If you didn’t catch yesterday’s nostalgic and romantic ‘love letters from WWI’ editorial shoot by Claire Marika Photography – you should (see it here) because remember the gorgeous flower petal paper that all those love letters were written on? Today I have the DIY instructions from Valen Hunter of Flower Afternoon & Remnant Paper so that you can make some of your own!
From Flower Afternoon & Remnant Paper – “I began making paper recently as a way to recycle the materials I use as a florist. Some of us florists will fuss about how wasteful being a wedding florist can be! It’s a catch 22 because I am very passionate about designing flowers for weddings but I also care for the environment.
These materials are the remnants after a wedding has come and gone. Hence the name ‘Remnant Paper’ which will debut soon! It’s fun to see these weddings carry on as a weathered and delicate piece of paper.”
“I hang leftover flowers by some twine from my windows. It makes for pretty decor and then I pick from the dried flower bunches when I’m making paper.
I love the authenticity of homemade paper. The worn edges and texture give a quality that is timeless and classic. The best part is that it is so easy to make at home and you may already have most of the materials you need lying around!”
“I’ve created a DIY that will teach you how to make your own worn and weathered paper. It is perfect for journal pages, hand written notes or even mounted in a frame with your favorite photos or art. Though this paper can be used for many things, this specific DIY is not recommended for calligraphy or watercolor.”
What you’ll need:
-1 cup of shredded paper. You can recycle mail, paper grocery bags or any other scraps. Preferably nothing with a glossy surface as it doesn’t absorb water as easily.
-2 cups of water (1:2 paper to water ratio recommended).
-Deckle & Mould. This wooden frame is used to catch the paper slurry in the shape you want. I use an 8x10in most often. This is so easy to make on your own. You just need mesh like in a screen door, staples and wood. Here is a link to a clip on how to make your own!
-Blender (it is advised that you don’t use this blender for food, I found one used for $10).
-Ply board or plexiglass
-1 table spoon liquid starch per quart. I use Niagra, which contains natural ingredients. The starch will toughen up your paper so that it is easier to write on.
-Storage Tub. The tub should be close to the same size as your Deckle. A Rubbermaid bin is an easy and portable option and you can store all of your supplies in it when you are not making paper.
Step One: Shred your paper into a blender. Pour in water, let sit and soften until it pulls apart easily and without much force. At least 35 minutes to an hour. Pulse blender off and off to start and then gradually move to purée. Blend to your texture preference. The longer you blend, the more smooth your paper will be. Toss in dried flower petals or mica towards the end for color and texture!
Step Two: Fill your storage tub 1/4 full of water. Add in your fabric starch. Pour in your paper slurry you just made. Once you have poured in the slurry use a stir stick and mix it into the water to distribute it around the tub.
Step Three: Take your Deckle and mould, holding with both hands and immerse the frame into the basin. You’ll find a rhythm that is best for catching the slurry by moving the deckle beneath the water, back and forth and in a slight circular motion. Catch the slurry on top of the mesh and if it appears to be distributed evenly, lift the deckle & mould up slowly and let the water drain off. You can now remove the mould from the deckle.
Step Four: On the non slurry side of the mesh, wipe and gently press your sponge to absorb excess water (do not sponge the side of the mesh with the slurry!). Depending on how patient you are feeling, you can let it sit and air dry for a 10-20 minutes, or go ahead and press the paper onto your drying board. Putting the paper immediately onto the board will give the edges a naturally worn appearance. Waiting to press will give the paper defined edges.
Step Five: Press your paper. I press my paper onto wood because it absorbs the water and dries quicker but you can use glass or plexiglass too. This method will also help your paper to dry more flat. If you want a more wrinkled paper you can use fabric.
With the slurry side facing the board, press the deckle and hold in place. Grab your wallpaper rolling-pin and press the mesh into the board so that the slurry catches onto the board. You can use your hands too. I like to use my nail to press or “cut” around the edges so that the deckle releases easier. Once you are confident that the slurry is pressed onto the board, lightly lift the deckle starting with one end. Use your finger to lightly press any lifted edges back onto the board. You will see bubbles in the paper but don’t worry about that just yet. You may rip the paper if you try removing them just yet.
Step Six: Once your paper has dried for a bit, but still has some dampness, take your rolling-pin and gently flatten the paper and any bubbles that are in it.
Step Seven: You’ll know your paper is dry when it is a lighter color and no longer cool to the touch. Peel your paper off gently and slowly, trying not to tear! Press under a book if the paper has a curl in it.