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  Home > City Resources > Books and Hobbies > MAKE YOUR OWN PAPER

Complexity leading to…
Old Books
K Anandhi on Kalki
The Chettiar Heritage
Harry Potter
Make your own paper
The Reading Habit
Tips on Study Skills
Tips on Books Care

A beautiful greeting card made from recycled 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 also do)

  • 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 pulp.

    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.
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