How to Make Paper Cards

Transform bits of paper and trash into beautiful holiday cards by making paper.

Bits of paper–Scrap paper, wrapping paper, recycled newspaper, magazines, etc.
A screen–No need to buy a fancy paper making screen, just use an old screen from your windows.
Food processor or blender–A blender is recommended for less splash.
Rolling pin
Old towels
Spray adhesive or glue stick

Step One:
Tear up pieces of paper into the food processor or blender. Make sure you tear them up no larger than a small luggage tag. Use a base color for your paper and experiment with different textures. Using too many different kinds of colors will give your paper a grayish consistency. Tear up as much paper as you like, about 1 1/2 cups will yield a small piece of paper.
DIY: Make Paper

Step Two:
Add two cups of water and blend. Adding water isn’t a precise process, but you want to make sure you have enough water to cover the paper in the blender.
DIY: Make Paper

Step Three:
Place screen over your sink and pour out pulp. Use your hands to spread around the pulp to reach a desired consistency. If your paper is too thin it will tear, but if you make it too thick it will never dry. Try making it a little thicker your first time. No thicker than 5 pieces of normal weight paper stacked together, no thinner than three normal weight pieces of paper stacked. If your paper is looking a little lumpy in spots, pour water over the lumps to help smooth it out.
DIY: Make Paper

Step Four:
Blot. Using old towels, lay them on top of your paper pulp and press. Move your screen over to a counter top or table top covered with towels. Use a rolling pin to blot up excess water. When your towels feel soaked, add dry towels on top and keep rolling until no more moisture spots seep through.
DIY: Make Paper

Step Five:
Flip the screen over and gently lift. If your paper seems to be sticking or tearing, rub the screen with a dry towel as you lift. Voila! You have paper.

Step Six:
You can lay your paper out overnight to dry, or if you are impatient you can dry it in the microwave. Microwave drying time varies by thickness and consistency. Place your paper on a towel and dry for no more than two minutes, each side. Flip the paper and repeat the process until the paper is dry.

Step Seven:
Now you can make your cards. Simply rip or cut your paper and glue it to card stock. Layer, mix match and glue. Go crazy.

Additional Tips and Ideas:

  • Try adding fragrant herbs and spices to your paper for a new aroma.
  • If you use a metallic paper, don’t put it in the microwave as it may start a fire.
  • Add bark and leaves for paper with a unique texture.
  • Place gingerbread or other holiday-themed cookie cutters on your screen and pour pulp into the molds. After drying, punch holes in your paper to make ornaments or gift tags.
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