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Want to mail your friends something a little more personalized than the usual Hallmark card? Try papermaking, a fun, easy activity suited for all ages and skill levels. It generally requires placing a blended paper slurry in a mold and deckle—a frame that determines the size of the sheet—and then pressing to remove as much moisture as possible. Home papermaking kits make the process even simpler, providing the basic tools you’ll need to creatively transform scrap paper and plant materials into usable homemade sheets. Our picks below will help you find a great kit to kick off your own papermaking adventures.
1. Arnold Grummer Dip Handmolds for Paper Making
This kit by papermaking giant Arnold Grummer is our top pick for its marriage of quality and affordability. It comes with a deckle, papermaking and cover screens, and a support grid, plus some dried flowers to press into your designs. First time making paper? You’re in luck: This kit comes with instructions to walk you through the process. The molds are offered in two sizes: either half-letter (5.5 by 8.5 inches) or letter (8.5 by 11 inches).
2. Crayola Paper Maker
Aspiring artisans will be tempted to sink hours into this charming papermaking kit from an art-supplies juggernaut. The set includes plastic trays, a press plate, two screens, a foam sheet, a beaker, a small spatula, three bottles of ink, and a packet of pulp to make paper from scratch. The colors and the product design are a little, well, Crayola-esque, but the process is irresistibly tactile, especially in comparison with the other kids’ sets on our list.
3. 4M Paper Recycling Kit
Here’s a kit to teach kids the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle! Children ages six and up can learn the value of paper recycling by making handmade paper and papier-mâché sculptures using discarded paper from the home or classroom. It includes mesh trays and screens, plus 3-D molds, acrylic paints, and paper to get the kids started. Note that you will also need a blender or plastic drink bottle and a water tray.
4. Creativity for Kids Complete Paper Making Kit
Suitable for ages seven and up, this kit includes shredded paper, a plastic basin, papermaking tray and screen, and drying boards. In addition to the tools, you get a paper punch, scissors, stencils, tissue paper, ribbon, and markers for creating your own gift tags, cards, and even jewelry. There may be too much glitter and synthetics here for some adults’ liking, but the results are pretty darn adorable.
5. Arnold Grummer Papermill Paper Making Kit
For a higher-end and more comprehensive version of our first-place pick, try this envelope and stationery kit that’s definitely not kid stuff. It includes a large hand mold, envelope deckle, and papermaking screens and supports, as well as couch sheets, a sponge, and a bar for pressing and drying. It comes with a 1-ounce sample of specialty pulp; use it to get a feel for the process, then start experimenting with your own pulps and materials.