Only One Planet

  • Large oblong washing-up bowl
  • Sheets of used waste paper (newspaper, tissue paper, junk mail, gift wrap, etc.)
  • Water
  • Egg whisk or a kitchen liquidiser/blender
  • Liquid starch
  • Fine mesh wire gauze of about 200 mm square
  • Two sheets of blotting paper or a newspaper
  • Rolling pin


  1. Tear the waste paper into small pieces (about 20 mm square or smaller) and put them in the bowl.
  2. If you're using a liquidiser put the torn paper into the liquidiser, fill with water and beat until the fibres are dispersed. Add to large bowl of warm water then proceed to 5 below.
  3. Fill the bowl with warm water.
  4. Let the paper soak for a quarter of an hour, then beat it with the egg whisk until it becomes mushy and the fibres well dispersed.
  5. If you want paper that you can write on with ink then stir in two teaspoons of starch at this point.
  6. Dip the mesh into the bowl of slurry, tilting it at 45 so that the edge goes in first. Then, holding the mesh horizontal by its edges, lift it straight up out of the water.
  7. Hold the mesh over the bowl and let the water drain off.
  8. Turn the mesh upside down on to the blotting paper or newspaper. This must be done smartly but carefully so that the pulp does not come apart.
  9. Carefully remove the mesh by lifting one edge first. If you have problems removing the mesh then gently sponge excess water off of the mesh to help release it. 
  10. Place the second sheet of blotting paper on top of your pulp and, using the rolling pin, roll firmly but gently.
  11. You may iron your paper carefully until it is dry or allow it to dry naturally.
  12. Gently peel back the blotting paper from your hand made sheet of paper. You must now leave it for 24 hours to dry completely.
You can experiment to produce different sorts of paper. Using a thicker slurry will result in heavier gauge paper. You can add different colours or types of paper to the slurry for different effects; a proportion of brown wrapping paper can give a very nice finish. You can even add things like glitter, confetti and food colouring.


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This page last updated: 10 June 2002