How to Make a Mold & Deckle

By Jenny Harrington

A mold and deckle are used to make handmade paper, and they are the primary pieces of equipment that you need and may not already own. The mold is a screen that is used to pick up the paper pulp to form a sheet of paper. The deckle is a frame that is placed on top of the mold to hold the pulp in place. Although both can be purchased, it is much less expensive to make your own. Once you make a mold and deckle, you can use them over and over again.

Purchase two wooden picture frames. They need to be the same size and small enough to fit inside your paper-making tub. Frames that are 11 inches by 17 inches will work for most tub sizes.

Remove the glass and cardboard backing from the frames, and discard or save them for another use. Remove any pins on the back that held the cardboard in place.

Fill in any gaps between the wood pieces of the frames with wood glue, and allow it to dry completely, approximately 1 to 2 hours.

Cut a piece of wire mesh that is 1 inch larger on all sides than the frame. Stretch it tightly across the top of one frame, and staple it in place. Pull it taut so it does not sag.

Pull the excess mesh around to the side of the frame, and staple it in place so there is no gap between the frame and the mesh that the pulp can run out of. Trim off any excess mesh.

Dip the mold into your paper pulp mixture to catch the pulp on the screen, and place the deckle (the second frame without mesh) on top to prevent too much pulp from running off.

Tip

Nylon mesh can be substituted for wire mesh.

Warning

Use rust-proof staples so your screen will last many years.

About the Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.