Thursday, April 9, 2020

Second Thursday Tutorial: A quick way to start making handmade paper (hmp)

You can blame this tutorial on Divers and Sundry.  I promised her I would show her how to make a mould for making handmade paper.  (Yes, it's spelled mould).  When I spoke to my friend Scott, he agreed to help.  He made the last two after the six I had from before were so old they could no longer be used.  I made the first six, but can't make one and photograph it at the same time.  Another reason I needed help is because my grip is getting worse.

We started discussing how he would show how to make the frame.  There are right ways and wrong ways to make a frame, and the best way involves a miter saw, a drill, and screws.  I didn't want to make it so complicated no one would want to make one, so I came up with a way to make them with limited materials and limited carpentry skills.  Let's get started.

Supplies (from back left clockwise):
Old photo frames with glass
1 original mould, too old to make paper anymore
Old window screen (best to use aluminum, not fiberglass)  I show two types
Metal cutters
Heavy duty stapler and staples

The first thing was to deconstruct the original frame and screen.

You won't need to do that because it's doubtful you have an old mould that needs deconstructing.

Deconstruct your picture frame.

If using a helper to photograph the process, I suggest you get one who allows you time

to take photos, instead of rushing through the process.  Here Scott is removing the glass from the frame and I am trying to keep up.

Here he's asking me which side of the picture frame

I want him to attach the window screen. 

As he was measuring the screen, I tried to get him to slow down. 

Sadly, Scott has one speed and that is FAST.

He asked me which screen I preferred.  You can see I have two types, both of which came from deconstructing old screen doors.

Scott chose to eyeball the size of the screen, which was fine by me, since I have so much of it.  You might want to measure yours in the event you have to purchase new screen.  I, on the other hand, am in recycle mode.  Note the metal clips that hold the glass and cardboard in place have been removed.

Cut the screen

using metal cutting shears.

Don't be tempted to use good scissors, please. 

Now that your screen has been cut,

it's time to put the excess away.

Now it's time to wrap your picture frame.  Make sure you get a frame with a flat or flatish surface.  In lieu of a flat face, you will need to use the back of the frame as your mould's surface.  Begin on one end.  I suggest starting on one of the shorter sides.

Using your staple gun, staple one staple in the middle of the frame as shown above.

Be sure to pull your screen tight on the opposite end.

Sorry that my camera strap is in this and a few more photos, but I was trying to keep up with Scott as he forged ahead.

Position your screen

and staple directly in the center, as shown above.

Rotate your frame 90 degrees, pull the screen tight against the frame and staple the center as shown above.

Do the same

for the opposite side.

Flatten your screen.  Normally you would add more staples on all sides and in the corners, but I had very few staples in my gun and could find no more that size.  You can see from the original frame (on the left in the photo), how many staples I used in the original.

Now was the time to deal with the corners.  I would have treated them differently, but Scott was making it, and I wanted him to do it his way.

He folded the corners in place and stapled.

He then folded the opposite corner.  You can see the corner he has folded and stapled on the right side of the photo above.

Holding the corner in place, he stapled the screen to the frame.

He kept rotating, positioning, and stapling

opposite ends

until all ends were stapled.

Next it was time to remove the excess screen around the corners

using wire cutters.

The smaller screen was now almost finished.

Now it was time to wrap the large screen.  This one will give me 8.5 X 11 inch paper, so the frame is a little over 9.5 X 12 inches, since I used 3/4 inch hard wood.  All measurements are Standard English.

This will be made exactly the same way as the picture frame mould.

I let Scott finish because I was tired of trying to slow him down.

In the meantime, I headed to my craft room upstairs to get duct tape.

I want to begin here by saying this is NOT the way you will see a mould made any place else in the world.  EVERY other blog, web site, and book you pick up on paper making is going to tell you to make a deckle to go with your mould. 

What is a deckle?  According to Merriam-Webster it is:
a frame around the edges of a mould used in making paper by hand
The deckle is supposed to make the lovely deckled edges on handmade paper.

I have made hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of handmade papers and have NEVER used a deckle.  Instead, I raise the lip of the mould by placing duct tape around the outside.

That way, I don't have to mess with the deckle.  Of course, I don't make my paper the way most people do, either.

I'll go into that hopefully next month.

In the meantime,

it was time to finish

both of these moulds.

Now it's time to step back and applaud your handiwork.

You might want to wipe your table, your moulds, and your tools, although that dust you see on my table is from the old screen that was originally on the large frame.  It was actually an accumulation of dried paper pulp caught in the screen.

