Our projects are fun AND help the environment! All projects require adult supervision so ask a grown-up to help you out.
Make Your Own Recycled Paper
If you are looking for an activity to occupy and entertain the kids, follow these instructions and produce your own recycled paper.
First, you will need to construct a simple wooden frame by nailing together four pieces of wood trim. Tack or staple a piece of fine screen mesh (choose screen with less than 1/4-inch mesh, available at a hardware or garden supply store) to the sides of the frame. Place the screen frame on top of a dish pan and follow the steps printed below to produce handmade recycled paper.
What You Do:
- Collect a supply of used writing paper, computer paper, colored flyers and/or newspaper. Reuse pages that are only printed on one side as scratch paper or computer printout test pages before recycling.
- Tear scrap paper into strips and place them in a blender until the carafe is approximately half full.
- Pour in enough water to cover the strips of paper. If the paper strips do not blend easily, gradually add small amounts of water and blend until paper is shredded to a slightly runny, oatmeal-like consistency.
- Place your pulp screen over a dishpan and pour the pulp mixture evenly over the screen.
- Cover a flat work surface with butcher paper or a dish towel. Set the pulp screen on the covered work area. DO NOT flip pulp off of the screen yet.
- Cover the paper pulp resting on the screen with butcher paper or a dish towel and gently press down on the pulp to remove excess water. Do not press to hard or the pulp fibers will separate and holes will form.
- Flip the screen over-like flipping an omelet-and gently remove the paper or towel covering the pulp.
- Place homemade paper in a sunny area to dry. If drying overnight, cover with piece of plywood or a telephone book to prevent curling. When dry, your recycled paper should separate easily from the butcher paper or towel.