Make Recycled Paper
In this science activity, kids will make recycled paper. This activity provides an opportunity to understand the scientific process of recycling paper and observe firsthand how waste materials can be transformed into new usable products.
You can make plain paper, or you can add things like flower petals or glitter to make decorated paper. After removing any foreign material, like staples, you will soak the paper. Paper is made of the same fibers that allow trees to stand tall. When you soak the paper, the fibers separate and can be used to make new recycled paper.
From: 9 Fun Science Activities. Click here to find links to the other 8 activities!
Materials for Make Recycled Paper
- Used paper, at least 10 sheets of it
- Large bucket or bin
- Blender or food processor
- Fine mesh screen or window screen
- Wooden frames that are slightly larger than the screen
- Towels for drying
- Optional: Paper additives such as e.g., flower petals, glitter, dried leaves (This would be a great way to reuse cut flowers.)
Procedure for Make Recycled Paper
- Remove any non-paper items, such as plastic or staples.
- Tear the paper into small pieces and soak them in water for several hours or overnight.
- Drain the soaked paper pieces and transfer them to a blender or food processor. Add water to help with blending and create a paper pulp mixture. Blend until the paper turns into a smooth pulp.
- Fill a large bucket or bin with water, leaving some space for the paper pulp.
- Add the paper pulp to the water in the bucket and stir gently to ensure an even distribution.
- Optional: If desired, you can add paper additives, such as flower petals, glitter, or dried leaves, to create customized paper with unique characteristics.
- Prepare the wooden frames by attaching the fine mesh screen securely to the frame using staples or tacks.
- Submerge the frame with the screen side facing down into the paper pulp mixture, ensuring the entire screen is covered.
- Carefully lift the frame out of the mixture, allowing the excess water to drain. Let the water drip back into the bucket.
- Place the frame on a towel or stack of newspapers, screen side down so the paper pulp is facing up. Use a sponge to press down on the pulp gently. This step helps to remove excess water and bring the paper fibers back together.
- Carefully lift and flip the lift the frame, leaving the newly formed sheet of paper on the towel. Repeat the process to create more sheets of paper.
- Allow the paper to dry completely overnight.
- Once the paper is dry, carefully remove it from the towel.
- Observe and compare the characteristics of homemade recycled paper with store-bought paper. Note differences in texture, color, and thickness.
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