piece of white craft felt (or clean pieces of an old sheet) in the bottom of the dry tray.
  14. Turn over your papermaking screen and put it down on the white felt, paper-pulp–side down. The paper pulp should be in contact with the felt.
  15. Using a press bar or clean household sponge, press out more water. This is called “couching” the paper (pronounced “kooching”).
  16. Pick up the felt and screen. Using a fingernail, tease a corner of the paper pulp off the screen. This usually works to start releasing the sheet of paper from the papermaking screen.
  17. Gently dump the sheet of paper onto a dry felt or a piece of an old sheet.
  18. Now you can iron your sheet of paper (on the “cotton” setting) between pressing cloths or tea towels. Or hang it up to dry, or lay it on a clean, flat surface to dry naturally.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email ask@peachpit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.peachpit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020