Creating Paper for Spells and Other Special Reasons

Sample piece of homemade paper with peppermint and full of intention. You won’t find anything like it on Amazon.

After work on a Book of Shadows, what could be more natural than making your own paper? I have seen paper for sale on Amazon and Etsy for spells and other special purposes. This is your opportunity to create your own paper, put your intentions into it and create the look of it. The paper is what you put into it both physically and intentionally. This is a great activity to do with your children. I taught this activity to fifth graders, and they loved it. The work is a bit messy but fun!

This is actually recycling paper, and the first thing you will need is torn up pieces of paper. Paper with a lot of ink or color already in it will affect the color of the paper you make. Being mindful of that you can use paper from lots of sources: scratch paper, used printer paper, envelopes, magazines, construction paper (which will give you color) wrapping tissue, etc. I don’t suggest newspaper because the ink will give the paper a muddy color. I suggest at least 10 cups of torn up paper for a project. Other things you’ll need:
School Glue, 1 Tbsp. Per 2 cups of torn paper
Coloring like paint, food coloring, tea or coffee, a few drops or dribbles
Newspaper or felt
Water, 2-3 times the amount as torn paper
Other things you may want:
Dryer lint which will make the paper stronger (I suggest it.)
Confetti or shredded paper (colorful – Have fun with you paper shredder.)
Herbs, finely diced
Flower petals, finely diced
Essential oil, a couple of drops
Cookie sheet
Waxed paper
Why not glitter? Glitter is plastic so it really does not biodegrade. Even worse, it is classified as a micro plastic and is small enough to get into the food chain. We are already eating micro plastics that got into the food chain. In this process, some glitter added to the paper making mix would go down the drain along with the water when you are done.

The frame could be one of two types. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types.
1. Two matching rectangular or square frames made of 1×3 lumber are one type. The interior size of the frame will be the size of your paper. Make sure it will fit flat in your sink. Cover one side of one frame with window screen and use a staple gun to attach.
2. A wire hanger is another kind of frame you can use. Bend it into what shape you want. It could be square, diamond or oval shaped. That will be the size and shape of your paper. Cover the hanger with pantyhose. One thigh high works best.

This is a large frame made out of a hanger. This is a small shoe, but it should help you figure out size. Notice I tied the stocking on both ends.

Think about the magical intentions you have for the paper. That will suggest the color, herbs and flowers to use. For example, a money spell would be benefitted by a green color and mint. For a self love spell the color pink with rose petals would be great. If you want an antique colored paper, try a little tea or coffee as coloring.

Timing and numerology in making paper are also important to your intent. Do you want to use it for a spell to attract something? Make it on a waxing or even a full moon. Will you be doing a spell of protection or deflecting something from you? Make it on a full or waning moon. You can look at days of the week and numerology for dates. Use numerology to help you figure out how many cups of torn paper you will use. You may use 10 cups or you may use more. Figure out how many leaves or petals you want to put in. As you get your materials together have clearly in mind the use for the paper.

For several hours or preferably overnight soak the torn paper in water. Run the blender for about a minute. I have the kind with six blades and high power. Mine took less than a minute, and I ran it in batches of 2-3 cups of torn paper that was soaked. You’ll know it’s ready when the consistency looks like oatmeal. Put in glue, a little coloring, essential oil, herbs, flower petals and/or dryer lint and mix. Remember, you can always add more coloring and essential oil for a deeper effect. Pour the batches of the pulp and water into the sink. Once you have all the pulp and water in the sink, you should have 3-4” of water in the sink. If you have under 3” add more water.

Time to use the frame/s. For the first type, have the frame with the screen screen side up. Put the other frame on top of it. Place in the water and under paper pulp. Raise up, take the top frame away, and see if you have a good layer of pulp on the screen. For the second type, do basically the same thing, except there is no second frame or one side up to worry about. You may repeat and get as many pieces of paper as you want. See video.

Put felt or several layers of newspaper on top of the layer of pulp. Flip over and place on a counter top. I find it helps to gently press down on the whole area of screen or hose. Carefully lift the screen up and you should have a layer of paper pulp on the newspaper or felt. Lay it out on a flat place to set for a couple of hours. You can continue to let it dry that way.

After those two hours, you can make it thinner and flatter. This is optional. Put the newspaper or felt with the pulp on a place you don’t mind getting wet like the bottom of a bath tub, and put waxed paper over top of the layer of pulp. Then put a cookie sheet on top and press down to squeeze water out. If using newspaper, flip the whole thing, take away some wet newspaper, add fresh newspaper and flip again. You can even put a heavy book on top of the cookie sheet and let it sit like that overnight. The next day, take the book off, flip the whole thing, take away some of the wet newspaper, flip again and remove the cookie sheet and the waxed paper. Put the paper in a flat dry place for it to dry. You could even hang it in a window if you want. When the whole thing is dry, carefully peel the paper from the felt or the newspaper. If you don’t like the rough edges you can trim them.

You will notice that one of mine is pink. I used 12 cups of torn paper, and I mixed 3 finely diced rose petals in the paper pulp. I made another batch with 10 cups of torn paper and colored it green adding 12 peppermint leaves in it. I flattened and trimmed the edges of the green piece pictured up top. So you can see the difference, I did not flatten or trim the pink piece pictured below.

Enjoy the process!

Suggested Reading:

Deborah Blake, Witchcraft on a Shoestring, Practicing the Craft Without Breaking Your Budget, 2010

Patricia Telesco, Your Book of Shadows, How to Write Your Own Magical Spells, 2018.

Paper with rose in it. It has not been flattened or trimmed.

I will continue to be posting on Wednesdays. I’ll be posting about Samhain over the next two weeks.

Auburn Greene

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