It’s fun to creatively reuse the papers that we no longer need in our home! You can listen to my original podcast episode on this topic from January 2021 in this YouTube video:
Making Paper at Home
Have you ever made paper? In this episode, we’ll talk about ways that artists creatively reuse all that stuff that comes in the mail. Learn how to make paper with simple supplies. Get inspired by artists who make both intricate and ginormous art from recycled paper.
The material I most like to reuse when making paper is envelopes or file folders because they are usually:
- thick strong paper
- with very little ink or glue on them
The tools that I gathered to make paper were:
- A blender to turn envelopes into pulp
- A medium-sized rectangular plastic container to hold the pulp,
- A frame such as a photo frame that you line with a screen or fabric
- A presser to squeeze the excess water out of the paper
- Thin cloths or other pieces of fabric
Listen to the podcast episode to get lots of tips on how to make homemade paper with these simple supplies. It is a great activity to do with kids and adults alike. Check out the work of RunLenaRun for paper making inspiration.
Artist who Works with Security Envelopes
Clothing Made from Paper
Some designers specialize in designing clothing from paper. They compete in wearable art competitions such as:
When I was first learning about trash fashion, I went to a trash fashion show in Alexandria, Virginia. I loved this dress that I saw in the show. I asked the students who made it to show me their technique. They folded pages from a calendar or magazine to make the folds:
Sculptors Who Roll Paper
Chie Hitotsuyama rolls wet newspaper to sculpt very lifelike animal sculptures.
Jayne Crimmins rolls paper into bead-like tubes and then arranges them into symmetrical designs.
You can make your own beads from magazine pages with tutorials like this one:
Sculptors who Stack Paper
David Mach stacks thousands of newspapers and embeds huge objects into the waves such as cars, trucks, boats and pianos.
Sculptors who Do Papier-mâché
This is a technique used by many artists and one of my favorites is Abigail Brown’s animals. You can make your own animals with this tutorial:
Heidi Mraz specializes in collages of classic and rare cars made from car magazines, manuals, schematics and historical documents.
Manuela Granziol-Fornera makes many paper sculptures including this huge one of a sad girl covered with beauty magazines.
Past Trashmagination Episodes on Other Types of Paper
- maps (episode 7)
- greeting and holiday cards (episode 66)
- books (episode 82)
- egg cartons (episode 83)
- tissue paper (episode 94)
- and my most popular episode of all time – cardboard tubes (episode 97) – including toilet paper tubes
- Script for this podcast episode about creative use of paper items such as envelopes, newspapers, magazines and junk mail
- Trashmagination Pinterest board about creative reuse of paper
- Trashmagination Pinterest board about creative reuse of magazines
- The Trashmagination podcast theme music is Kitchen from the Marian Circle Drum Brigade