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Sue Tyler's craft - Recycling paper - 10 July


This is a great fun project to do with kids. Instead of sending paper off for recycling you can do it yourself and have a fun time.

It can get a bit wet and splashy so have kids in old clothes or aprons.

Today we are making paper from old posters and magazines but don't be afraid to experiment with different fibres. You don't even have to stick with paper related products - add petals, scraps of yarn, tin foil, onion skin, even seeds to the pulp mixture after it has been through the blender.

Some of your ideas will turn out while others may not. But that is often half the fun of experimenting and crafting!

Materials

Papermaking kits these can be picked up from craft shops. They are also pretty easy to make if you have the time - see below for instructions.

Paper making kits contain the following:
Mould  - the bottom half of the set with the screen attached
Deckle  - the upper open frame
Loose Screen
When making paper, you sandwich the loose screen between the mould and deckle.

The paper:
Paper - We've used a mix of magazine and some posters to create a really colourful paper
Large Tub - bigger than your deckle
Blender - even an egg beater will do
Sponge
Felt
Newspaper


Making Paper Pulp

In order to make new paper from old paper, you've got to change old paper to a mushier state.

1. Rip up your paper into small sections about an inch square in size
2. Blend water and the paper in the blender in small amounts or mix them thoroughly with the egg beater or spoon.
3.  Pour this into your large tub. Keep going till you have used all the paper
4. Mix up your pulp and if need be add more water. The more pulp you have the thicker the finished paper will be.


Turning Pulp into Paper

Hold the mould, screening and deckle together (your kit)

Stir up your pulp mixture

Dip your kit into the tub at an angle until it's fully immersed, then move the them back and forth until the pulp is evenly dispersed in the water and  inside the kit.

Slowly lift up until your kit is above the level of the water.

Wait until most of the water has drained from the new paper sheet.

At this point If the paper you've made is very thick, remove some pulp from the tub. If it is too thin, add more pulp and stir the mixture again.

When the kit stops dripping, gently remove the deckle

Peel your screen from the mould.

Gently ease the screen down flat, on the square of felt, with the paper directly on the felt.

Use a sponge to press out as much water as possible.

Wring the excess water from the sponge back into the large plastic tub.

Peel off your screen and sit back and watch your paper dry.


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