My kids constantly draw, which I love, but we end up with a lot of paper that eventually gets recycled. Today, we decided to reuse some of their old sketch paper and other scrap paper and create some homemade paper! We are trying to do more recycled crafts especially with paper and this one was perfect. This paper making was really easy and turned out even better then I expected. We used an old blender, a cheese cloth, paper and I added a few sheets of paper towel to our mixture.
We had some old pages of coloured scrap paper that was pretty ripped up, so we decided to throw it in too. After cutting up the paper we then added it to the blender with lots of water. We used enough water so that the paper easily moved around the blender. Any excess water will just be drained off in the next step so make sure to add enough.
Because of the coloured paper, our first batch ended up creating a brownish pulp which my kids did not love. The second batch we stuck to just white paper. After taking it out of the blender we put it in the cheese cloth to drain a lot of the water. For our second batch we didn’t end up using the cloth because my kids just wanted to do it by hand. So don’t worry if you don’t have cheese cloth – it works just as well without it. We squeezed a lot of the water out, but you still want the paper a bit wet.
Next we put the pulp onto waxed paper and flattened it out. Then we covered it with another sheet of paper and rolled out the paper into one flat sheet. You want the sheet to be fairly thin, but not too thin or it will rip.
The next part is why I love doing arts and crafts with kids. I had planned to leave the paper plain and then colour or decorate it after it dried. My kids had other, better, ideas. They wanted to add colour to the paper before it dried. So we got out some food colouring and some pipettes. They designed their paper with the various colours.
We then set our papers outside to dry. My kids had added beads to their paper, which did not stick. However, they left marks on the paper once they were dry which were very pretty.
It was really interesting to show my kids a very simplified idea of how paper is recycled. We had a blast using our newly made paper and they turned out so well!
I personally love my kids rainbow paper! They later used it for a truly homemade birthday card for a friend. We will defiantly be doing more recycled crafts this summer!