Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Paper is Handcrafted Too?!

Many people are often surprised to find out that the paper band around my soap is also handmade. When I started selling my soap (rather than just giving it away to family and friends), I wanted to find a way to package it that was unique and professional, and a bit kinder to the environment as well. I had made paper pulp before and had used a mold, deckle, and paper press to shape and dry it. So it was a natural extension to use these handmade sheets of paper as soap bands.

These photos are from the backend of the process. The sheets have been drying in the press for about a week, layered in between sheets of absorbant (and reusable) paper towels and dish cloths. After the finished sheets are released from the paper press, they are torn into narrow strips to wrap around the soap bars as bands.

All of the paper used to make the pulp comes from clean, ink-free scraps that I save from around the house. It might be scraps of computer paper, colored paper, or tissue paper. This paper gets a second life rather than just immediately being thrown away. Collecting different papers really doesn't take up that much space, and what a great way to recycle!

I try to make colorful papers that match the scent and/or color of the soap. The first photo is my Orange Lavender essential oil soap with matching, Orange Lavender paper. Once the soap is cured, you'll find it nicely wrapped on my handcrafted soap Etsy shop, Soap Sense.

What do you do to make your craft even more handcrafted?


Sweetwater Designs said...

That's fabulous..I love handmade paper. Have you tried using dryer lint?..I've read about that somewhere, it would probably be quite dark though!

Dana said...

No, but that does sound interesting! I suppose it is "clean" by that point in the laundering process...and I suppose it might give the paper a more felted texture.

Nancy said...

Very cool, love the handmade paper around the soap!