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How to Make Paper Part 2 - some intermediate techniques and tools

This is the second installment of my series on making home made paper. In this part we expand a little bit on the art by using a few new tools and techniques.

I also have a video explaining all these techniques at the bottom of this page.

Looking for the absolute beginner tutorial on paper making (part1)? That is right here.


Overview of what we cover in this tutorial

  1. Using cotton linters to make cotton paper
  2. Using couching paper to dry and press the paper
  3. Using the dipping method of paper making rather than the pouring method
  4. Casting paper on a mold to make shaped paper objects



1. Using Cotton Linters

Cotton Linters

Arnold Grummer's Bright White Cotton Linters 8 oz.

This is the exact product that I bought and use in this tutorial. In the modern world 8 oz doesn't seem like a lot. But this goes a long way. You will probably make over a hundred sheets of paper with this bag. I have made 20 sheets from it so far and have a long way to go.

These next two pictures are about cotton. The first picture shows a bundle of cotton linters that we use to make the paper in the second picture with. Cotton linters are used to make a wonderful high quality paper.

cotton linters and paper various papers made from cotton


blending linters

To make a single sheet of paper and the pour method where you pour it on the mold you just need anywhere from two to four tablespoons of the cotton linter. This will give you a nice variety of cotton paper. The four tablespoons will be nice thick and rich paper.

In this picture we have a cup of linters in the blender. That is because we are making the pulp batch. All of that goes into the water bin so we can dip and make multiple sheets of paper.

Let's take a look at a couple of examples:


Here is our mixture for a pour. Two tablespoons of cotton linter, a piece of white card stock (4x4 inches) and a small piece of blue cardstock makes us a rich piece of cotton paper about 7x7 inches. It has a nice feel to it.

linters to make paper

And here is a piece of paper about 7x7 inches that is made from four tablespoons of cotton linters. It is wonderfully thick and rich. I wouldn't go past this formula though for this size of paper. We are starting to get close to it being cloth!

2. Using Couching Paper


Paper on felt

In the beginner tutorial we used pieces of felt to dry and press the paper we made. This is ok. But felt is not optimal. Particularly modern day felt. It isn't as absorbent as it could be. It's ok to get started with but....

Paper on Couching

But... something called "couching paper" is much better for this. It is a specially made soft and thick paper that you use for paper making. It is very soft and very absorbent. And you can use it over and over.

Couching sheets

A.grummer 20/Pk Large 9.25x11.75 Couch Sheets

Couching is the process of removing wet, newly formed sheet from a papermaking screen. Couch sheets are specially designed blotters used to couch, press and dry your paper. They are specially treated to absorb water without sticking to or damaging the paper and are re-useable. (This is the exact package that Will bought and uses in this tutorial.)


Press the paper to dry it

You put your newly made paper between two sheets of the couching paper and press down with a flat object. You don't rub it or swipe it. This will bunch up the couching. you simply press down straight to squeeze out the water.

You then place heavy objects on it to let it dry overnight. You can make a multiple stack with a couching sheet between each sheet of newly made paper.

NextLet's continue with the tutorial and learn how to dip paper and how to form 3d shapes with it.


Or you can watch the video here:


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