Cellulose-based films can potentially replace non-biodegradable plastic films in various applications such as food packaging. In this work we produced and studied films made of mixtures of chemical pulps and catalytically oxidized microfibrillated cellulose. The films were prepared on a support which was then soaked in solutions of CaCl 2 and MgCl 2 to exchange the sodium ions originally present in the film to divalent metal cations. We assumed that the electrostatic interaction of the anionic pulp fibers and the fibrils with Ca 2+ and Mg 2+ would promote internal bonding of the fiber-fibril network that would then reflect positively on the film properties. The immersion of the wet film into aqueous CaCl 2 or MgCl 2 solidified the film with time. When the solidified films were dried with an excess of the salt, elastic, skin-like materials were formed. Rewetting in water and redrying the materials produced paper-like films with improved mechanical properties in comparison with films prepared without the divalent cation salts. SEM imaging of the fracture surfaces provided support for the increased internal film strength by the divalent cations. The new knowledge on their role could be utilized in tailoring cellulosic film properties for specific uses.