Do you want to know how to make recycled paper? Well, the process is not as complicated as you might think, as long as you follow the right steps. Making recycled paper is a great way to use up any scrap paper that would otherwise end up in the trash. Read on to find out more about how to make paper easy.
Gather Paper Making Supplies
Here are some of the things that you will need when learning how to make recycled paper:
- Used paper
- Kitchen blender
- Mold and deckle
- Rolling pin
- Storage tub
- Wooden boards
- Absorbent material
Once you have gathered all your supplies, it will be time to start making your recycled paper.
Rip Up the Paper into Smaller Pieces
After you have gathered all the paper that you want to recycle and enough paper making supplies, cut it up into small squares. Once you have enough of it, you should soak the paper in water for a few hours. If you are making recycled paper in the classroom, it would probably be best to soak it and then work on it the next day.
How to Make Recycled Paper Pulp
After soaking your paper, the next step in making recycled paper should be to make a vat of pulp. By now, you are probably wondering how to make handmade paper pulp. This is best done using a regular kitchen blender. Find a blender to use, then fill it up with water. Throw in a handful of the soaked paper into the blender. You must avoid loading the blender with too much paper as this can damage the motor. Once you have enough paper in the blender, switch it on and blend until it’s a pulp.
Keep blending until you have enough paper pulp then transfer the pulp into an old storage tub or any suitable container that you can find. Fill up your container halfway and add some more water to the pulp. However, you must not add too much water so that your pulp will be thick enough.
Molding the Paper
For this next step of making recycled paper, you will need a mold and deckle. These are basically two frames of the same size, one with a screen attached to it. It’s also possible to make your own mold and deckle in the classroom.
Mix your vat of pulp properly. You should then dip the mold and deckle into the vat diagonally and scoop up. With enough paper pulp on it, shake the mold and deckle back and forth so you can get a uniform sheet of paper fibers. Be careful to stop shaking the mold before the pulp is fully drained.
Couching the Paper
Couching is another new term you will learn when discovering how to make recycled paper. This is simply transferring the paper from the mold to an absorbent surface. Ideally, you should use a wool felt. However, if you don’t have one, you can also use smooth towels or any non-fusible interfacing. To achieve a flat surface, set up your felt on top of a board and place your couching materials. Once that’s done, remove the deckle and place the longer edge of the mold on the felt. Tilt until the mold is lying face down and lift using the initial edge as if you are opening a door.
Once you have your freshly couched sheet of paper, place a paper towel on top of it. You can then start using a rolling pin to press the paper so you can get a nicely formed sheet. To press even harder, place a wooden board on top of the couched sheet and stand on it until you are convinced the paper is properly pressed.
Drying Recycled Paper Sheets
To get several sheets of paper, repeat the process above until you have enough couched and pressed sheets. Once you have reached your target, find a flat, non-porous surface and place the sheet of paper gently. Ensure that the edges are laying flat on the surface. Leave the paper on the surface to dry for about a day or two depending on how thick your paper is, how hot it is and how humid the environment is. Once the paper is dry, peel it off. By the end, you will know the exact process of how to make recycled paper.
By following the steps above, you can also teach others how to make recycled paper. This is not a complex process as long as you have enough paper making supplies and you follow the right steps.