Making paper by hand is an excellent way to become familiar with the basic procedures of papermaking. Extensive equipment and materials are not required.
Equipment includes a tub large pail, a mold, and a deckle. These three items are shown in Figure 5-1. The mold is a wooden frame covered with a metal screen. The deckle is another frame the same size as the mold. Other items needed are an egg beater, a rolling pin, an electric iron, blotting paper, instant laundry starch, and a box of soft facial tissues.
Papermaking is a rether simple process. Fill the tub with warm water. If wood pulp is available, it can be used. If not, shred about thirty tissues into the water. Do not use the "wet strength" kind. The tissues substitute for the wood pulp.
Now add one tablespoon of instant laundry starch to two cups of water. Pour this mixture into the tub. The starch serves to size or fill the paper that will be made.
Now beat the pulp mixture with an egg beater until it is free from lumps.
You are now ready to form the sheet of paper. Place the deckle over the mold and slide both into the pulp mixture. After leveling the deckle and mold assembly, lift it carefully from the mixture.
Remove the deckle from the mold and transfer the newly made sheel of paper to a piece of blotting paper. Now cover the newly made paper with a second blotter and press out the excess water with a rolling pin. Complete the drying process by pressing the paper with an electric iron. Do this while the sheet is still between the blotting papers. You have just made a sheet of paper by hand.