Last week while I was watching some nieces and nephews we decided to make some homemade paper. It was fun, easy, and the kids loved the mess!
* Window Screening
* Old Wooden Photo Frame
* Staple Gun
* Plastic Tub (large enough to immerse the frame)
* Felt or Flannel Pieces
* Old paper: newspaper, discarded printer paper, old telephone book, etc.
* Flower petals, grass, leaves (optional)
Step 1: Cut a piece of window screening (we bought a roll for $5 at the hardware store) to cover the opening of the frame. Staple around the edges with a staple gun. (see photo above)
Step 2: Tear up the old paper into small pieces. This is fun for children to do, just something about destroying things. =) Fill the blender about half full of paper. Add water to the blender until the water line is half way up. Let sit for a minute to soften the paper. Blend on high until all the paper fibers are separated and you’ve created a grayish pulp.
Step 3: Pour the pulp into the plastic tub. Add water until the tub is about half full. You don’t want it to be thick. Add any extras you might want on your paper – petals, leaves, grass, etc. to the water and stir around.
Step 4: Carefully slip the frame, screen side up, into the water. You want to enter the water from the side, sliding it down to the bottom. Stir the water a little then slowly lift the frame, catching the bits of paper fiber on your screen. (see above photo) Let the water drain.
Step 5: Carefully wipe off the excess pulp from the edges of the frame. Make sure not to touch the pulp in the middle or it will mess it up. If that happens no worries. Dump the pulp back into the water, stir it around, and try again. (see photo above)
Step 6: Turn the frame over onto a piece of felt or flannel. Press all around the screen with your fingers or a sponge. (see photo above) Carefully lift the frame away leaving the paper on the felt. Place the felt in a sunny spot to dry for a couple of hours. When dry, peel the paper off the felt and . . .
. . .voila! Your own homemade paper to use for cards, doodling, or letter writing.
* After making several sheets of paper (5 or 6) you’ll need to add more pulp to the water. See step 2.
* Using old newspaper or telephone books will result in a gray colored paper.
* Try using old construction paper or colored cardstock for variety in paper colors.
* Do this outside. =) We did it on our deck. After showing the kids all the steps I let them have free reign. I went in and made cookies while they spent at least an hour taking turns making their sheets of paper.