How to Make Paper Out of Leaves

Leaves and petals add visual interest to the paper background.
Leaves and petals add visual interest to the paper background. (Image: woyzzeck/iStock/Getty Images)

Botanical paper with flecks of leaves pressed into the pulp is useful for scrap booking or card making. Recycle some old mailers and make your own one-of-a-kind paper with leaves at home.

Things You'll Need

  • Rectangular mesh
  • Paper
  • Leaves
  • Scissors
  • Blender
  • Shallow, wide tub
  • Towels
  • Cookie sheet
  • Rolling pin
  • Liquid starch
  • Hot iron
  • Sponges

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Tear the paper into small pieces. You can use any paper, but this project gives a great way to recycle old mailers and documents. Fill the blender halfway with the torn paper.

Pour enough warm water into the blender to cover the paper. Blend until the paper is turned into a slurry pulp. Make about three blenders full of pulp.

Fill the shallow tub with enough water to completely cover the screen mesh.

Pour the three blenders worth of pulp into the tub. Mix the pulp into the water.

Add leaves -- as many or as few as you like. You can use any type of leaf matter, including grass, autumn leaves and flower petals. Crunch or cut up the larger leaves so that small amounts of leaf matter are visible through out your finished paper.

Add 2 teaspoons of liquid starch to the pulpy water. The liquid starch will prevent ink from running on the paper.

Lower the screen mesh into the tub until completely immersed. Move it slowly left to right and up to down. This allows pulp to fall into the screen.

Lift the screen mesh straight out of the water. Hold it level so that water drains through the screen without any pulp falling out. Let the water drain into the tub for about a minute. Place the mesh on a towel.

Spread a smaller towel over the pulp in the screen. Lightly press it so that all of the pulp is covered.

Turn the screen mesh over, while supporting the pulp and towel. Gently ease the pulp out of the mesh screen onto the towel. Spread the towel with pulp on it out flat.

Sponge as much moisture from the pulp as possible. Place another towel over top of the pulp.

Place a cookie sheet over top of the towel covering the wet paper pulp. Press down on it evenly to extract the rest of the water. You can roll over the towel with a rolling pin instead.

Allow the paper to dry in a sunny location for a few hours.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a fine-weave cloth instead of a towel for less texture on your paper.
  • Hot iron the wet paper with the fine weave cloth on it for an even smoother result.


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