Making your own paper is a fun way to recycle all of that scrap paper lying around the house. Thick, homemade paper is perfect for birthday or Christmas cards and is a great way to spend a cold winter’s day with the kids.
Tissue or crepe paper
Felt or sponge
Difficulty Level: Intermediate. Requires parental guidance for making the frame and using the blender.
Time: One hour to make, a few hours to dry.
Directions 1. Prepare the frame. Fasten a piece of windowscreen in an embroidery hoop (this step may require adult assistance). Be careful of the screen, it can prick your fingers. If you have an old photo frame you could also make a frame by nailing the screen onto the back of the frame.
2. Prepare the paper materials. Shred the paper, tissue and newspaper with your hands. Be sure to separate the paper by color from light to dark.
3. Begin creating the slurry by putting the shredded paper into the blender with a few cups of water and blend until smooth. Start with the lighter colors of paper before moving onto darker colors.
4. Pour the mixture into the basin. If the slurry is too thick, add more water.
5. Slide the frame into basin and pull up, capturing slurry evenly on top of the screen. Let excess water drain off.
6. Overturn onto felt or newspaper, with towels and newspapers underneath to catch the drainage.
7. Use a sponge or piece of felt to absorb water from the screen, and then slowly and gently lift up the screen to reveal the paper below.
8. If the paper is too thin or is missing pieces, repeat steps 4 to 6, laying the new layer directly on top of the first to make a stronger piece of paper.
9. Using a rolling pin, press out any extra moisture, then uncover.
10. Leave the piece of paper on the towel or felt in the sun or in a dry place for several hours. If the paper curls up as it dries, flatten it under a heavy book.