How to Make Banana Paper

How to Make Banana Paper thumbnail
Create banana paper from a banana plant.

Banana paper is an organically created paper made from the stalks and leaves of the banana plant. It is known for its delicate look and earthy feel, as well as for being an alternative to commercially created paper products. Banana paper can be made at home and used for artwork or journal pages using only a few ingredients including a banana plant, a sharp kitchen knife, a silkscreen or fine mesh screen, and a large pot for boiling.

Things You'll Need

  • banana plant
  • sharp kitchen knife
  • large pot
  • water
  • stove
  • blender
  • window screens in wooden frames
  • ladle
  • clothespins
  • clothes line

Instructions

  • 1. Chop up the banana stalks and leaves from the banana plant into several thin and fine pieces less than 1 inch long.

  • 2. Place the banana stalks in a large pot. Fill the pot with enough water so that the stalks float, and then boil the stalks in the pot on the stove. Stir the stalks constantly for about an hour.

  • 3. Remove the pot from the stove and use the eggbeater to whip the stalks into a fine slurry.

  • 4. Take the pot full of stalks and a silkscreen or fine mesh screen outdoors. Ladle the stalk slurry onto the screen, spreading the slurry lightly and consistently against the screen. The more consistent the stalk slurry is spread, the more consistent the banana paper will be when dry.

  • 5. Lay the screen against the side of a building or tree vertically so that part of the banana stalk slurry drips down onto the ground. Allow the slurry that remains on the screen to dry almost all the way, until it is just slightly damp.

  • 6. Peel the banana paper off the screen. Pin the paper with clothespins and hang it on a clothesline outside to dry for one or two days, or until completely dry. Remove the banana paper from the clothesline to use.