“Painting” with Paper Pulp


Just when I think I have seen everything in the crafting/design world along comes another inspiration to worm its way into my artist’s mind.  Such is the revelation that I can “paint” with paper pulp!!  Are you kidding me?  So much fun and so easy peasy to do!  Thanks Sandee for opening my eyes!  Off I go to my paper studio/laundry room to get to work.


shredded paper (thanks to the mailbox full of junk mail)

Arnold Grummer’s Papermill Pro (www.arnoldgrummer.com )

LuminArte Twinkling H2O’s Snap Dragon, Wine&Roses, Periwinkle, & Playful Peony (www.colourarte.com/twinkling-h2os )

blender (dedicated to paper making)

plastic tub


empty jars or squeezy bottles


1) To create each batch of pulp place 1 handful of shredded paper to your blender.  To the paper I added a bit of LuminArte powder (I don’t tend to measure, but I would guess about 1/4tsp).   IMG_1392

2) Add enough water to cover the paper pile.IMG_1393

3) Blend.

NOTE: I use 2 settings on my blender to create the pulp, puree and chop.  I allow it to process for about a minute before checking.  If any full pieces of shredded paper remain then it can be blended a bit longer. IMG_1394

4) Place the support grid in the plastic tub.  Cover it with the Papermaking screen.

NOTE:  I work in my laundry room and have a utility sink.  I place the tub with support grid & screen into the sink before proceeding to next step.  This allows for splatter to be contained within the sink.  Just a thought 🙂

IMG_1389 Carefully pour the pulp onto the screen.  The water will flow through the screen and into the plastic tub leaving behind mushy, gushy pulp!

5) Lift the screen carefully and pour pulp into waiting jar or squeezy bottle.  Wipe off any drips (the LuminArte powder can stain surfaces) and cap tightly.   IMG_1395

6) Repeat process with other colors.  IMG_1396  As you can see the intensity of color varies.  I like to start with small amounts of LuminArte powder (see step #1 above).  For deeper colors, a bit more was added AFTER the initial blend (except for the 3rd jar which I accidentally “dumped” too much in to begin with!)

Okay, so now I have jars of pulp.  What can be done with them?  Watch and be amazed!  I tend to freeform my designs.  However if you like planning ahead a design can be sketched out ahead of time.  My thought when creating these pulp colors was “Perfectly Purple Passion”. I can see a heart at the center of my design with radiating bands of purple surrounding.  Time to make the idea a reality…

1) Once again place the plastic tub, grid, and screen together.  This time the process won’t be as messy, so I am working on top of my washing machine instead of bending over the deep sink (any splatters can easily be wiped away). IMG_1397

2) If you have your pulp in jars (as I do) then use a spoon to remove some pulp and place it on the screen.  Taking little bits at a time, form a heart.  Tap the pulp gently together as the shape is created.


3) Once you are happy with the look of the heart, begin adding other colors one at a time.

IMG_1399  IMG_1401  IMG_1402

4) The grid (clearly visible through the screen) can be used to visualize the edges of your piece.  Work the design out as far as you wish!    IMG_1404

5) Looking at the design it needed a little something….hmmmm, perhaps a heart within the heart.  I pulled out a little more of the darkest color (wine & roses) a created a tiny offset heart.  Perfect 🙂 IMG_1406

Do you see the water puddle in the bottom of the tray?  That is why you want to be sure to work in the tray!  Otherwise you may end up running for the paper towels!!

Time to press out the moisture (yay!) and complete the painting.

1)  Cover the pulp with a couch sheet.  Using the press bar, press down one section at a time.

NOTE: As I began pressing the moisture out it became quickly apparent that the couch sheet was permanently stained (YIKES!)    IMG_1408 IMG_1409

Too gorgeous to throw out (it will get a new life in a future mixed media creation)

2) Turning it over I removed the paper screen    IMG_1410  A quick rinse removed any color that transferred to the screen.  Another couch sheet was applied before continuing to press out moisture.  2 permanently dyed couch sheets later I decided to iron the sheet, covering it with sheets of computer paper instead of the couch sheets.  As one page would become saturated I would replace it with another.  Now I have some gorgeous dyed papers to use in other projects 😀  IMG_14133) Here is the resulting sheet of “painted” paper.  I plan to use it for a mixed media canvas piece.  Fingers crossed that it will turn out as nicely as its beginning.  IMG_1415

Thank you for visiting.  See you next time!

arnoldgrummer paper making arnold grummers 01-2015_Coupon-Code  colourartelogo


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