Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Eco and Green: Making Paper

 So, many of you don't know this but I am a co-chair for the Green Committee for my child's preschool. What does that mean? I help implement ecologically friendly programs and help parents and children understand the impact of daily living and how we can do better. Quite a mouth full isn't it? On a smaller scale we help generate ideas for Reuse, Recycling and Repurposing.

At one of our big events I demonstrated how to make paper out of old shredded newspaper and colored paper. The children loved the tactile sensations of squishing the water out of paper and pressing it into the screen for drying. We had so much left over that one of the teachers, Esther,  took the rest of our mulch added Elmers glue to it and shaped bowels out of it! Here they are in their drying stage:

Then the children painted and varnished them! From old paper to homemade paper, bowls, piñatas the possibilities are limitless.

Recipe for making simple paper:

  • shredded paper (newspaper, copy paper, construction paper -whatever you have on hand that doesn't have a smooth coating like plastic)
  • a large bowl and enough water to cover the paper
  • a metal screen (like a mosquito screen or fine flat strainer
  • cookie sheet or any other large flat non-porous surface like a glass table
  • pastry scraper

Soak the paper overnight for 1-2 nights (depends on thickness of paper). Get your little people to mush it up some more -tearing and mixing it breaks it down further. After it is fully mushy and swollen with water smooth it out on your screen -then flip it onto your cookie sheet and scrape the screen to get out more water and to flatten out the mixture. When you've squeezed out as much water as possible leave it to dry in a warm dry place. Here in California I just leave it out in the sun for an afternoon or two.  Then there you have it -home made paper!

No comments: