Here is an easy tutorial on how to make handmade paper at home with your kids using recycled paper scraps. I did this Waldorf inspired activity with my 3 year old son after we visited handmade paper factory as a part of our homeschool co-op field trip last week. Making paper is magical, therapeutic & its super simple too!
We had visited hand made paper factory recently and since summers are here in India, I thought it is a great time to make hand made paper at home with my 3 year old son. I had been meaning to do this for a long time & for this project, I had also collected old paper bills, scrap papers, left over paper cutouts while making Montessori inspired printable activities etc. They all came in handy while making this handmade paper. And not to mention, my boy was super excited to replicate at home what we had seen in the handmade paper factory recently.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Recycled wastepaper (I used old paper bills, scrap papers, paper cut outs from craft sessions, my son’s old scribbled papers)
- Blender / mixer
- Big large utensils
- Wide kitchen sieve
- Rag clothes
- Flower petals, food colors, thread cuttings (optional)
- SUN (lol)
Me & my son tore the scrap papers into small pieces & put them into warm water & left them to soak for 30 minutes while we had our lunch. You see these big utensils that contain soaked papers.
Then I blended the soaked papers and formed a nice pulp out of it.
His friends also joined in & then the kids took the pulp & placed it into the circular kitchen sieve that I had. I use that sieve for flour to make chapatis. They put one layer of pulp on to the sieve & pressed it to make it uniform – neither too thick nor too thin. Putting a container beneath the sieve works well to contain all the draining water.
Now the task is to keep squeezing out water from this sieve. Before that we put in some flower petals on the the pulp to make it beautiful. See those orange petals in the pic? This step is optional. And you can also put in seeds in the paper at this step so that when this paper is discarded & thrown in the soil, something grows out of it. We also put in some thread cuttings into the paper to give it another look.
We used a rag cloth to press the sieve so that more & more water squeezes out of the pulp & the grains/fibres of the paper inside the pulp start to attach to each other & take a form of paper all set together.
My son again pressed the pulp in the sieve kept on old newspaper so that it absorbs water from both the sides.
Finally when we felt that the water is squeezed out pretty nicely from the pulp & the paper which is in the making is binding nicely (basically the fibres), I inverted the sieve & the wet paper landed up on the towel like this. It was an awesome moment to put down our first paper on the towel with no cracks at all.
And slowly we had a bunch of papers ready to be sun dried! We ended up putting food colors in some papers, that is the reason you see greenish paper in the picture below.
And the next day, our handmade papers were all ready!!! They looked gorgeous to us!!! Don’t they?
Handmade papers also make beautiful gifts & keepsakes!
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