The great paper caper

14 Apr

In the down time the other day while we were waiting for our salt dough dinosaurs to bake we whipped up a bit of lovely home made paper.
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I had been promising The Rooster for a week that we could make it, but I had been putting it off due to the less than perfect weather we have been having lately.  I have always found paper making to be more enjoyable when done outside in the sun, apart from soaking up a few rays, the paper dries much quicker and when you are outside on the grass there is no need to worry about the mess.

We had prepared our paper pulp the day before.

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To do this we tore newspaper and some other scrap paper into stamp sized pieces and soaked them in some water until they were soft

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paper, table, dough

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Then using the blender, we blended them with water to a smooth pulpy mix. I like to not blend the paper so much that you loose all of its previous form,  I think it is makes the paper even more charming when you are able to see  a snippet of it’s past lives.

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To make the paper you will need

A mold, we have a store bought one but there are plenty of instructions on how to make your own online.

A tub, this needs to be large enough to fit the mold into

Sponges

Somewhere to dry your paper, our commercially made kit comes with drying boards but I have seen people using fabrics such as felt

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Since it was raining and we were doing this on the deck I put down an old sheet, to protect from potential mess.

I added some water to the tub, the amount you add will determine the thickness of your paper, More water will give thinner paper and less water will give thicker paper.

Then I dumped in out pulp and watched it swirl around and make some lovely patterns.

I involved both The Minimen in this endeavor, for the sensory experiences, both of them delighted in the water play and feeling the sqelchy paper pulp floating through the water. The Rooster also received a lesson in recycling.

Making paper is a bit like panning for gold.

Slide the mold into the tub, vertically, sweeping it through to a horizontal position.

Lift the mold from the water giving it a gentle shake until the pulp has settled evenly.

Let the water drain from the paper.

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Turn the paper onto the drying boards.

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Before lifting the mold, sponge the excess water from it, this will allow the mold to come away from the paper with out any tears.

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Admire what you have just created.

Now repeat the process.

Once you have made the amount you desire let it dry, on a sunny day it will dry so quickly.

You can strain any remaining pulp and keep it in the fridge or freezer (freezer is better as it will go moldy) for next time.

Run all the equipment under clean water to remove pulp residue.

When the paper is dry you will be able to carefully peal it from the drying boards.

After this you can once again admire your handy work.

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The paper is now ready to use and enjoy.

We chose just to make simple paper this time, but you can add things to make your final product more interesting, such as perfumed oils, flowers or grass, fibres, seeds, glitter, confetti.

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One Response to “The great paper caper”

  1. roylcoblog April 16, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

    Great way to introduce recycling concepts to children too! I love getting cards made from handmade paper… it’s such a thoughtful gift. 🙂

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