Make Gradient Paper! A Creative Hand Papermaking Technique

handmade paper tutorial , instructions for art hand papermaking

Freedom to create something brand spanking new, from the ground up. It’s one of the greatest joys of making handmade paper! Presumably you’ve read the tutorial on hand papermaking from recycled scraps, and are now unreasonably addicted to swishing your hand in a bucket of pulp at every opportunity (don’t deny it).

If you haven’t sought out your local papermakers yet (check out the Hand Papermaking Map), it can be tough to expand your repertoire of simple creative techniques. Let’s fix that. Here’s how to make beautiful, sunset-y gradient paper.


hand papermaking with paper scrap and kitchen blender

Definitely read the basic papermaking tutorial first. It has all the details and specifics you’ll need to succeed! Not in life, but with a beginner papermaking setup.

You’ll need two different colors of paper scrap. Cut them up into 1” squares, soak, and pulp in a blender. Setup two different vats, filled 1/3 way up with water. Then, we used 3 blender-fuls of pulp for each vat.


Mould and deckle for making paper


Lay your papermaking mould face-down on the couching surface. In this case, the setup is 3 wool felts with a pellon on top, all dampened.

Use a pencil to mark each corner. This is one easy way to line-up the mould precisely each time.


pulp painting techniques

Disregard normal sheet pulling. Agitate the vat of pulp and water. With your mould and deckle, make a half-dip by scooping towards you. Once drained, remove the deckle, line the mould up with the registration marks, and couch normally.

Repeat with the second vat of colored pulp, the half-dip, and lining up the mould, couching on top of the first gradient layer. Just make sure you’ve rotated the mould so that the two gradients make up one whole sheet.


pressing handmade paper by hand

Press and dry as you would normally. In this case, we’ve hand pressed with a sponge and brayer, and transferred the wet sheet onto a window.

DIY making paper from recycled materials instructions

And just like that, scrap papers are transformed into something lovely.

Have you made gradient paper before? Do you have any variations to share with everybody? Feel free to comment below!


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