Homemade Paper – Handicraft (Homeschool)

If you’ve ever been part of the Charlotte Mason homeschooling community you’ve heard of Handicrafts before. They are not cut and paste type of crafts but something that requires a learned skill that is useful and can be built upon with attention to detail, practice and perseverance.

Here’s a post from our local Charlotte Mason group that shares about their bi-annual Handicraft Fair and What a Handicraft Is as well as the Ambleside Online post on handicrafts.

This year we’re working through The Precious People curriculum by The Peaceful Press which focuses on ancient world history as well as their cultures. This is part of what we do during our morning time together (ages 4, 7, 10, 13, 15 & 17). As we were studying Egypt we learned how they made paper from the papyrus plant which made us want to explore how we can make paper with what we have available to us.

During one of our morning times we watched some tutorials on how to make paper from recycled paper strips. A few days later I set the task for my 15 year old to make the mold and the deckle with supplies he found in our garage. He pulled out the saw and table and set up the umbrella for some shade (that’s what you call working smart).

On a side note, while we were looking up how to make paper we found someone who made paper from grass, that’s a neat idea.

Here is the finished product using scrap wood, screen and staples. He measured and cut everything on his own. Though he did let the younger ones help with the stapling under his supervision.

We took an old sheet and cut it into strips slightly bigger than the mold. You need one for every sheet of paper you make.

First you shred and soak the paper and then you blend it to create a pulp. You put the pulp into a bin of water and getting the right consistency takes practice. Our first go at it was more successful than our second so we’ll have to persevere and keep practicing.

Sponge the excess water off of the screen so the paper sticks to the sheet.

Here’s a video to show our process and the fun personalities I get to enjoy each day. 🙂

We set heavy things on the sheets because we didn’t want the breeze we get in our backyard to mess up our sheets up paper as they were drying.

The final sheets of paper that we then put between some heavy books to press down and flatten.

Our sheets are thicker because of the screen we used (it’s not a fine screen) which is what we were going for. We want them to be more for water colors/painting.

The kids plan to fold the papers in half and sew them together to make journals to sell and give as gifts.

There you have it, our homemade paper that didn’t cost us anything because we already had the supplies!

I’m excited to see how the final product will look and I’ll make sure to update this once they’ve finished their journals.

What have been some handicrafts that your family has enjoyed? I’d love to hear!

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