Although this is a great way to recycle old window screen and an unloved wooden frame, an even easier way to make a mould

is with a large embroidery hoop.

Be sure to stretch the fabric tight in all directions as you tighten the top embroidery hoop.

To that you will add clean, but old used pantyhose.  Does anyone even wear those anymore?  I haven't since the late 80s.  Once you have the material stretched and tight, remove the excess from around the hoop.  If you want to make it permanent, once the excess hose has been cut away, run a bead of glue between the two hoops.  I wasn't sure how much round paper I would make, so I chose not to do that.

Be sure to save your colored junk mail, flyers, and used colored copier/printer paper.  Be sure to segregate by color.  Hopefully next month we'll make paper.


1.  I wish I'd used a "model" who was willing to stop long enough for me to take photos of each process and step along the way.
2.  I wish I had noticed my camera strap was draped over the backing and onto the table, so it wasn't so prominent in the photos.

Thanks for stopping by today.  I am very grateful you joined me to learn about making a mould.  I realize this is a very long post, so thanks for sticking with me. 

This is Day 9 of 22 and I repurposed an unused picture frame, reused a frame I made years ago, and repurposed old window screen to make two moulds so I can make my handmade papers.  I also created a mould from a repurposed embroidery hoop and clean panty hose that had no runs.  As soon as this post goes live, you'll be able to find it on my tutorial page under Making Moulds For Handmade Paper.

19 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

Fascinating photos of how to make a frame. Paper-making was one of the things I always did with the kids in 5th grade, and they loved it. Stay safe, Valerie

Iris Flavia said...

Could be my Hubby "at work" there ;-)
Great. So far, right?

Meggymay said...

Your photos look super, well done to you and sCOTT for this informative tutorial. Forgive me but this would be well beyond my capabilities, but I would have loved to have a go if my hands were younger. I would have tried the panty hose version I think
Stay safe and well
Yvonne xx

aussie aNNie said...

This is amazing and it is very creative and give you credit for trying things out and succeeding.xx

My name is Erika. said...

OK spelling has never been a good skill for me but I did not know that mould was used to make things in and mold was the fungus. Now I know. Thanks for saving me from making that mistake one day. I make enough just trying to spell simple words. And this is a very cool post. I have never tried to make handmade paper, and I might someday since I like to try new techniques, and now I know what to do. Using old picture frames is a brilliant idea because to build one from hand might be too much work to even attempt. But this I could do easily. Thanks for sharing! Hugs-Erika

Barbara said...

This is great for someone who can handle the tools.
Seeing it makes me want to go back to some papermaking!

Nancy said...

Interesting- you kept up with your model quite nicely

J said...

Great post Elizabeth, very interesting too, I have loads of old picture frames but not sure I have any mesh, I will have to look around. I’ve been wanting a big staple gun for ages, every time I see someone using one on TV Steve looks across at me and says, NO, ha,ha
Looking forward to the next step, how to make the paper.
Jan x

Sami said...

Just last week on a TV program called "Better Homes and Gardens" one of the presenters showed how to make handmade paper to then use in making cards.
Have a lovely Easter Elizabeth.

DVArtist said...

Wow this is a great post. You did a wonderful job of explaining how to put this together. Be Safe and Elbow Hugs.

froebelsternchen said...

Wow this is is an amazing tutorial!👍

CJ Kennedy said...

Wonderful tutorial

Eileen Bergen said...

Very clever and pracical recycl of an old frame. Eileen xx

Sandra Cox said...

Who'd a thought. Fascinating.

Divers and Sundry said...

Cool! And I could see exactly how from your photos and explanations. I have frames I could use but no screen except the ones in our windows and patio door, and we use those ;)

Susan Kane said...

this is amazing. It makes me appreciate the process hundreds of years ago.

Jeanie said...

I haven't made paper in ages. You are making me wonder where my screen ended up -- or maybe I should just do a new screen! Your instructions are terrific. I really admire your tutorials.

Rita said...

I have the Arnold Grummer kits but hadn't heard about a deckle. Will have to google that so find out what it is--LOL! I was thinking about papermaking just a couple days ago. All my paper making supplies are out in the garage and I was thinking it might be a fun thing to do this summer. I like your DIY!! :)

pearshapedcrafting said...

Love that Scott was in the moment and carrying on regardless - he must have been pleased with his handy work! I love your handmade paper - still stroking some of mine that you sent me! Hugs, Chrisx