How to make handmade paper from dryer lint

What do you do with the lint that is collected in your dryer?

Do you just throw it out with the trash? Did you know that with a little bit of collecting and time you could turn that useless lint into homemade paper? It is an easy project for people of all ages that use items you can probably find around your home.

Homemade paper can be created from any scrap paper you have newspapers, junk mail, grocery lists, coffee filters, tissue and yes, even dryer lint. To prepare for this project first build a type of mold using scrap wood and screens. Nail lengths of wood together into a square shape the same size you would like your paper to be when completed. Next, attach a rigid screen to one side and nail it securely in place (a staple gun can be used instead).

With your screen prepared you can begin to gather dryer lint and scraps of paper. Remember that the colors of lint and paper you chose will influence the final color of your paper. It will take approximately one-fourth to one-third of a cup of paper scraps to make one sheet of homemade paper. Tear these scraps into pieces about an inch in diameter, smaller if the paper is an extremely bright color.

If you collect a wide variety of paper colors, sort out the main color. This will be the base color. Combine a small pile of base scraps with water in a blender and blend on high for just a few seconds. It is easier to blend in short bursts instead of one solid blend because the desired pulp can easily turn into a watery concoction in the blink of an eye. When the base color is successfully blended, start adding in the rest of your scraps and your dryer lint. Blend with a short burst after each time scraps are added. When all of the scraps have been blended you can add any other items you want to be seen in your paper (such as colored threads, small flowers, or glitter).

Prepare a very large pan or tub by filling it with water. You are going to need water deep enough to submerge your wooden frame/screen. Pour the pulp mixture from the blender into the water and mix thoroughly with a few drops of glue to help hold the lint together. Slowly lower the wooden frame into the water at an angle with the screen side pointed downward. When the screen is completely immersed, move it around as necessary to completely cover the screen in the pulp. Remove the frame carefully from the water and let the excess drip off. Now is the time to fix any mistakes if the pulp does not fully cover the screen from edge to edge or if the pulp is thinner or thicker than you would like, try again.

When you have a sheep of pulp that you like, prepare to press out the additional water. Turn the screen over onto a pile of paper towels. Slowly remove the screen and cover the pulp with more paper towels. Gently roll over the area with a rolling pin or press down over the entire piece of paper. This will cause more water to depart the pulp. When you have squeezed out as much water as possible, remove the top layer of towels. Very carefully remove the pulp from the surface and hang it on a line with two clothespins. In three to five hours you will have a usable piece of paper.

This homemade lint paper is perfect for cards, gift-wrap, or any special keepsake document.

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