Homemade Paper – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Do you find scraps of paper collecting endlessly and tell yourself they are for a project or that the kids will use them eventually? Well, Eventually has come!

A32AABF0-B2E8-43D4-B48A-F22D92BBAFE9

With just a few handfuls of ripped paper we made over 20 pieces of paper in this child geared project!

What you’ll need:

  • A Blender, a cheap one that you don’t use for food. I picked one up for $15 at a big name box store.
  • Scrap Paper
  • Water
  • Mold and Deckle ( DIY for a more inexpensive option)
  • A large plastic bin ( We used our sensory bin)
  • Measuring cup
  • Wash clothes and Sponges
  • Flat Surface (cookies sheets, wood panels, plexiglass)
  • Glitter (Optional)
  • Cookie Cutter Molds (Optional)

7E267DB6-35E9-45E5-B3B0-AC6E4AE84A42

First you can have the children rip up the scrap paper, it should be about a square inch in size or smaller. You only need a two handfuls per batch.

B91F4F31-F057-4DBF-9C96-0FA506E589FD

Place them in a bowl with a bit of water and soak overnight.

* You don’t have to soak it long but it does help for a smoother finish of the paper.

Get a large space where you can set up all you’re materials. Being an outside classroom, and having this be a messier project, we set up outside on the back deck.

We made an assembly line of of our process which started with the bowl of paper.

A71C71CF-A30D-42E3-80AB-7D59A966A6CE

Fill the blender with water. We used a watering can we filled from our rain barrels. This gave a child a job opportunity to keep the watering can full. Once the blender is full, add a small handful of paper. Pulse the blender until the paper is a fine pulp. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also add extra fine glitter! If the mixture is too watery (not fluffy) add a small handful and pulse again.

Place your mold and deckle into the large bin. The bin will catch the liquid of the mixture while the screen of the mold will catch the fluffy paper pulp.

Pour the mixture into the measuring cup for more accuracy when pouring.

Pour a small rectangle shape into the mold and deckle. Use the edging of the frames as a template.

Allow the mold to drain slightly, try not to shake the mold too much or you could get holes in your paper.

Remove the top half of the mold revealing just the screen with the pulp. Flip the screen onto the flat surface for drying. Before removing the screen,  take a washcloth or sponge and remove as much moisture as possible. 

8C5834DA-2EAE-48D0-98F7-34E31CFC417B

Remove screen and allow a few hours to dry. We placed ours in direct sun which dried the paper within a few hours.

A21DFBCD-AE4B-43D6-B550-367F54D04049

Once comfortable with the process, you can use cookie cutter molds to create different shaped paper. Pour the mixture into the cookie cutter on the screen of the mold, remove cutter, flip screen on flat surface to dry. 

This activity opens up an important conversation about the materials we use everyday! Reduce the trash we produce! Opt for reusable materials such as washcloths instead of paper towels! And recycle as much as possible!

Enjoy your Recycled Paper!

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: