Ever since I did a giveaway of a tissue paper decoration a few weeks ago and showed the pictures of the prize in this post I've had people ask me how I do them. Since they take a while to bake I haven't had time to make one since I duh-leted the pictures of the original one until now. Did you like how I spelled "duh-leted?" Yeah, I made that up myself. Go me.
So, while sweet hubby and kiddo were busy working on their project Saturday, instead of laundry or cleaning or anything truly necessary, I did this sweet little decoration for an equally sweet friend that has been waiting patiently for me to get my tail in gear. So here you go...
You will need some sort of cookie or baking mold. Not like muffin or cake molds. These have to be thin so that the paper can dry sufficiently. I use my Pampered Chef molds and I also found a snowflake mold at World Market for winter decorations. You can find a plethora of molds on eBay if you don't have any. Or you could just forget it all and buy some of mine if I ever get the courage to put some on Etsy.
First, preheat your oven to 200 degrees F. Next, get some tissue paper sheets. Please tell me you know that I'm talking about tissue paper and not toilet tissue. When I was looking for this stuff in bulk I went to two very large stores and asked if they had bulk tissue paper. Both stores directed me to the aisle of huge bundles of toilet tissue (and good grief, we live in the South...we say toilet paper, people!). I wanted to go slap some toile on those people and tell them to get a life. Of course, then they would have been confused between toile and toilet.
Ooh, look, something shiny! Sorry, that's my way of saying I'm getting just a tad distracted.
Back to my instructions. The sheets of tissue paper should be about 20 x 22 or so. The general size you find in the bundle you get in the gift section at the store. By the way, Dollar Tree sells them. For a dollar, no less. I'm going to have to start buying stock in those guys. And if you can catch them, sometimes Sam's sells huge bundles of them. Only don't ask a worker where they are. Ahem.
Man, am I ever going to get around to posting this thing? I seem to be really distractable today for some reason. So here's a picture to help me stay on track...
They don't have to be all pretty and straight, either. I couldn't find my stash, so I just used some crumpled pieces I had taken from a gift bag. Rip the paper into shreds. No rhyme or reason, just rip it up and put in a blender. Make sure you get it smooshed (yes, that is a word, even if I made it up) down to make sure all the paper comes in contact with the blades. Please make sure the blender is unplugged when you're doing this. See the little plug in the left side of the picture? I'm being a good example.
Then add about 1 1/4 cups water to the paper, making sure you pour all around the paper to get it all good and soaked:
And then put the top on and blend for about 20 seconds:
Then when it's good and blended strain it in a mesh strainer or colander. When most of the water is gone you can squeeze most of the rest of the water out.
When you get most of the water out you're ready to put it in your mold. And Please don't look too closely at my fingers or you will see how much I don't take care of them. Which you will immediately do because you people are gluttons for punishment.
This is kind of the tricky part. You have to be patient and be willing to work with the pulp a little for it to spread all the way over the mold. I just sort of drum my fingers over it for a few minutes to get it completely covered. My dogs think someone is at the door when I do this which means they bark their heads off. Oh, the joys of living with Shelties. Ooh, look! An action shot!
See the trivet or whatever under the mold? I like to put something that will keep the mold in place while I'm spreading the pulp out. This helps me not lose my temper.
If you think you won't have enough pulp, keep spreading. And if there are some places where the mold is peeking through, you might have to take some from another thicker spot to cover them.
After you have all the pulp spread out, blot it with a paper towel to get more water off of it. This helps make sure it dries all the way without needing to leave it in the oven too long.
Okay, now it's ready to go in the oven! Check it after about 1 1/2 hours, and if it's not pulling away from the sides and not getting brown spots on it check it after another 15 minutes or so. If it's getting brown spots on it you need to go ahead and take it out because you don't want the paper to burn. When it is completely dry, it will pull away from the sides like this:
And will come up easily from the bottom of the mold. If it doesn't, just leave it in the mold for a little while and it should pull up easily. And the finish product...
Ta-da! Isn't it pretty? I love the pineapple design...it is the symbol of hospitality, did you know that?
Now you can pull out the ol' hot glue gun and pretty it up even more using ribbon, beads, whatever you like. I just like a simple ribbon on this one:
The next one I'm going to do will use another design and use pink and green ribbon for a baby girl's room, and I can't wait to start working on it! I've made so many of these and each one is as individual as the person I give it to.
I hope the recipient of this pretty heart likes it and knows that it comes from my heart.