How to Recycle Paper at Home!

The past few days have been super fun since I decided to start a new project! I was on social media and I was inspired to start recycling my own paper at home!

This was a super great way to actually seeing my recycling in action, and creating a product I can actually use! Once I get better at making paper, I want to make enough sheets to make a journal and start bookbinding! It would be super cool to write and draw on my own paper in a book I made.

Anyways, I took photos to walk you all through the steps to make YOUR VERY OWN PAPER!

STEP 1: Find some paper! Then rip or cut it up into small pieces and put it in a container that can hold water. Once you ripped up your paper, pour warm water into the container so every piece is wet, and then let it sit overnight.

STEP 2: Blend it! At first, since the paper was already really soggy I had figured that there was enough water to blend it. However, I found that it is highly beneficial to add water whenever needed.

Just a side note – don’t get overly excited about recycling and then soak way more paper than you need to! I may or may not have accidentally done that…

Here is an absolutely massive bowl of paper fibers that I blended up! Although it may look like a lot, it was only HALF of the paper I used!

STEP 3: Put the paper fibers in a big tub of water! It should mix in well, and the water won’t be clear anymore. This mixture is called “slurry”.

This is what the water/paper fiber combination should look like. I did mine in the shower in case the container leaked at all!

STEP 4: Use a screened frame to drain the water from the slurry. I stapled a mesh canvas to an old picture frame to do this! It worked surprisingly well. Make sure to put the frame into the water at a 45 degree angle and then pull it up. Don’t put the frame into the slurry at a parallel angle.

This is also the best time to add any flowers, seeds, or colorings you want to put into your paper! I left mine plain for the time being because it was a test run, but I 100% encourage you to try it out if you can!

STEP 5: Transfer the paper to a dry area. I put mine out on the floor in front of a window. I layered towels with a large cloth canvas on top to put the paper directly on. If you only have towels, your paper will dry and stick to them, and it is important to be able to peel them off once they’re dry!

In order to transfer the paper, simply put the frame slurry-side-down onto the drying area, but make sure to take the upper frame off, and you can clearly see your clean edges! Next, sponge off all excess water through the frame with a sponge or a towel, and peel the frame off!

This part of the process is the most difficult in my opinion, and as you can see in this piece of paper, my edges still need some practice. However, I have definitely improved as I have made more paper, so don’t be discouraged! Keep at it!

STEP 6: Wait for the paper to dry! This takes 1-2 days to be complete. If you want the process to be a bit faster, make sure that the paper is in a dry enough environment, and consider putting it in a warmer room.

Here is what the completed paper looks like! Although the edges are rough, this was only my first batch and the ones that are drying now look way better. These pieces still need to be ironed, but they are 100% writable! It worked super well and it was a really fun activity šŸ™‚

STEP 7: Peel the paper off, and iron it! Congratulations!! You just recycled paper at home, by yourself! Go you for improving the planet and spending your time doing a fun activity. Maybe write a card or make a drawing with your new paper to give to somebody else, or share the process with a friend so they can enjoy it too! No matter what you do with it, have fun!!! šŸ™‚

How did your paper turn out? Let me know in the comments below!

-mad hattered

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