Papermaking 101

Ever get an idea that consumes your brain

Watch YouTube videos of perfectly coiffed people doing exactly what you want to do

Read blog after article taking notes on the how’s and how nots

Find a flea market selling just the right stuff — antique window screens!

Goodwill bargains for tissue paper and miscellaneous

Refusing to believe that I could whip this creation up in my own kitchen and remain perfectly coiffed

I set up shop in the back yard on the hottest day of the year

I find a blender in the linen closet- a remnant if my sons bachelor pad and buy it from him for $20 so I don’t mess up my smoothie making ninja!

Got a bag of newspaper and a tub for water, following the directions I whip up my first batch.. scoop it onto the screen .. sop it up with an old towel and try to remove it from the screen, scraping carefully and failing ..

.. gray thin crumbly like an old paper towel ..

sweat pouring down my back down my forehead and down my legs.

This did not happen to YouTube babe in her coordinated outfit and fresh lipstick.

Into the house to spray on sunscreen and revive. I go online and review the steps. Go out to whip up another batch. Still too thin.

I head to the dollar store for more towels and sponges, newsprint stained hands, pony tail askew and bangs plastered to my forehead.

I whip up another batch. Only the blender doesn’t make a peep. No groaning. No moaning. It quit! Sorry ninja you’re on the job!

The sun rises higher in the sky. The sweat beads pour off the tip of my nose. My screen breaks as I pull the first batch. I plop the gob of goo into the dollar store bathmats that pass for hand towels. Not too shabby but difficult to remove. Must need more sludge. Ninja goes to work while I chug lemonade. My son keeps peering through the sliding glass door with concern for his mother’s sanity. I press on and pour dried flower petals into the sludge. Now we’re getting somewhere! The color of the paper concerns me as looking too much like egg cartons– but I’m committed now and this is a learning batch.

My arms are covered in sludge drying like a mud mask. I am drenched and so hot but I’m not giving up til I’m done. My rose colored glasses obviously need a prescription adjustment.

I keep thinking of biblical times and how someone made paper from papyrus! Last night I watched a long YouTube video about a man in Scotland who makes paper from flax.. that he grows from seed himself! Linen paper!

My husband stops by to comment– “cool! Looks like egg carton paper”


So I learned — I want to do it again but only use white papers on a very mild day and plenty of actual towels. Dollar store bath mats make funny patterns.

I dumped the sludge bucket on the lawn much to my husbands dismay.. I’m thinking it might actually be the best piece of paper I made all day!!


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