Last time, we taught you how to create personalized handmade paper from discarded materials (Well, you did your homework, didn’t you?) This time, we’re going to add some color to ordinary paper by experimenting with an effect called marbling. Are you ready to go? Okay, not so fast. Try to gather the following first: Large container with a flat bottom Paintbrushes Paint, preferably marbling paint Spoon or stick Paper Newspapers To start the experiment, we’ll pour some water into the container until it’s about an inch deep. Then we’ll get our paintbrushes and drop some paint into the container until it spreads all over the surface. Marbling paint is supposed to be the best option for this, but if it’s not readily available in your area just like here in Lucena, we can use acrylic paint instead. If you want some variety, we can also add a second or third color of paint. Adding further colors won’t exactly be a good idea though, because it apparently results in barely noticeable effects. Once the paint has started to spread, we can manipulate them to produce specific patterns, like a feathery one for example, by dragging the colors back and forth with a stick. If a satisfying pattern emerged, we’ll lay our paper on the surface of the water and hold the corners so that the center of the paper will be the first to touch it. After the colors have stuck to the paper, we’ll lift it away from the container and place it with the painted side up on a layer of newspapers to dry. When we finally have our finished product, we can further personalize it by drawing some nice illustrations on it, sticking some fancy decorations, or whatever you please. If you want, we can also prepare several marbled papers so we can experiment with different marbling designs until we come up with something you’re really satisfied...

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Personalizing Handmade Paper

As promised, our tutorial’s back to give you some tips on how to personalize the handmade paper we made last time. There are a lot of ways to do this, and one of the easiest and cheapest ones is to add materials that we can readily find in our immediate environment like leaves, flowers, and grasses to it. We can do this either by adding the said materials to the paper we’ll be grinding in the blender, or we can also place them unto the paper after lifting the frame from the container. The choice is up to you, although the second method will allow us to place our decorative materials exactly where we want them to be. Aside from adding decorative materials to your paper, we can also add some colors to it. We can do it the easy way by simply adding artificial color to the paper mixture or we can do it the natural way by adding natural ingredients like pieces of fruits and vegetables in our mixture. For example, if I want my paper to have a yellow tint, I’ll just include some onion skins in my mixture. If you want it to have a purplish hue, you can do the same with beet. For added appeal, we can also add some scent in our paper by adding essential oils or natural ingredients known for their scent like lavender, rose, and lemon to our paper mixture. There you have it – our own personalized handmade paper! Just add some cute illustrations here or some other nice designs there and we can now use it for scrap books, send it as invitation cards, sell it at stationery shops or do whatever we want to do with it. With a little imagination, the possibilities will be...

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Creating Handmade Paper

Tired of hearing your roommate complain about all those scraps of paper lying around your room? Well, keeping track of discarded paper can really be a messy business. The good thing is we can transform that mess into an actual business. Here’s how: To produce our own handmade paper, we’ll have to go through four stages. The first is making the mold and deckle, second is making the basic paper mixture, third is making the new paper itself, and last is personalizing the finished product. For the mold and deckle we’re going to need the following: Screwdriver 8 L-shaped aluminum braces 2 Plain wooden frames 16 bass screws Gloves Wire cutters or sharp scissors Aluminum wire mesh Hammer Brass nails Then for making the paper mixture, we’ll need: Discarded paper Large bowl Large cup or mug Blender Large container Once our paper mixture is ready, we will need: Mold and deckle Plastic container with a flat bottom Paper pulp Wooden spoon Cloth Sponge Clothesline Newspaper Board that is at least 2 inches bigger than the mold and deckle Old cloth Pins Flat iron (optional) and for the last part, we’ll have to gather: Rose petals Flower heads Leaves Grasses Any items that you wish to decorate your handmade paper with Making a mold and deckle The mold and deckle are the wooden frames that we will need to shape our handmade paper. The mold is the wooden frame that has wire mesh stretched across it while the deckle is the plain frame with no mesh. Don’t worry, they’re not difficult to make. To make the mold, we’ll take the wooden frames and attach the L-shaped braces to its corners using the bass screws. This is to strengthen the frame which will be submerged under water from time to time. Next, we’ll cut a portion of the wire mesh using the size of the frame as a guide. Then using the hammer, we’ll nail the wire mesh unto the back of the first frame. To prevent accidents, we’ll wear a pair of thick gloves before we do this (Safety first, so no objections, okay?). Once the mold is ready, we’ll attach the deckle on top of the mold and sandwich the wire mesh between them. Preparing the Paper Mixture After preparing the mold and deckle, we will now move on to making the paper mixture. For this part, we’ll get the discarded paper we’ve gathered before and rip them to small pieces, ideally about 1 to 2 inches wide. Next, let’s place the paper in a bowl then pour some hot water unto it until the scraps are fully covered. After that, we’ll set the bowl aside and let the paper be soaked overnight so the fibers will separate. Once we’re done with that part, we’ll take one cup of soaked paper and three cups of cold water and put them together in the blender. Then let’s turn the blender to high speed and let it spin for a while until the paper is completely crushed and the pulp has achieved a creamlike texture. Finally, we’ll put the pulp in a large container until we have the amount we desire. Making the Paper Now that the paper mixture is ready, get the mold and deckle so we can place the latter over the former. After this, we’ll stir the pulp with a spoon then submerge the frame under water and keep it there for a few seconds. After the pulp has settled on the frame, we’ll bring it up to the surface of the water and shake it from side...

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