Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Handmade Paper ATCs... Maybe

My brain is burning. I have all this multicolored dryer lint, and recalled reading about making paper with it. So I thought, sure, save the lint, make the screen, recycle the junk mail - free paper! I have a roll of screen that I bought to replace a damaged window screen. It's in the garage... somewhere. Then I read that the aluminum screen is better for this (more rigid), and what I have is fiberglass. But what I really wanted to do was to make ATC-sized pieces of handmade paper, rather than cut apart a larger sheet, so I thought I could make a really small frame. As I said, burning brain.

I went to Michael's to price the Arnold Grummer kits and deckles. More than I want to spend on an experiment. So I went to Hobby Lobby to look. They don't carry the supplies for paper making, but the employee I asked was really helpful, made several great suggestions, and when I told her what I really wanted to do (the ATC-sized papers), she suggested I use screening and one of the plastic boxes used for trading cards. I thought maybe I could use plastic canvas as a press, so she led me to needleworking, and said she thought those holes would be too big - I agreed. But then I spied something we both thought would be perfect: perforated plastic canvas. It's just like perforated paper that's used in place of Aida cloth, but this is thin flexible plastic with very small holes in it. Mary then thought I could put some string in the holes on the edges, so I could lift out the plastic, rather than dumping it (and making a mess with the water). Between us, we had some bloody brilliant ideas for this! 

On the way home, I thought I wanted to try using an immersion blender rather than my freestanding one. Since I want to do small batches, this seems ideal. (Plus it means I don't have to sacrifice a blender for a craft project that may not pan out.) I'll post pictures of the process and whether it works with a finished piece as soon as I have one.

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