Upcycled Craft: Make Holiday Paper

Making paper is a useful green craft that can be done with minimal materials and recycled paper.  It’s a simple step in the paper making process to add special items to produce custom made holiday paper.  Use these six simple steps at any time of year to make your own holiday paper! 

How to Use Homemade Holiday Paper

Depending on how you plan it, which holiday it is and how much of any one design you make of homemade holiday paper, you can use it for:

  • Gift tags and place cards
  • Ornaments
  • Wrapping paper
  • Seed paper
  • Scavenger hunt tags
  • Homemade writing gift sets
  • Holiday paper scrap for card making, etc.

There’s no limit to what you can do with homemade holiday paper!

Learn to Make Handmade Paper

If you are a:

  • newbie paper maker
  • teacher
  • parent
  • grandparent
  • homeschool co-op leader

then you’ll need to read this post on how to teach a group of people (probably kids) how to make paper. Click here for those instructions.  Even if you’re doing this paper craft on your own, these instructions will still be helpful to you – be sure to watch the video.

Don’t worry, it’s not too hard.  About five steps and you have homemade paper where there was no paper before!  You’re awesome.

To learn about all kinds of specialized holiday fun on the homestead, be sure to sign up to be among the first to learn about the release of our next book, Homestead Holidays!  Full of history, crafts, recipes and fun from around the world and the calendar year, Homestead Holidays is written for busy homestead families who want to grow closer together in this hectic world.  We only send you book information, pinky swear.  Plus, we’ll send you special deal, coupons and offers when the book is set to be released.  

Homestead Holidays Newsletter Sign Up l Homestead Lady.com

 

Making Homemade Paper into Holiday Paper

Customizing homemade paper is what makes it holiday paper.  It takes about five steps to make regular homemade paper.  To make homemade holiday paper takes about six.  See?  Simple!  Here’s a video overview of how to make your homemade holiday paper, but be sure to read the instructions below, too.

 

 

Here a few examples of how you can customize your homemade paper for the holiday:

  1. You can do this with color – red and green for Christmas, for example.
  2. Convey seasonal significance with botanicals like pressed flowers for Easter or fall leaves for Autumn.
  3. Try adding glitter for New Year’s or bright colors for Holi.
  4. Clip-art or paper scrap can also be inserted into a piece of handmade paper during the making process.
  5. You can also simply add bits of colored pulp onto your main sheet for variety (see the video above for some examples).

Customize Homemade Holiday Paper

If you simply want to make colored paper for whatever season you’re celebrating, then follow the instructions in the previously mentioned post.  Adding color to homemade paper is easy.  Conveying a holiday spirit through simple colors is a nice way to honor the holiday and make it festive without too much hassle.

If you’d like to jazz up your homemade holiday paper just a bit, you can add items during the paper making process that will make it a little more interesting.  The following are some tips on how to place items into your holiday paper to make it unique.

To Place Add-Ins For Holiday Paper:
  1. To add botanicals or clipart to paper you should make a regular sheet first, going through steps 1 and 2 in our previous tutorial.
  2. Before you complete steps 3 and 4,  gently place the items where you want them inside the frame and into the paper pulp.  Nest them gently into the soft paper pulp of the new paper.
  3. Then, remembering to go in at an angle, dip your paper once more into the vat.
  4. The objects will shift a bit but you can simply move them back where you want them.
  5. Once there’s a thin layer of pulp on top of the objects, lift it quickly out of the vat.  This extra dip basically glues the add-ins in place.  You don’t want too much pulp on top of your add-ins or they will be invisible.  However, not enough pulp means they might pop out of the finished, dry paper.  Don’t worry too much about getting it perfect – just keep practicing.  We’ve included some troubleshooting tips below for removing extra pulp that’s covering an add-in on a dried piece of paper below.
  6. Proceed with the remaining steps of the tutorial for drying the homemade holiday paper.
  7. It takes a lot of practice to get it just the way you picture in your head so tell them not to worry if it’s not perfect.

To Add Colored Pulp to Holiday Paper:
  1. If you want to make the base paper in one color, and then add some other colors in decorative swaths, make the base paper up to step 3.
  2. Then, use a dosage cup or ramekin to add little bits of colored pulp wherever you want them.  Again, this should be done while the base paper is still sitting in the frame.
  3. You do NOT need to submerge the base paper in any vat for this step – just add color with the cup.
  4. After you’ve added the color you want you can continue on with steps 4 and 5 to remove the extra water from the homemade holiday paper and dry it.
  5. Make sure to get the water out of the paper while keeping it protected with the nylon fabric or another piece of screen.
  6. With this method, you can make paper that looks like this (see the video for more inspiration):  Upcycled Craft Homemade Holiday Paper l Special tricks to customized handmade holiday paper l Homestead Lady.com
Trimming and Cleaning up Add-Ins

You still with me?  That might seem like a lot of steps, but really, we’ve just outlined as simply as we can a few decorative tips you can try.  Remember, you can make plain, colored holiday paper for any number of crafts and projects.  You do NOT need to add in any of this fancy stuff, if you don’t want to.

However, if you have included add-ins like clipart, you may decide that they’re not visible enough on your finished paper.  Pulp always looks darker when it’s wet and, as it dries, it can really change in appearance.  No worries – here are some things you can do to clean off extra pulp from your finished paper.

  1. Lay out your homemade holiday paper on a flat surface.
  2. If you see a spot that needs to be cleared of extra, dried pulp, dampen your finger and start rubbing the area lightly in a circular motion.  You do NOT want a wet hand for this or you risk damaging the paper beneath.  I usually just lick my finger and rub.  If that’s too gross for you, dampen your fingertip with a sponge.  Keep your motions gentle and circular.
  3. The pulp should start to pull away from the clipart piece slowly.  You might even be able to roll it back with your fingertip.  Cut off any excess with scissors; rip it off if that fit better with your homemade look.
  4. I’ve never had it happen that I can’t remove extra pulp with this method.  However, you could also use a thin, sharp blade and, starting at the edge of the clipart, lightly cut away at the extra pulp.  I’m too spazzy and wouldn’t trust myself with that method, but it could certainly work, if your hands are steady.
  5. The key is dampen and slowly rub.  You should be able to clean up any overly-papered parts with this method.  Upcycled Craft Homemade Holiday Paper l Troubleshooting the Add-ins l Homestead Lady.com

Did I miss anything?  Any other questions?  Just comment below and help you troubleshoot, if I can!

Finishing Up Your Homemade Holiday Paper

After you’ve customized your homemade holiday paper, remember to finish up with the instructions in the tutorial post on how to make paper.  Also, remember to watch the video up at the top of this post for some holiday paper inspiration.  Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you’re confused by a step.  Paper making is part science, part art – and some leftover parts of messy and fun.  It hardly ever goes the same way twice!!

Try these ideas from The Artisan Life to make your own Valentine’s Day cards, if it’s that time of year.  These are some great templates!

There are several photos in the video of various types of homemade holiday paper you can try.  I encourage you to be creative.  The truth is, I’m not very crafty, all things considered.  I bet you can come up with lots of stuff that looks cooler than mine!  Be sure to send me photos by replying to our newsletter and I may even feature you in it the next month!  Sign up for that below, if you’d like shoot me some pictures.

 


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