Monday, September 30, 2013

Making Recycled Paper

In one of my favorite scenes of Ida B (this week's book), Ida B's dad tells her that they need to take care of the Earth. One of the best ways to do this is by recycling! Let's make our own recycled paper to help take care of the Earth just a little.

  • newspaper
  • water
  • aluminum foil
  • flat strainer
  • corn starch
  • leaves, glitter, or pressed flowers (optional)

 First, take your newspaper and cut it into very small pieces. (We used a paper shredder to speed up the process a little.) Put all the tiny pieces of paper into a bucket or large bowl and cover with warm water. (The ink from the paper might stain the bowl, so maybe don't use your fanciest one.) Let the paper/water mixture sit overnight.

Once your mixture has taken on sort of a lumpy-oatmeal texture, it's called pulp. And once you have pulp, you're ready to make paper! Spoon some of the pulp onto a sheet of aluminum foil and spread it into a thin layer. Remove as much of the water as you can by pressing a flat strainer over it. (We used a pizza pan with holes in it, but you could also make a strainer by poking holes in a piece of foil.)

When you've removed as much water as you can, cover your pulp layer with another piece of aluminum foil and flatten it with a rolling pin or heavy books. Carefully peel off the top piece of foil, then leave your project somewhere warm and safe to dry! (This is the part where you can decorate your paper by adding flat leaves, flowers, or even glitter.)

Once your paper is totally dry, just peel off the foil! Then check out this site or watch this video to see how paper is recycled on a much bigger scale. Thanks for helping take care of the Earth!


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