How to Make Recycled Paper?
You can make beautiful paper or gifts from recycled scraps of all types of paper. And if you are going for a unique result, you can add decorative items like flower petals. This kind of project is fun and can incorporate the whole family.
What type of paper is good for recycling?
Aside from waxed cardboard, you can use any paper for the project. Suitable papers include:
- Printer paper
- Junk mail
- Paper towels
- Construction paper
- Paper bags
- Card stock
You can add several materials to the paper for better visuals. You can add vegetable or flower seeds to the paper. Other materials to incorporate include:
- Flower petals
- Food colouring
- Fine grass
- Liquid starch
Process of making recycled paper
Build a frame
Though you can wet paper, gather it into a pulp, and create a rough paper by pouring it on a surface and allowing it to dry, it’s neater to use a frame. Luckily, making a frame is easy. You can make one by securing a window screen onto a picture frame using duct tape or staples. If you can’t get your hands on a window screen and a picture frame, you can bend a wire hanger into a rectangle and slip a pantyhose around it.
Making actual paper
Though there are several steps involved in making recycled paper, it is easy. Below is a breakdown of the process.
Tear old paper into tiny pieces (you can mix papers of different colour and types) and put them in a blender
Fill the blender with warm water (about 2/3 full)
Blend the paper until the pieces turn into a smooth pulp. If you intend to write on the paper, you should add two tablespoons of liquid starch into the mixture and blend some more. The liquid starch prevents the paper from absorbing ink.
You can set the mould in a shallow pan or basin and pour the mould inside. At this point, you can sprinkle the decorative additives including yarn, flower petals and threads. Shake the mould to help it settle and find an even level. As you shake, ensure the mould remains in the liquid.
You can get rid of the excess water. For this, there are a couple of options. You can choose to lift the mould from the liquid and have it dry without absorbing the liquid or flipping the paper on a countertop and wick away excess water with a sponge. The last option is pressing a cookie sheet on the paper to squeeze out excess water.
Air-dry the paper while it’s on a flat surface
The paper you get can be used to write or even create environmental friendly greeting cards. You can also use the paper to wrap your gifts, to fashion your gift bags, create collages or make envelopes. The possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination.