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How to Make Paper

Lesson 4 of 5

Invitations and Luminaries

Robert Mahar

How to Make Paper

Robert Mahar

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Lesson Info

4. Invitations and Luminaries

Lesson Info

Invitations and Luminaries

What I want to cover in this segment are different ways that you can utilize that handmade paper that we just made in the last segment and incorporate it into party invitation sweets and party decor now one of the first things I want to show you is how to line an envelope and I should mention that while our decorative handmade paper is lovely and beautiful and texture and I mentioned this a little bit earlier in the last segment it is not really printer friendly so in order to incorporate it into a printing sweet we want to combine it with machine ready made paper and so thankfully we live in a time and age when all of these paper come in such beautiful rainbow of colors and you can really customize them to any sort of event and what we're going to be doing with the handmade paper is aligning the interior of an envelope it's a nice little way tio present an invitation when you open it up it's a beautiful little detail on the inside on dh it's a nice way to incorporate it however in ord...

er to do this we do need to sacrifice one envelope and we're going to dissect this each of you have to at your tables and we're just going to gently kind of pull along those glue lines and you're welcome to go ahead and do this with me just to kind of open it up and the reason we're doing this is we're going to dissect this envelope a bit just to make a template in order to trace onto our handmade paper. Now when you've got it a butterfly it open, you can see it's got flaps on four sides. What we want to do is remove the two side flaps and the bottom flap, and everyone at their work stations has a ruler straight edge and a handy dandy craft knife. J k o, we were talking earlier about some of the essentials in the craft tool kits a craft knife is indispensible, I use it uh just about every crafting project I do, it needs to be said that it is sharp, and you need to be really mindful to pay attention when you're working with the blade. There are some projects that you can do while you are watching television or watching a movie and really kind of pay half attention to them whenever you having a blade in your hand always be looking down at your work surface, you don't want to end up making an unexpected trip to the emergency room. So just word to the wise, what we're going to be doing now is essentially taking our straight edge, and we're going to go ahead and just cut off those side flaps, um these are the perfect kinds of discarded paper to put into your little papermaking pile. They'd add some beautiful color to a pulp batch for your next round of handmade paper and then go ahead and cut off that bottom flap as well. Um now the only really semi tricky part about this is going to be cutting our upper rounded triangular portion. What you want to do is you want to cut a line that is right under the gum line. We want the gum line of the envelope to remain visible and uncovered so that you conceal your envelope when you're finished, so you can simply do this by lining up your ruler along one edge of the gum line running your craft knife along it. You're gonna end up with a point initially, but we will round that off, do that on both sides and then just really gently run your craft knife along the tip to kind of create that rounded up proportion. Now we're going to be using some larger sheets of handmade paper today and I'm actually going to cut these up and give them to lovely students in the room to use pass these out to you ladies real quick these were done obviously on a larger screen, you can still see that lovely deck aled edge these air muchmore obviously a solid color they don't have a lot of the textural variations that we got from some of the additives that we had used previously, but they don't want beautifully for lining this envelope. So what you're going to do simply is place your new template on top of your handmade paper. Take your pencil and just run a light outline along the sides, and you can see your trace template is going to leave a marking on your handmade paper that looks like a simplified house structure. We're then going to go back and revisit our straight edge in our craft knife and go ahead and cut that out. Now. One thing you can do it, it's a good thing to keep in mind if you are planning on doing a stack of invitations, you're planning a large party you're planning on wedding you. Obviously you're going to want a template that's a little bit sturdier, thin this paper so you can simply trace this onto a lightweight cardboard. Um, and I oftentimes find that the cardboard that is used for, say, cereal boxes is a perfect thing to recycle it's a perfect weight, and you'll trace your template on that. Cut it out and you'll find as you're tracing it, repetitive lee on two your handmade paper, it is going to hold up a lot better, then that simple, lightweight paper so again, using your straight edge in your craft knife for all of your straight lines and then you just need to go back and you can do the rounded corner either with your craft knife or if you feel more comfortable you certainly can pick up a pair of scissors that you have at your table and use that to trace around now initially, there may be some adjustments to make when you're fitting it into your envelope once you have it cut out, you're just going to kind of try and tuck it down inside now this feels on mind like it's a little bit of a snug fit which tells me that I probably should have trimmed the sides of my temple it a little bit more, but for the purpose of the sample I'm just going to go back to, um the straight edge in the craft knife and I'm just going to take off just a hair on either side so let it slip down into the envelope a little bit easier let's, try that one more time and one thing you may want to be mindful of as well decide that you have traced the temple onto you made leafs behind some pencil markings just flip your paper over for when you stick it back into your envelopes that you don't see any of that and you can see it has tucked right down inside of there nicely and it's a beautiful contrast to that beat purple color when you want to install it. Like I said, you're just going to talk it down and make sure it fits nicely underneath the gum line of your envelope, and then we're going to take it and we're going to close that flap and just run your finger right along the top crease of your envelope. This is going to reinforce not only the envelope crease, but it's going to crease the handmade paper on the inside. Open your flat back up and you're going to leave your handmade paper portion laying down now to it hear it so that it doesn't fall out of your envelope, we're going to be using some double sided adhesive. There are multiple kinds of double sided adhesive. There is the standard cellophane tape that comes in a role like this. There is also a smaller this cut dispenses and about an eighth of an inch. It comes in a little dispenser like this and it's, much more like a a double sided adhesive film. It doesn't have the same thickness, and while the tape might not seem thick when you're doing some delicate paper projects, sometimes you can see that lumpiness between the two sheets of paper, so this is kind of a way tio work around that. Now, on these type of dispensers, you're going to find you put your finger on the edge, and one side is sticky, and one side is not. You obviously want to use your sticky side down, and I am just going to run it right along the edges of the handmade paper. There are correction tape dispensers that are very similar, so you may be familiar with them. I love this stuff, though. It just does a really nice, neat job. Once you have done a triangle along of the adhesive along the handmade paper, you can simply closure, flap and burnish the back of it lightly, and that is going to it. Hear it all in place, and you'll notice that I really I just put the adhesive underneath the top flap. There was no need to put adhesive behind the portion that is down inside of the envelope. It's not going anywhere once it's tact along the top and, uh, you have a couple of just loose leaf cards and they're just kind of coordinate with that package. The nice thing about doing this is when you get pre cut cards stuck like this, this is much easier to deal with in a home printer situation. If you have a home printer that is not friendly to these little pieces, you may want to just gang up