Make your own recycled paper!

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Are you done with that comic section? Do you have construction paper scraps that you don't know what to do with? Don't throw them away, because you can use them to make your own recycled paper at home!

Before starting this activity, be sure to get permission and ask for help.

What You Need

  • Scrap paper - old newspaper, wrapping paper, junk mail, old homework, etc.
  • 2 old picture frames that are the same size
  • Old pantyhose
  • A blender (ask for help and permission from an adult with this)
  • Kitchen sink
  • White glue
  • 2 Kitchen towels
  • Rolling Pin

What You Do

  1. Remove the glass and the backing from your picture frames. Stretch the pantyhose over one of the frames, making sure they're tight and flat.
  2. Rip your scrap paper into small pieces, about the size of a postage stamp.
  3. Ask for adult permission and help to use the blender. Put the paper into the blender until it's about ¾ full and fill the rest with hot water. Blend the paper and water until it's a nice and mushy pulp.
  4. Fill your sink halfway with warm water and add 2 tablespoons of white glue. Pour your pulp into the water and mix it using your hands.
  5. Take your frames and put them together like a sandwich. Dip them into the sink and shake them gently back and forth until you have an even layer of pulp spread on the surface of the pantyhose. Then hold the frames over the sink until the water has drained out.
  6. After the water has drained, remove the top frame. Lay one of your kitchen towels out and gently turn over the bottom frame so your paper falls onto it.
  7. Place the other towel on top of your paper. Then, using your rolling pin, carefully roll out any extra water. Remove the top towel and let your paper dry overnight.

After your paper has dried, you may want to iron it in order to make it smoother. You can also use food coloring or red onion peels to create colored paper!

County Links for Educational Resources

  • Anoka
  • Carver
  • Dakota
  • Hennepin
  • Ramsey
  • Washington