How to Make Your Own Paper in 7 Simple Steps

Home made Paper

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Project Overview
  • Working Time: 30 mins - 1 hr, 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr, 30 mins - 1 day
  • Yield: 1
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $20

Creating your own paper is a great way to give junk mail, magazines, and other paper products that you might have discarded a new life. Whether you're a stationary fan who just can't get enough notebooks and notepads or just someone who wants to be more environmentally conscious about their paper waste—this DIY project is perfect for you. The possibilities are endless for how much paper you can make, the color of your paper, the width of your paper, and even the style of your paper if you wish to add glitter.

This paper project consists of supplies you already have in your home: used/junk paper (such as mail), something to cut your paper with, cloth, a flat surface for drying, and a sponge! How easy does that sound? It's time to gather your supplies and get started on these simple steps for making your own paper at home.


One Thing Ep 96: Make Your Own Paper With This Simple (and Sustainable!) Project

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Scissors or a shredder
  • Mixer
  • Cloth
  • Baking Sheet
  • Hair Dryer (optional)
  • Mixing Bowl


  • Paper
  • Sponge
  • Food Coloring (Optional)
  • Glitter (Optional)
  • Essential Oil (Optional)


  1. Cut Your Paper Into Small Pieces

    Gather the paper you would like to use—using either a shredder or scissors, and cut your paper into small, manageable pieces. The smaller the piece, the better for later on in this process.

  2. Soak Paper Overnight

    You want your paper to be as saturated as possible for the best results. Using either a mixing bowl or vessel of your choice, place as many paper pieces as possible into the bowl and completely cover them with water. Press down on the water paper pieces to make sure they absorb as much water as possible before leaving them to sit overnight.


    Make sure to use either junk mail, magazines, or other printed paper for this project. Toilet Paper and other softer paper materials may not work well past this step.

  3. Transfer Wet Paper Into a Mixer

    After letting your paper sit overnight, it's time to mix! Add your soaked paper pieces to a mixer with a bit of water from your mixing bowl. You don't need to add too much water, just enough to give your finished product a paste-like consistency. The more water you add, the longer your paper will take to dry, so keep that in mind at this stage.

  4. Add Color, Glitter, or Essential Oils (Optional)

    Here's a fully customizable part of this DIY project. Whether you intend on using these pages to take notes or make your own notebook, there are a few ways that you can spruce up your pages to make them even more interesting. Add food coloring, paint, glitter, or essential oils to give your homemade paper a little extra style.

  5. Strain Water and Place Pulp on a Baking Sheet

    Once your paper mixture is the right consistency, strain out the water. Line a baking sheet with a cotton cloth and pour the mixture directly onto the cloth, then place another sheet on top of your pulp mixture. Using a sponge, drain out as much excess water as possible to make the drying time faster. Remember: the thinner the pulp layer, the quicker your paper will dry.

    Feel free to add additional drops of essential oil at this step if you want your paper to have a stronger scent.


    If you want your paper to have a more uniform shape, consider using a straight edge or other tools to give your paper the shape you want.

  6. Let the Paper Dry

    Carefully peel the top layer of cotton cloth away from your paper pulp and let it dry. You can either leave it alone for a few hours to air dry or you can use a hair dryer to speed up the process.


    If you want your paper to dry faster without using a blow dryer, consider buying or making your own DIY paper press. Not only will using a paper press force the water out of your paper faster, but it will also ensure that your paper's surface will be as smooth as possible

  7. Use Your Paper

    Once your paper is finished drying, it's time to put it to use! Keep your paper for simple note-taking, to-do lists, grocery list-making, or bind pages together to make a DIY notebook perfect for daily use or even gift-giving.