multiple portions of text on an eight and a half by eleven sheet printed out that way and then cut it down in order to fit into your envelope. Let's talk that in there is part of our little invitation suite now another thing that you can dio and these this's so simple and really a no brainer. But these pieces of handmade paper these air akin to the size that we made in the last segment they are the perfect scale that's simply fold in half and uses a place card for a party, so we're simply just going to fold them and a half run our finger along the crease there and you'll see that they stand up beautifully tenth style the handmade paper will take beautifully to markers and pencils and writing implements of that sort with calligraphy. I know a lot of weddings now use collective well have for years used calligraphy is part of the invitation sweet you may wanna have your calligrapher if you do calligrapher yourself do a little bit of an experiment on a couple of these sheets just to make sure that the ink doesn't bleed. A lot of times when you're working with a fountain pen or pen of that nature, it may bleed into the fiber is a little bit so it's something you just want to be aware of. And then finally, what I want to talk about is a way to incorporate some of the handmade paper into your table scape we've started with our little place cards. Another thing you may want to consider is using them if you're creating a menu or an event, sort of like a what's the word I'm looking for it's you have passed mounted a wedding it's the order of events it's on the tip of my tongue the program. Thank you, my smart student that's. Why you guys were here? Um now, if you were to take the next size picture frame up from what we used to create these sheets, you actually would end up with a piece of paper that would perfectly back. Sort of. How bigger these little loosely sheets I got here there about four by six, and you could mount them to create sort of a beautiful little edge on those. We do not have those in the studio at the moment, which is no worries, but you can if you do have the larger sheets, and this is something I'll just do here in front of you is, you'll take it, and you can simply measure out an equal, distant amount of space around it. The benefits he using thie handmade paper in the next size screen up is you would get that lovely deck allege all the way around. But it's, we're doing a little improvising. So again, this is text way paper it's been cut down from an eight and a half by eleven sheet of standard paper. Fairly simple, in a standard word processing program to type in all of your information. Gang it up into two columns, you've got four per sheet and simply cut it down. And then you can mount to the exact same way that we apply the adhesive with the envelope so let's, see here, it's, kind of a quick around all four sides, deviled edges. It is, if you where you wanted to tear it, you kind of just tear against your straight edge, that in that way, you get a faux decadent. It is an excellent point, rachel yes, thank you, and there are also, you know, in recent years with so many crafting products on the market there are even scissors now that air called deck, alleging they don't quite create the same. And I think your method of actually tearing the paper is going to give you a little bit more of that rough, unfinished edge, let's see if we can mimic some of that here. Yeah, actually that's quite night. So I think that's an excellent tip, especially when you flip it over, you don't see any of that marking from the ruler so well done. Um, once you have all of these elements together, there are other ways that you can then incorporate the handmade paper into the larger scheme of things in your room, and we're actually going to jump now into something that is incredibly simple but also just is effectual we're going to be using some of our handmade paper to create some paper luminaries. Um, for these were just using a standard primarily straight sided, clear glass, and in a case like this, you can simply take your paper wrap, two sheets what's really going to depend on the size of your glass around the edges, and we're going to add a little piece of the the incredibly nice thing about these is once a candle is lit on the interior, it almost makes that paper glow so all of those additives that we spent so much time with in the first segment are really going to stand out which I think is a lovely touch so all of you have glasses your table in a couple of sheets of that handmade paper there are a couple of ways that you could go about it hearing these and it's just going to depend on the size of the glass and the size of your handmade paper if there was enough overlap between the two sheets you certainly could use some adhesive like a strong double sided tape you can also use attack igloo tacky glue is another component of my craft arsenal that I use on a regular basis it's a standard white glue but with a little bit stronger adhesive savitt it sticks and tacky is is completely appropriate because it grabs the paper quickly and it does not have a long dry time so what we're going to do is we're kind of kind of eye the area where it overlaps and then you want to have a couple of rubber bands on hand as well and I'll show you why so again I'm gonna wrap these two sheets around kind of guest to meet the area that they're overlapping the ladies in the audience you should feel free to go ahead and do this along with me if you'd like I am going head and I'm just overlapping that area with the glue on one side flipping it around seeing it's where it's overlap there and applying a little bit more glue sing that down into place now while it does dry click quickly it's not going to dry immediately and this is where those rubber bands can come in handy so go ahead and just kind of like wrap it around to hold it in place during the dry time and we'll go ahead and we'll give that just a second to dry I think he's honestly our lovely with just the paper but there's obviously different ways that you can ornament thes to coordinate them with whatever your event color scheme maybe, um I found some of this lovely jude rope which I'm kind of crazy about it is double stranded so it's not only a natural juice rope it's tied in with a jury that has been died a really lovely mint color so with this you could simply wrap it around the glass a couple of times and tie a knot or you might want to up to tie a bow again that's just going to you're going to kind of feel that out okay once that is tied around there that's pretty much going to hold it in place and we can go ahead and remove our rubber bands whoa now these are the type of event decoration that you are going to want to probably produce in mass because they're going to look great in larger quantities if you've got a series of these down the center of your table scape and light them it's going to add a really nice ambience to the room and we all look good in candlelight so you know, heavy on these now since we are in the studio today, we're not actually using real candles were going to be using lovely battery operated candles and these also come in handy when you were doing outdoor events unless you've got a really tall hurricane style lights wind is likely going toe wit down into your glass and below these out so they come in handy in the outdoors. No, I don't know in the studio light if we can see any of that but the's particular t light candles have a lovely little flicker to them tio mimic an actual candle, which I kind of love these can be created in a variety of sizes you don't feel you need to feel like you have to go out and buy a specific size you can use larger sheets like we've done before to wrap around larger hurricane candle glasses on dh you may even want to consider doing some of the larger ones in the center and kind of have graduated sizes as you're working down the table escape um but again just like a really simple, lovely way to use some of the handmade paper that we have been working on have any of you had to put on large events where you're in charge of all of the decor and the invitations, and so on and so forth? Yeah, it's so it's. A little overwhelming can be. And with projects like these, they're so nice. Toe. Have them involved and really kind of see your hand in the decor. But keep in mind, it's, also something you probably need to work a little bit in advance on, especially if you're doing some of the handmade paper. And, you know, so a couple months in advance, you spend an afternoon putting these together, set it aside to dry and then it's at the ready. When you're ready to start assembling some of your handiwork.

