Papemelroti Handmade Paper Making

I appreciated that Celine’s school picked this kind of activity for their educational trip. It’s not the usual zoo, park, museum or factory trips, but instead, a paper making workshop where the kids get to participate, discover and make their own handmade paper. The kids were able to learn more about the environment and the importance of reusing and recycling things around us.

Papemelroti Handmade paper making

As you know, I am a craftsy Mom and an advocate for all things handmade. So, I am very much delighted to share with you as well, the things we’ve learned about How to Make Handmade Paper as taught to us at Papemelroti.

By the way, if you missed that post about our educational tour and experiences at Papemelroti main branch in Roces Avenue, you may check them out HEREJ

A little bit of Paper History first…
It all started way back in 105 A.D. when a Chinese eunuch, T’sai Lun, discovered a way to make paper out of old rags. The Chinese closely guarded their new secret and it wasn’t until 500 years later that paper making reached Korea and Japan. It then spread westward to Europe. In the United States, a German colonist set up the first American paper mill near Philadelphia in 1690. Until 150 years ago there was no paper other than that made by hand. J
To make paper, there are three (3) simple steps that huge paper making machines and modern hand paper makers alike follow: preparing the material from which you will make paper, forming the sheet and drying the sheet.

Materials and Tools:
Used / Old Paper                                            Tub or Basin
Newspaper                                                      Mug or “Tabo” to transfer water
Laundry Starch or “gawgaw”                       Blender
Bucket of Water                                             Mould and Deckle

How to Make Handmade Paper
1. Shred the paper or tear into small pieces about 1/2″ square.

2. Put torn paper up to 1/3 full in blender. Add water until 2/3 full. Blend 2-3 seconds and repeat until you get the desired consistency.

3. Pour mixture into tub. Repeat procedure with blender until it is about 4 inches deep or more.

4. Add laundry starch or “gawgaw” to mixture to serve as binder then mix well. About 1 tbsp. for a tub of water.

5. Hold the mould and deckle firmly together with deckle at the uppermost and screen in between (deckle is the frame without the screen). Dip into tub and scoop up pulp.

How to Make Handmade Paper
6. Lift the frames up and let water drain back into the tub. Shake gently to distribute fibers evenly. Continue draining by tipping from one corner.

7. Carefully separate deckle and lay mould upside down (with wet pulp on the underside) on a folded sheet of newspaper.

8. Soak up excess water with sponge pressed against screen surface.

9. Slowly separate mould from the sheet. If paper still sticks to mould, this means you need to remove more water with the sponge,

10. Let paper sheets dry for 1/2 – 1 day. When they are dry, you can easily separate them from the newspaper. 
Some Reminders and Pointers:
  • Paper should not be glossy or coated. Examples of paper that can be used are bond paper, writing pads, envelopes, receipts etc. Do NOT use newspapers as your handmade paper will discolor. You may use colored paper to add color.
  • If you don’t have a blender, soak torn paper in water for at least one (1) day to soften paper, then pound soaked paper until it disintegrates.
  • If you want an interesting texture, add dried leaves or thin stalks and blend again. Pressed and leaves and flowers are also good options, Just make sure they are paper thin or else they will not attach to the paper pulp.
  • To make thin paper, more water is needed. For bond paper thickness, 3 grams of pulp for every liter of water is advisable. 
  • To squeeze out water and flatten sheets, you can place the pile of wet paper and newspaper between a couple of boards and top it with a heavy object for a while.

Make fun projects with your kids using handmade paper. Let them be involved in the process as well of making one and teach them about the importance of recycling to our environment. Happy Papermaking Everyone! J

    Papemelroti (main branch)
    91 A. Roces Avenue, Quezon City

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