Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Daylily Paper

My Stella d'Oro daylilies,  from one plant I bought about twenty years ago, have proliferated and I've populated at least ten other gardens with them, plus some stealth gardening, beautifying corners here and there.  You'd think that was plenty from one little ancestor.  But it occurred to me yesterday while cleaning up front yard debris from Sandy, including a lot of late daylily foliage, that it could have yet another life.
Props to this book,
which reminded me that making paper from plants needn't be a major enterprise and can be done with safe materials.  So, a bucket of daylily foliage, patiently cut up into half inch lengths, cooked for several hours with washing soda, then rinsed and drained and beaten by handsful in the ancient Osterizer, two speeds, on and off, and I was able to make a vat of pulp,
for a pretty good post of paper.  First pages on the felts
Draining on the mold, notice the deckle in the background, removed for draining. I made all my molds and deckles, from artist stretchers and screening, and picture frames, and embroidery frames for oval shapes. Here I wanted a series of rectangular pages, so I used a picture frame mold and deckle.
Here it is drying outside,
and if it rains on it, no problem, it will make nice lacy designs, all good.  When it's dry and removed from the felts (actually interfacing from the fabric store, been in use for about thirty years and still good), I'll let you see how it works. 

If it's good stuff, it will probably be part of the pairs of media series I'm working on.  How that will happen is yet to be revealed to me.


  1. Ah, you make it look so easy! and always, always fun. Thank you for this glimpse, Liz! xoxo MaryAnn

  2. never seen plant material used like this before, wonderful, can`t wait to see it when dried and removed form the interfacings.

  3. oh wow! That looks great! And a lot of mess. :) I don't think I'm up for that anytime soon. :))

  4. Wow! What a painstaking process! Great results though

  5. Hi Liz -- If you have a place outside, you can ferment some of your yarn for weaving in a daylily dye bath. If you don't have wool yarn, I can send you some, or just wool.

    The process involves dye material, sugar, and water in a bucket. Let it sit for weeks... Rinse, rinse, rinse, and you have yarn to match your paper.


  6. It's great that you showed how you did this I never imagined making paper with plants. Thanks for sharing with SMWYG!

  7. Suzanne, thanks so much for this input! great idea, and yes I have wool yarn. And roving. And so on!
    Must try this.

    this post of paper is now off the felts and drying out completely in the hot water tank closet, where it's steadily warm. I need to press it flatter after that, maybe even iron it, and let you see how it looks. I'm very pleased with how it held together off the felts -- sometimes this doesn't happen, if the planets are not in the right configuration. But this stuff is working. I didn't count on squirrels and birds walking on it out there overnight! interesting irregularities now to be seen.


Thank you so much for commenting! it means a lot to me to know you're out there and reading and enjoying.