Class Description

Paper making gives you the freedom to personalize everything from note cards to wrapping paper. In How to Make Paper, Robert Mahar will teach basic papermaking techniques you can use for a whole range of creative projects.

Robert is an arts and crafts professional and seasoned do-it-yourself project instructor. In this class you’ll learn every step in the process of making beautiful handcrafted paper. You’ll learn how to:

  • Make a paper-making frame from items in your house.
  • Blend a mix of paper pulp from new and recycled scrap paper
  • Experiment with different additives and colorants
  • Turn your handmade paper into invitations and garlands

Whether you’re looking to create handmade gifts to share with friends or simply want to dress up your next party, you’ll leave this class equipped to create lots of new paper projects.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Robert Mahar - Paper Garland Directions.pdf

Robert Mahar - Paper Making Supply List.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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I really enjoyed this class. I always wanted to learn how to make paper by hand and watching this class on Creative Live just got me so excited about paper making. My mind is brimming with ideas that I want to go out and try. Robert is a lovely instructor and I loved learning from him. I also like his pace and that he didn't rush through it all, he gave me time to think and absorb. It was a very calming and really pleasant experience. I can't wait to see what other classes he's going to be teaching.

Holly Morris

Loved this class and the instructor. Robert makes is so easy to understand and offers a lot of useful information, tips, suggestions along the way. Can't wait to give it a try. Loved the ideas for using handmade paper, but not crazy about the lettering in the last segment. Doesn't really show off the handmade paper that well.


Nice class. I got some inspiration on how to try out some new things with my paper making tools. Very nice tutor.