Turn Dryer Lint Into Paper

It’s best to let your clothes air dry but, sometimes we’re in a hurry & end up using the dryer. I know, I’m guilty of this.

To compensate and ease our mind of shame, why not create something new from all the lint that was accumulated.

I found this super neat tutorial on Instructables by author Ashley Amber that provides step-by-step instructions to make natural paper from dryer lint.  You can then use this unique & beautiful paper for gift tags, note card or even as gift wrap.

Supplies Needed:dryer lint

  • Lint
  • Warm water
  • Wood frames (you can use two wood picture frames) or cardboard
  • Window screening
  • Scissors to cut the screening
  • Staple gun or hammer and nails
  • Tub
  • Blender
  • Fabric

Step 1 – First Soak the Lint
The first step is to soak the lint in warm water for at least 30 minutes. This helps the lint to break down so that it’s easier to blend during the next step. You should soak the lint in warm water until it becomes saturated and soft, the longer the better. If you have the time then soak the lint over night. You can also add other ingredients to be soaked in the water like shredded paper or leaves. Both paper and leaves will give the lint paper more body in the end.

How To Make Paper Out Of Lint - step 1

Step 2 – Make the Deckle and the Mold
While the lint is soaking you can make the deckle and the mold, integral parts of paper making. The mold is a frame with screening (like window screening) in the center that is used to catch the lint. The deckle is a frame without any screening. It is placed on top of the mold and gives the paper smooth edges.

Both should be the same size.

The deckle and the mold are used together: the mold on the bottom (screen facing up) and the deckle on top.

You can choose to make the frames with old wood pictures frames, or even cardboard covered in duct tape (so that it is water proof.)

Make sure the screening is pulled tightly across the frame.

To add the screening to the mold, use a staple gun or nails.

How To Make Paper Out Of Lint - step 2

Step 3 – Blending the Lint
The next step is to liquefy the lint in a blender.

Scoop one cup of lint and put it in the blender, then add water to fill the rest of the blender until it is close to the top.

There should be more water than lint in the blender. Blend until it is smooth and mushy.

How To Make Paper Out Of Lint - step 3

Step 4 – Pour the Mush in a Tub
After the lint is blended to a fine mush, pour it into a tub. I used my kitchen sink. You can also use baby bathtubs, large pans or buckets. Just keep in mind that the mold and the deckle will need to be able to fit in whatever you choose to use as your tub.

Keep blending and pouring mush into the tub until there are a few inches of mush.

Then it is time to use the deckle and the mold. Place them into the water with the mold on the bottom (screen side up) and the deckle on top.

Pour the Mush in a Tub

How To Make Paper Out Of Lint - step 4

Step 5 – Sifting
Sift the mold and the deckle in the water until enough lint has been evenly collected onto the screening.

Remove the mold and the deckle from the water and let it drip for a few seconds. Then remove the deckle.

How To Make Paper Out Of Lint - step 5

Step 6 – Off the Mold and onto the Fabric
Now place the mold face down onto a piece of fabric so that the lint is on the fabric.

Use a sponge to press the lint onto the fabric and to soak up excess water.

Then slowly lift the mold off of the fabric so that the lint is left.

How To Make Paper Out Of Lint - step 6

Step 7 – Last Step
If you are making multiple pieces of paper, then place another piece of fabric on top of the lint and repeat the process. Once you are finished you can add books on top of the stack of fabric to flatten out the paper and press out the water.

After several hours (mine took about 6 hours indoors) remove the books and allow the lint to completely dry.

Once the lint is dry, you have your very own Lint Paper!

How To Make Paper Out Of Lint - step 7

Thanks again to Ashley Amber & Instructables for sharing their eco-crafts with us!

8 Comments on “Turn Dryer Lint Into Paper”

  • Damita March 22nd, 2010 6:49 am

    Really clever, I love this idea :) Going to have to try it now

  • Turning Trash Into Treasures | Modern Eco Homes April 5th, 2010 4:50 pm

    [...] I just had to throw this one in for good measure. If you are feeling rather ambitious, why not make paper out of dryer lint (courtesy of the Go Green Blog)? It’s an interesting eco-craft that can be fun for the whole [...]

  • Toast April 19th, 2010 2:22 pm

    Doesn’t it defeat the purpose if you use bits of paper to make paper?

  • Carin Lynn April 20th, 2010 5:39 am

    Toast…That’s why this paper is made from dryer lint, not bits of paper.

  • Paul November 14th, 2010 1:07 pm

    Why would anyone who is of sane mind want to do this anyway, creating paper from washing machine lint, absolute nuts. Like making your house out of mud. Get real, if saving the planet is what your about, start a war a wipe out the developing nations like China, India etc. Thats where the problem is.

  • Raul November 15th, 2010 10:08 pm

    Paul, you must not be aware that the US is responsible for 25% of the world’s energy use. The western world uses most of the energy consumed on the planet, not the developing countries. That’s why they’re called “developing”. It’s like Gilligan’s Island in many of those places. Primitive as can be. Are you a troll?

    There was mention of adding paper, but this certainly doesn’t assume you are using fresh paper. Recycled paper would work just as well! Chop up some cardboard from your cereal boxes and get a bit of color in there.

  • Black Hills Bargain Hunters » Blog Archive » Uses for Dryer Lint and other repurposing ideas May 23rd, 2011 10:51 am

    [...] just saw a post on the Purex facebook page about using dryer lint to make paper.  I found another set of instructions that were very similar but they include step by step  pictures.   This paper seems like it would [...]

  • Bob March 22nd, 2012 2:20 pm

    ” creating paper from washing machine lint, absolute nuts. Like making your house out of mud.”
    Funny that you should use as an example of how stupid this idea is, the oldest and world wide, the most common building material used to make houses. Adobe, which is basically a mud brick, predates any other material and is still more widely used that whatever material you might think of as being “normal”. Don’t look now, but your ignorance is showing.

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