Reduce: To make smaller or lessen in amount. How can you reduce your paper use?
Reuse: To use something over again. Think about how you can reuse old paper.
Recycle: To convert something into reusable material. When you can’t reuse paper, recycle it!
A fun way to reuse and recycle your old paper is to make your own paper! Its fun and you get to create a unique new product from something that was no longer usable. How cool is that?!
Before you get started, learn more about how paper is made in real paper mills:
Your paper-production won’t be as lengthy and complicated as a paper mill’s, and you also won’t need to use any natural resources. It’s a win-win! Don’t expect your paper to turn out as smooth and flawless as real paper, but the paper you’re making today could be a great option for gifts, decorations, or cards.
YOU WILL NEED:
* A variety of old paper (non-glossy)
* Old picture frame
* Screen or mesh
* Blender (optional)
* Glitter (optional)
Here’s what to do!
1. Select your paper. Find your old notebooks, scratch paper, advertisements, newspapers, and other paper that you would otherwise just throw out. Find a variety of colors and textures!
2. Start ripping! Tear your paper into tiny little pieces and put them into a bowl as you go.
3. Add water. Use a little at a time so it doesn’t get too soupy.
4. Work the water into the paper. Squish the shredded paper in your hands to make sure the water really soaks in. Eventually you’ll end up with a paper pulp. For a quicker method, use a blender. The texture should be like oatmeal.
5. Add glitter or any other materials that you would like. I’ve even added seeds or flower petals for a fun texture.
6. Fill a pan half full of water.
7. Grab your picture frame. Cut a piece of mesh or screen a little bigger than your frame, place the mesh over the frame, and staple it into place. This is your paper screen.
9. Dump the paper pulp into the pan of water over the screen.
10. Lift the screen slowly and move it from side to side as you lift to get the paper pulp to settle evenly onto the screen.
11. You want the pulp to settle onto the screen in a thin, even layer. Remove or flatten any large lumps or bumps. If it doesn’t work out the first time, just re-immerse the screen into the water and start over.
12. Use a sponge to carefully press out excess water from the pulp on the screen.
13. Set the screen down on the counter undisturbed for the paper to dry.
14. Now the waiting game begins! Check back in a few hours.
15. Check if your paper is ready to remove by lifting a corner. If you can easily lift the corner, remove the paper from the screen. If you want, you can iron it on a low setting to make the paper more flat and smooth.
16. Once you’re done, cut your paper into any shape you want. You can use a ruler, pencil, and scissors to create straight edges, or you can leave it the way it is for an artistic look. Have fun creating!