Monday, 26 April 2010

Making Paper with Children

We tried this out last week and it worked really well, the children were fascinated with the process and because it took time and we did it outside, they drifted in and out of the activity as it suited them.  One of the youngest at 18 months old stood still at the edge of the table with her chin on her hands and observed very closely as three children made thier paper sheets.  When it came to her turn, she knew the steps to take and did so well!  I had never seen her concentrate like that before.

To make your own paper you will need:
  1. A picture frame with the glass, back and any sharp bits removed.
  2. A pair of finely woven tights.
  3. A rectangular washing up bowl or plastic storage box that will easily fit the frame you have.
  4. A blender.
  5. Scrap paper (a mix of different types of paper is great.... if you want to make coloured paper, use some tissue paper that bleeds its colour when wet!)
  6. A bucket and spoon.
  7. Dry sheets of newspaper cut slightly bigger than your frame.
  8. A rolling pin.
  9. A sponge.
Follow these steps:
  1. Tear the paper into very small pieces about 2cm/2cm maximum, put them ina  bucket full of warm water, mix round and let them sit..... overnight is preferable but a few hours will do, just keep topped up with hot water from a kettle if you do it over a few hours.
  2. Take two cups of the paper to one cup of the water and blend it in a food mixer until it is a pulp. If the blender is working very ahrd, add a bit more water.
  3. Tip the half-blender-full of mix into the storage box/washing up bowl.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3.
  5. Add 2 inches of water to the storage box/bowl and swirl it around until all of the pulp is suspended in the water.
  6. Put the tights carefully over the frame, taking special acre that the corners do not snag. Tie a knot in each end close to the frame and cut the extra bits off.
  7. Lower the frame into the mixed up pulp, and then gently and slowly lift it out of the box.
  8. Lay a few pieces of newspaper over the top, place your hand flat in the middle, flip the frame over and lay it down on the newspaper.
  9. Use the sponge to press over all of the frame (don't rub or you will wrinkle the paper!) until you have sponged away as much of the excess water as you can.
  10. Slowly and gently peel up the frame and use your fingers to tease away from it any edges that stick.  this will leave the paper open side up on the newspaper.
  11. Put a few more sheets on top and use the roling pin to squeeze more water out to be absorbed by the paper.
  12. peel the newspaper up carefully, and leave the exposed paper to dry in the sun or in a warm place.  it will peel off its newpaper base when dry!
Experiment with different amounts of pulp, different types of paper to shred, essential oils to make scented paper, adding dired leaves and petals to the pulp, and see what you can create!


  1. That is one project I have never done but every time I see it I say,"I need to do that." Maybe this time I will.

    Thanks for sharing.