Write your Thanksgiving cards on this handmade paper. You'll want to have an adult around when you make this craft.
What You'll Need:
- 5x7-inch wood picture frame
- 8x10 inches coarse nylon net
- Staple gun and staples
- 1-gallon bucket
- Large brown paper grocery bag
- Large slotted spoon
- Deep plastic dishpan
- 21x21 inches old sheet
- 20x20 inches flat, smooth, or nonporous plastic or similar material
- Clothesline and clothespins
Ask an adult to help you staple the nylon net across the back of the picture frame, stretching the net tightly. Set aside. Fill a bucket halfway with warm water. Tear the grocery bag into 2-inch squares. Drop the pieces into the bucket of water and stir with the slotted spoon. Let soak 1/2 hour.
Add the soaked paper to the blender with an equal amount of water a little at a time. Don't overload the blender, and use plenty of water.
Have an adult help you blend the paper on low speed, then medium speed until it becomes pulpy. Don't over-blend. Fill the dishpan halfway with warm water. Pour the pulp into the pan.
Do this in one smooth, continuous motion. If the pulp is too lumpy or has holes, dump it back into the pan and start over.
Once the pulp is stuck to the sheet, pin the sheet to the clothesline until the piece of paper on it is dry. Then carefully peel away the paper.
Make more pieces and put them together to make a notebook, or use your handmade paper for writing notes. You could also make a fall collage on the paper with real leaves or leaf cutouts (see the leaf stencils you can download here for ideas).
Hold the frame horizontally, net side up. As you lower it into the pan of pulp, tilt it down and scoop under the pulp, moving it away from your body. Tilt it horizontally under the water and lift up, shaking it slightly.
Let the pulp on the frame drain for a moment over the pan. Wet the sheet and smooth it onto the flat plastic, removing any air bubbles. It's important that the sheet be flat and stuck to the surface; if not, the pulp will not come off the netting later.
Turn the frame with the pulp upside down and set it onto the wet sheet. Use a sponge to press out as much water as possible. Do not rub.
When most of the water has been removed, lift the frame away from the pulp. The pulp should stick to the sheet. If it does not stick or if there are holes, dump it back into the pan of pulp and start over.
On the next page you'll learn a handy craft for those cold autumn nights when you just want to curl up with a good book.