YOUR OWN PAPER
Paper is made from cellulose which is in plant fibers. The cellulose
is made by cutting down trees, grinding them up and then putting the
woodpulp in acid. Every year millions of trees are lost to the demands
of the paper industry and this is not good for our planet. So, why
don't you learn to make recycled paper? It saves on electricity and
water, causes little or no pollution, and keeps trees from being cut
down. Besides, making recycled paper yourself is lots of fun.
Here are some things you will need to make paper:
- A blender
- An electric iron
- 2 full newspaper pages torn into 2-inch squares
- 2 tablespoons white glue
- 2 or 3 cups water
- A basin with 4 inches water
- An old panty hose or very thin muslin cloth (a wire mesh will
- Coat hangers (a wooden frame is a good substitute)
OPTIONAL: Food coloring/leaves
Making the frame:
Undo the coat hanger and use the wire to make a flat square about
6 by 6 inches big. Stretch one leg of the panty hose over it.
(Or stretch the thin muslin tightly over it and secure the edges)
You can use a stapler to staple the edges. Make sure the panty
hose/muslin is tight and flat. You will need one frame for every
piece of paper you make.
Preparing paper pulp:
Put the shredded paper into two/three cups of hot water and allow
to stand for 30 minutes. Then blend it well. (You could also use
a food processor/mixer grinder.) You should get a smooth grey
And now to paper making:
Put the glue in the basin of water and add all of the paper pulp
you just made. Mix it really well with your hands. Take the frame
you have prepared and scoop it to the bottom of the basin. Lift
it very slowly, counting to 20 slowly while doing this. Let the
water drain out for about a minute. (Stir the mixture in the basin
every time you make a new piece of paper. Instead of a panty hose
frame, you could try other things like a screen, a wire mesh or
a strainer. Bright food coloring, lint, leaves can be added during
the mashing process to get papers in attractive designs and colours.)
The drying process:
Now, hang the frames on a clothesline or put them out in the sun.
Wait until they are completely dry with no dampness at all. Then,
gently peel off the paper. Set the iron on the hottest setting
- to steam out your paper.
You will be pleasantly surprised to see just how strong your paper
is. Trim it with scissors. Write on it. Send it to someone you
care for! A wonderful way to show your love.