How to Make Paper from Plant Fibers

Make paper from scratch with this fun project.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Prepare the plant material Cut the plant material into postage stamp-sized pieces using the garden shears.
  • Step 2: Break down the plant fibers Boil the plant material in water until it decomposes. This can take several hours.
  • TIP: Soaking most plants in warm water before boiling them will reduce their decomposition time.
  • Step 3: Disperse the fibers in water Rinse the plant fibers thoroughly. Then fill a blender or food processor with water. Add the fibers and blend the mixture until the plant fibers are evenly distributed in the water.
  • Step 4: Add the pulp to a basin Pour the pulp into a large basin or stopped sink. Continue blending and adding pulp until the sink or basin is half full.
  • Step 5: Dip the mold and deckle in the basin Place the deckle on top of the paper mold. Dip them together into the pulp at a 45-degree angle, drawing them toward you.
  • TIP: If you cannot find a mold and deckle at a crafts store, construct your own from flat picture frames with a screen attached to one of them.
  • Step 6: Remove the mold and deckle from the basin Raise the mold and deckle to the surface in one continuous motion. Then remove them from the pulp and allow the water to drain.
  • Step 7: Dry the paper Remove the deckle and transfer the layer of pulp to a flat surface covered by a damp cloth by placing the mold upside down on the surface and then raising it up. Let the paper dry.
  • FACT: Did you know? Paper wasps create nests of paper made by mixing their saliva with fibers rasped from dead wood.

You Will Need

  • Plant material
  • Garden shears
  • A blender or food processor
  • Water
  • A basin or sink with a stopper
  • A mold and deckle
  • A flat surface
  • A damp cloth
  • Two flat picture frames (optional)
  • A screen (optional)

Popular Categories