I Recycle Paper

You can make your own paper! Remember to do your experiments with an adult present.

You'll need:

  • Newspaper;
  • A big plastic dish and lid (the lid will be the mould);
  • Hot tap water;
  • A large mixing bowl;
  • Waxed or parchment paper;
  • water;
  • a large container, such as a dishpan;
  • a large bowl;
  • Towels or dishcloths (the finer the fabric, the smoother the paper);

Method

  1. Tear the newspaper into small pieces about 2 centimetres square. Put the pieces into the plastic dish and fill to about ¼ from the top with hot water. Put the lid on and leave for three hours, stirring occasionally

  2. Pour the mixture into a blender, add a little water and run the blender until you get a thick and smooth paste. You can also use a hand mixer or, if you’re really determined, a potato masher.

  3. Squeeze the paste to get rid of the excess water, then press it down on to the lid of your plastic container. Try to press the paste down as uniformly as possible.

    Pointer: The next steps will be easier if you put waxed or parchment paper on your lid first, before adding the paste!

  4. With your towel or dishcloth, press the paste to squeeze out the water. Incline the lid so the water can drain away, then press the paste again. The more pressure you apply, the flatter your paper will be.

  5. PWhen you have removed as much water as possible, turn the paper out on to a dry cloth. Use another dry cloth and press it some more to remove more water, then place your paper in a warm and dry place to let dry.

And there you have it, recycled paper!

A few variations...

To give your paper texture, you can add bits of wool or glitter. To make colored paer, add nontoxic fabric dye in Step 2.

You can even add flower seeds just before Step 3, to create a greeting card you can put in a flower pot! Make sure your paper dries very quickly, or the seeds will germinate before you can plant them.