Paper Recycle Projects
Making recycled paper at home is simple and can be done by anyone. It is one of the fun recycle projects where you can involve your kids (just be careful with the blender).
And it is a great way to recycle old paper and do your part for the environment!
To make your own recycled paper, you will need the following ingredients:
- Old and used scrap paper, cut into 1 x 1” size (any form of paper is also fine, eg. tissue paper, paper napkins, paper packing, etc)
- a piece of cloth or rag
- wire net, wire mesh, an old nylon stocking or a strainer
- a frame made using an old embroidery hoop or an old coat hanger
- a stapler
- a wide tub (which is bigger than the embroidery frame) filled with 4 inches of water
- sponge or blotting paper
- iron or rolling pin
- colored thread, brown or red onion skin (just the papery outer skin, not the onion itself), dried flowers or leaves (optional)
Procedure for this paper recycle projects
For this paper recycle projects, it may be advisable for you to wear an apron so that you don’t dirty your clothes. Be prepared to get a little wet, because you will be using water in the process.
Step 1: Preparing the frame for your recycled paper
If you have an old embroidery frame, that’s good.
Spread the wire net, wire mesh, old nylon stocking or strainer over the hanger frame, making sure that it is tight and flat. This will form the netting of the frame. Secure the netting in place using the stapler. And you have the frame for your recycled paper!
If you do not have an old embroidery frame, don’t fret. An old coat hanger will do the trick.
Unwind the hanger and bend it into a rectangle/square shape. Then as with the embroidery frame, for the frame’s netting, spread the wire net, wire mesh, old nylon stocking or strainer over the hanger frame, making sure that it is tight and flat. Secure the netting in place using the stapler. And you are done!
Step 2: Preparing your scrap paper for the paper recycle projects
Ensure that all your scrap paper are free of foreign objects like staples, tape, thread etc.
Cut your paper into small pieces, about 1 inch in size. Soak these cut pieces in warm water for at least half an hour (or longer if needed).
In fact, if you could have the paper soaked overnight, it would be ideal for the paper recycle projects.
Step 3: Making paper pulp or slurry for your paper recycle projects
Mash up the soaked paper as much as possible. Then your paper is ready for the blender.
Fill the blender with warm water and about a scoop of the soaked paper pieces. Ensure that the lid of the blender is secured, before letting the blender run for about two minutes, until the mixture becomes mushy (ie. no signs of the paper left).
Keep adding water and paper until you have a substantial amount of the gray slurry, which is actually paper pulp.
Once the paper pulp or slurry is blended evenly, you can even add pieces of colored thread or dried flowers or colored onion skin, to give your recycled paper some interesting color, design and patterns.
Now you need to transfer the slurry into to a tub of warm water, with 2 tablespoons of white glue added.
Mix the slurry well with the water using your hands, until you have a consistent mixture.
Step 4: Sieving out your recycled paper!
Gently immerse the frame that you made in step 1 to the bottom of the tub containing the slurry you prepared in step 3. It should be such that some amount of slurry, with the colored thread, dried flowers or onion skin, is evenly spread on the netting of the frame.
To do so, you can shift the frame gently from side to side, so that the slurry is evenly distributed on the netting.
Now gently lift the frame from the water tub, ensuring it is horizontal. Allow the water to drain off from the netting. Excess moisture from the slurry can be removed by using a sponge or a cloth.
And you are almost there! The slurry will actually become your recycled paper in just a few last steps.
Step 5: Sunning your recycled paper
Hang the frame with the moist slurry in the sun to dry. You have to wait until it is completely dry.
When all has been dried up by the sub, what you will have on your frame netting is actually your recycled paper!
Gently peel the dried recycled paper off the netting of the frame.
Step 6: Finishing touches for your paper recycle projects
For a finishing touch, iron out your recycled paper. And your recycled paper is ready!
Repeating Steps 4 and 5: Making more recycled paper.
With the slurry that you made in step 3, you can usually make more than 1 piece of recycled paper.
You can continue sieving out recycled paper from the water tub in step 3, until all the slurry is used up.
Just remember that every time you do so, mix the slurry well with the water before you start the sieving process described in step 4.
What to do with your completed paper recycle projects
With the recycled paper that you have made, you can bind them together into a scrap book or a note pad.
Alternatively, they can be made into cards, gift wrappers, etc.
Each piece of handmade recycled paper is unique. So they can be used to make wonderful gifts, whether for a kid or any adult.
Almost all types of paper can be recycled in this paper recycle projects. The colored prints on some used paper often become part of the “new” paper, and hence add an interesting effect to your recycled paper! Hence, be brave and experiment now!
You can even experiment with creating different types of recycled paper, using different materials (eg. different types of dried flowers) to create different designs, colors and texture for your recycled paper.
If you “invented” recycle projects of your own, and would like to share it with other mums and dads, please do drop us an email.
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