Looking for handmade papers, envelopes and other supplies for making your own wedding invitations and favors? Visit Botanical PaperWorks, and check out our plantable seed paper. It grows wildflowers when planted!
Looking for well-priced, well-made handmade paper for wedding invitations? Check out handmade paper from Botanical PaperWorks. From 2 x 8 bookmark size to huge 16 x 20 sheets, each and every piece of paper has a real "deckled"/feathered edge. We never, ever tear down the paper to make a fake deckled edge. Only the real thing here!
Our suggestions for making your own wedding invitations with handmade paper:
- 4 3/4 x 6 3/4 size handmade paper paired with an A7 envelope to great a classic panel-style invitation
- 7 x 10 sheet of handmade paper folded in three to design a tri-fold wedding invitations
Do you remember what happened to your
works of art (or your children's) which were done on
construction paper and displayed proudly on the wall or on
the refrigerator? Within days, the color began to fade and
to disappear in places. When you are making your own
handmade paper, each sheet carefully pulled, couched and
dried, it seems only reasonable that you will want the paper
to hold its rich color, even in bright light. The only way
in which to assure that your paper will be both colour-fast
and light-fast is to use papermaking pigments which are
suited for this purpose and which are chemically constructed
to make a permanent bond with the pulp fibers. The chemistry
for this is fascinating but not the material for this
newsletter. The question here is how to use these pigments
in your home papermaking setup. Are there equally effective
alternatives? Are these pigments a) difficult to use? and b)
expensive to use?
1. Are they expensive to
The pigments may be purchased in small
quantities - you do not have to buy a life-time supply! Each
one is priced according to the ingredients used to make it
so there are wide variations in price (check
out this link). While the
initial investment may seem substantial, please note that a
16th of a teaspoon of pigment will colour a large batch of
pulp. (See 300
Papermaking Recipes for more
information) As a result, your little jar of pigment will
last a very long time and will not deteriorate as long as
the lid is kept tightly closed and dried particles around
the top are wiped off.
2. How do you use them?
Before adding pigment to the batch of
prepared pulp, stir the small amount of pigment into a jar
of water until it has completely blended with the water. In
this diluted state, it may be beaten or stirred into your
pulp for about 5 minutes to ensure even exposure of fibres
to pigment. Allow the pulp to sit overnight in order to best
use all the pigment. The water around the pulp should be
clear of pigment since the particles have all been picked up
by the fibres. If there is still colour in the water, add 1
Tablespoon of retention agent, diluted in a cup of water.
Stir thoroughly and let it sit until the water becomes
clear. When done, add sizing and get ready to make beautiful
3. Are there alternatives which are
just as good?
No. Pigments designed for use in
papermaking are colorfast and light-fast because of the
chemical interaction between the pulp fibres and the
particles of pigment. They are also more cost-effective than
the readily available fabric dyes and it is much easier to
use in very small quantities and to reproduce
The following pigments and products
are available through Botanical PaperWorks:
people making handmade paper begin with a desire to use up the pile of junk
mail which quickly accumulates in most homes these days. Combined
with the pleasure of forming lovely sheets of handmade paper to use for
personal stationery, the transformation of garbage paper to a
new and usable form is the perfect hobby for both home and classroom.
The quality of the finished handmade paper will be determined by the
quality of the paper used to form the pulp. Avoid using newspaper,
if possible. The chemicals in newspaper and the ink form a foamy
sludge in the papermaking vat and the resulting handmade paper is a muddy
-looking sheet of poor quality. For strong, lasting handmade paper, combine a recycled base
with equal amounts of abaca
or cotton pulp. This can be purchased in semi-processed form
for use in a household blender.
Adding Color to Handmade Paper
When making handmade paper, adding color is part of the fun! If you're using recycled pulp, use colored paper such as tissue paper or construction paper
to add color to the handmade paper. Blend the pulp thoroughly for an even-colored handmade paper.
Or blend lightly to create a chunky effect in the handmade paper.
For a pure handmade paper pulp which will accept fabric dye or pigments created for handmade paper, use
100% cotton pulp available in dry pressed form from Botanical PaperWorks,
For best results when pigmenting cotton and abaca pulp, use handmade paper pigments which are specially suited
for hand papermaking. Retention
agent is helpful in preparing the handmade paper fibers to retain the maximum
amount of pigment. Use a small amount each time you pigment handmade paper pulp.
When the handmade paper pulp has absorbed the pigment, add liquid sizing
to seal the fibres. Beat this in well and your handmade paper pulp is ready
to make beautiful sheets of handmade paper. Experiment with
various handmade papers and keep a sample book with a list of ingredients
in case you want to make it again.
Equipment for Making Handmade Paper
Here is a basic list of equipment needed to make handmade paper:
· household blender
· washbasin or laundry tub
· handmade paper mould and deckle
· bucket of recycled paper or cotton pulp torn into 1inch pieces
· J-cloths or sheeting; newspaper or absorbent towels for a couching pad
Mould and deckle sets are available from
Botanical PaperWorks in several sizes. If you wish to make your
own, stretch fine screening over a wooden frame and staple. Seal
with waterproof glue and coat with water-resistant varnish. For
the deckle, you need a wooden frame the same size as the mould,
without the screening. This helps to define the edges of the
sheet of paper and it allows you to control the actual size of
the finished product. Sometimes this is not important but if
you are planning to have coressponding envelopes, you will want
to be sure that the paper will fit well into the size of envelope
you have selected. You can make matching handmade envelopes by
cutting the form from a sheet of overhead acetate and placing
it directly on the screen with the deckle frame on top to hold
it in place.
Starting to Make Handmade Paper
Before you begin to form a sheet of paper. prepare a "couching"
pad with layers of newspaper or towelling. As each sheet is formed,
cover it with two J-cloths or pieces of sheeting before couching
the next sheet. Repeat this until you have formed a stack of 20-30 sheets.
Forming a Sheet of Handmade Paper
Fill the washbasin to the 3/4 full level. Grip the mold and deckle
with the deckle on top. Reaching to the back of the vat. pull
the mold and deckle through the water, bottom end first, then
lifting to the surface in a continuous motion.
Pressing a Sheet of Handmade Paper
Press the stack of couched sheets and J-cloths between two boards
which have been coated with sealer to resist warping. Clamp tightly
using large C-clamps, increasing the pressure as the water runs
out. Press about 10 minutes more once the water is no longer
Drying a Sheet of Handmade Paper
the clamps on the press. Remove the boards. Lift each sheet of
paper on its J_cloth or sheeting and hang it on a line to dry.
For a smooth sheet, press the handmade paper while still slightly
damp or spray lightly with water and press between towelling.
Final Ideas for Handmade Paper
A few words of encouragement before you get started: Making handmade paper is fun for all ages, whether you are making handmade paper with a class of preschoolers or making handmade paper for your wedding. So enjoy the process, and relax - even mistake sheets of handmade paper can make wonderful, one-of-a-kind cards or handmade papers for scrapbooking.
All the equipment and supplies for making handmade paper are available from Botanical PaperWorks. Click on the menu at left for books on making handmade paper, papermaking moulds and deckles, and all the pulp and pigments for making handmade paper. Have fun!