Make your own recycled paper

Do you lack a fun and sustainable activity with the children during the summer holidays when the temperature outside gets a little too high? Then you can go inside and make your very own recycled paper. We've made a little guide for a fun family activity here.

Make your own recycled paper

Do you lack a fun and sustainable activity with the children? And is the sorting box for paper about to fill up? So here is a guide to making your own recycled paper. You can use anything from regular printer paper and old newspapers to egg trays and toilet rolls.

About 500g of paper waste is used for around 25 sheets of 30×30 cm.

For the production of the paper pulp, you must use

  • Paper waste (plain paper, cardboard, egg trays, toilet rolls and old newspapers can be used)
  • Water
  • A blender or stick blender
  • A bucket or tub for mixing the pulp

For the production of recycled paper, you must use

  • Two wooden frames (one with a fine mesh on it - they can either be bought in hobby shops or made yourself with fine wire mesh or tulle attached to the frame)
  • A large tub (larger than the frames)
  • Dry tea towels
  • A mushroom
  • Possibly. an iron to dry the paper quickly
  • Pulp made from paper waste

How to make the pulp

Here the children can have a go. You must start by tearing the paper into small pieces. Preferably no larger than 2×2 cm.

The paper is thrown into a tub and hot water must be poured over it. The water must cover the paper completely. The paper must then be left to soak in the water - preferably overnight. If you are a little impatient, a few hours is also enough.

After the paper has been laid and pulled, the pulp must be blended. You need ⅓ pulp to ⅔ water. You can blend with an immersion blender or pour the mixture into a blender at low speed. The mass must run freely around the blender, so there may be more water.

Now you are ready to make your own recycled paper. The paper pulp can last for a little over a week if it is kept cool.

Manufacture of paper

The pulp is poured into the large tub. If the paper is to be thin, the mass must be diluted with water. A lot of water and a little paper pulp are needed. If the paper is thick, more pulp is needed.

It is important to stir the water in the tub before you start. Otherwise, the paper will fall to the bottom.

Next, the two frames are held together. The frame with the net must be at the bottom. They must be turned so that the net is in the middle, between the two frames.

The frames are then guided vertically into the paper pulp, and then turned in an arc down towards you until they are horizontal.

The frames are carefully lifted up, still horizontal - otherwise the paper will be uneven. Shake gently and let them drip off.

The top frame without the net is removed and set aside.

The frame with paper must then be placed carefully on top of a dry and clean tea towel with the paper downwards towards the tea towel. On the back of the net, you must gently dab with a sponge.

Then the frame with the net is lifted off, and the paper remains on the tea towel.

Next, lay another tea towel on top of the paper and let it dry. A good tip is to iron on top with an iron - then the paper dries faster. You can also hang the tea towel with the paper to dry.

Congratulations - you now have your own beautiful recycled paper that you can write or draw on.