Guest Author - Lili Pintea-Reed
If you have a clothes dryer, you certainly have the daily task of cleaning the lint filter. This keeps the air flow moving, and removes potential fire hazard. Most people just throw this "fluff" away. As the "Queen of Cheap," I'm not tossing this away. You can use it for pillow stuffing and mini quilt batting. You can make paper mache. Or you can make lovely hand made paper. We enjoy this as a fun craft project.
Commercial artists who make hand made papers use a form called a deckle to make their paper sheets. Its basically a picture frame with a fine mess screen stretched over it. Its dipped into a vat of fiber. Once an even layer is collected, its removed and the water is pressed out forming paper sheet. The sheet is then popped out to dry.
I've simplified this process to use common kitchen objects to make smaller paper sheets. This will give you a chance to learn and have fun, for little or no expense.
Plastic lid from a large butter tub (or something similar)
a piece of old sheet large enough to cover the butter tub lid
towels for blotting water
Dish Pan, large cake pan, etc.
Take the butter tub lid and poke small holes all over it from the inside. Don't make them too big. Make as many as you can without ripping the lid apart. Use common sense.
Place a on a water proof surface --or just do the whole project outside where you can get messy. Place one folded towel down on the pressing surface.
Put water in the dish pan. Add dryer lint until its like a moderately thick soup. Take the butter tub lid you are using for a deckle and swirl it in the soup mass of water and lint. Remove. Place it on the folded towel. Cover with the old sheet scrap. Cover with the second towel and press the water from the lint/paper. You can emboss patterns on it now by pressing shapes on it.
Pick up the covering towel and sheet scrap. Now you can see the nice round piece of paper laying there. Flip the lid over to tap what is now paper onto a surface to dry. An old window screen is best, but any flat dry surface will do. Let the paper dry --- and use for art projects!! This is sooooo much easier than having to rip paper scraps and soak them, etc..
Keep repeating the process until the lint is used up. Let the aper dry for several days. If you dry on a flat surface and not a screen turn once or twice so it doesn't mildew.
Enjoy your paper!!