Tutorial: Papercast Tags
These are the resources you will need in order to make papercast tags:
  • a shortbread mould or a paper casting mould
  • old nylon hose, or a strainer
  • a sponge
  • scissors

So, you've made a bunch of paper, and now you've got a Rubbermaid bin of leftover paper pulp floating in water. What do you do with it? Well, you can water a tree or a garden with it; the pulp will sit on the surface of the soil for a bit, but it will dissolve eventually. Or you can filter off the pulp by pouring it through an old nylon, or through a strainer, and let the water go down the sink or the toilet. Please don't dump the pulp directly into your plumbing system; you will definitely clog your pipes over time. Paper pulp is sticky, and it does cling to surfaces.

I like to filter off the pulp by pouring the contents of the Rubbermaid bin through a strainer held over the sink. This will make quite a few paper castings.
Here's one of the moulds that I use. This one is made by the Brown Bag company. There must be collectors out there; I can never find cheap ones on eBay. But keep an eye out at yard sales; I've found two that way. Another company that makes paper casting moulds is Arnold Grummer.
With your fingers, pinch a bit of the wet pulp from the strainer and put it on the mould until the mould is covered. You don't need to spray the mould with release spray first, although it certainly helps if you do. The pulp in this photo is actually too thick; I took these photos a long time ago, and I've been experimenting with putting less on the moulds now, with much better results.
Stand over a sink. Hold the mould in one hand, and with a sponge, gently press the pulp into the mould and get the water out of there. Wring out your sponge as necessary. This photo shows the mould after all the sponging is done.
Leave the mould to sit for a day or two until it looks like it's dry. You might need to take an exacto knife or a razor blade to free a corner of the casting, and then you can pop it off the mould. The flower pieces in the original pulp disguise the designs in the castings, unfortunately.
So I leave you with a photo that shows some better paper castings. The plainer the pulp, the better the castings.

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Contact: Donna Albino