We are all cognisant of the need to reduce, reuse, recycle. This simple recipe is a fun craft activity that enables you to make use of old, used paper to create lovely home-made paper for scrapbooking and craft projects.

Making paper is actually a lot easier than it sounds – and it’s a fun but messy craft activity which is great for helping kids to understand where paper comes from.

The trickiest requirement for this project is finding a frame on which to make your paper. You can buy these frames from crafting shops – or you can make your own.

The quickest way to make a suitable paper-making frame is to pick up some old wooden picture frames from goodwill or charity shops.

You then need to purchase a suitable length of fibreglass screen mesh. Remove the picture and glass, so you are just left with the frame. Use a staple gun to fix the mesh to your frame.

Paper-making Recipe

  • Step 1: You’ll need around the equivalent of eight sheets of A4 paper. Ideally, you want to use up your used and scrap paper for this project.
  • Step 2: Tear the paper into small pieces (if it isn’t already) and then put the pieces in a blender, cover with warm water and pulse. This is the quick way to create paper pulp!
  • Step 3: Pour the contents of the blender into a large bowl or tub and stir to ensure your pulp has an even consistency.
  • Step 4: With the mesh side facing up, dip your frame into the tub of pulp. Move the frame gently under the surface, so you catch an even layer of pulp over the entire layer of mesh.
  • Step 5: Lift and allow to drain.
  • Step 6: Carefully lay a piece of felt over the pulp on your screen.
  • Step 7: Flip the screen over onto a flat tray, so the whole thing is felt side down.
  • Step 8: While the screen is still in place, remove as much of the excess water as you can using a sponge.
  • Step 9: Very carefully, lift the screen from your “paper.”
  • Step 10: You now need to dry out the paper. Create a drying area using old newspapers. Turn your paper onto your drying area, felt side up. Try to dry the felt as much as you can using the sponge, so the paper doesn’t stick to it, then carefully remove the felt.

You should be left with a thin, even layer of paper pulp. Dry the paper overnight. When dry, if necessary, you can iron the dried sheet through a couple of sheets of old newspaper for protection.

For added interest, you can add glitter to your paper pulp mixture. Or add small leaves of herbs or dried flowers to the pressed sheets before you leave them to dry.

Why not use your new recycled paper for one of the summer paper craft projects featured elsewhere on the Printing Report this month?