Paste paper was one of the first things I learned to make when I started out in book arts, and the skill has served me well. It's a great way to make decorative paper that's not like the stock you'll encounter at paper and scrapbook supply stores and it lends a distinctive look to any project.These are only a few examples of the papers I've made in the past. I don't attempt to model my designs after historic patterns, but many people do. If you're interested in traditional patterns, the University of Washington has an extensive collection of marbled and paste-decorated papers from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Finally, now that you've seen what you can do, here's how to do it.
In addition to this tutorial, you'll also need to know how to make paste. Here's a simple recipe.
Mix 2/3 cups of wheat starch and 2 cups of water in a microwave safe container. Let soak for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes have passed, stir mixture and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir. Now microwave mixture for 30 seconds at a time, stirring between each round. Repeat this process until the mixture is thick and translucent (about five minutes of total microwave time). Let stand until cool. To store, cover firm paste with cold water.
Paste is good for about a week if kept in a covered container and water is changed out daily.