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Make Your Own Paper

The commercial papermaking process is quite complicated. However, you can make paper in your classroom or at home by following these steps.

Materials you will need  

  • Facial tissue (several sheets of Kleenex)
  • Bowl
  • Hot water
  • Fork
  • 2 Cloth kitchen towels
  • Metal screen (like those used in windows or screen doors)
  • Wood frame (an old picture frame will work)
  • Stapler
  • Rolling pin
  • 2 Boards
  • Heavy item (a pile of books will do)

  1. Shread facial tissue into small penny-sized pieces.
  2. Place the pieces in a bowl and cover with hot water.
  3. Stir to make sure all paper is wet.
  4. Let stand overnight.
  5. The next day, tear the paper into pieces as small as possible and then stir with a fork for several minutes. (You have made pulp.)
    Note: if you have blender handy, it will give you a better result.
  6. Prepare a metal screen by stapling screen tightly to a wooden frame.
  7. Smooth out an even layer of pulp (approx. 1/8" thick) onto the screen by hand.
  8. Allow the water drain off for one minute.
  9. Flip your screen over so that your paper pops out onto a clean kitchen towel.
  10. Cover the paper with another kitchen towel and use the rolling pin to flatten it out for one minute.
  11. Lift your paper carefully and place between two boards, then cover the top board with something heavy.
  12. After two days, uncover and inspect your own handmade recycled paper!

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