Paper Pulp Painting

Paper Pulp Painting

Submitted by: Denise Pannell, Fairview Elementary in Sherwood, OH
UNIT: Papermaking ( Science related - recycling - Nature as subject)
Lesson: Paper Pulp painting
Grade level: Upper Elementary on up


Note from Denise: When finished drawing and ripping the paper, I chose one student each period to do the blending and painting. One student was chosen to be their apprentice and helper. Meanwhile, the rest of the class worked on another project.



Construction Paper. (recycled is fine), White Drawing Paper., Crayons., Berry Baskets (from orchards or strawberry farms), mould and Deckle Screen Molds. (You can also make your own), blender, plastic bin. (Can be Rubbermaid or some other similar brand), cafeteria or fast food plastic tray., black Sharpie Fine Point Markers., scrap Mat board. for mounting. Styrofoam Trays. may be used for stencils if you wish.


Book: The Papermaker's Companion: The Ultimate Guide to Making And Using Handmade Paper. - This valuable reference covers everything, from the basics to more advanced techniques like shaped sheets, embossing, laminating, and watermarking. Included are extensive step-by-step instructions on processing pulp, building papermaking equipment, and making paper-based projects like cards, lamp shades, and sculpture.


DVD: Arnold Grummer's Dip Into Paper Making DVD Arnold Grummer shows how to make paper using a simple dip handmold, then demonstrates three easy decorative techniques — embossing, pulp painting, and paper layering. Project ideas and answers to commonly asked questions are also featured in this video that's ideal for use at school or at home. See the Papermaking Kit.


1 Encounter:

  1. Students lightly sketch their drawings on white paper and alter the drawings until they are satisfied. (In this lesson, frogs, insects, and birds were chosen). The creature must be large enough to fill the paper with a simple background of flowers or leaves.

  2. These sketches should be colored with crayon so students know what colors they will use in the final project. (Anything used must not be water soluble. In other words, if you use markers, they must be permanent).

  3. Students will match their crayon or marker colors with construction paper pieces. They will rip the colored paper into small pieces to fit the chosen area if needed. They will then put the torn pieces into separate berry baskets. Different shades of green are used for the leaves and plants. The more shades and tints of colors the better so get a variety of colored construction sheets.

  4. Students will then place their drawings on the counter near the sink and place the mould so that the wood is down and the screen is up. The deckle goes on top of the drawing so they can see their drawings through the screens.

  5. Students will put various colored construction papers into a blender with enough water to cover it and blend the paper into a wet pulp.

  6. This colored pulp is poured through an additional screen placed on top of a plastic bin. The screen will catch the pulp and the water filters through to the bin. Some pulp comes through so don't filter the pulp directly in the sink. Paper pulp clogs sink drains very easily.

  7. The filtered colored pulp is spread on top of the mould and deckle that is on top of the drawing, filling in the matching color area. The pulp should be the consistency of mashed potatoes in order for it to work. If not, it will either be too dry or will not bind to the other fibers.

  8. Repeat with each color until the painting is filled in.

  9. Remove the deckle.

  10. Place a plastic food service tray on top of the pulp painting and flip the mould over. Tap or drop the tray with the mold to separate them. The painting should release and fall unto the tray.

  11. Using a Sponges., press the top of the fibers and remove excess water. Don't overdo it or you will flatten it.

  12. Allow to dry at least over night.

  13. When dry you can outline the colors with a Sharpie marker or leave as is.

  14. Mount the pulp paper to scrap mat board to display.

  15. Variation: Use Scribbles Fabric Paint. to add details.



Add to or Comment on this Page:

More To Explore