STEAM Saturday – Make Your Own Recycled Paper! (4/22/2023)

Today is Earth Day, and we thought it would be fun to show you how you and your children can make your own paper using recycled scraps! Papermaking is a fun and creative sensory activity for kids of all ages. This science project can be done with common household items. It is a straightforward and easy process. Now grab your materials and let’s make paper! 

You will need the following items:

  • Fabric (mesh or sheer) 
  • Craft sticks 
  • Hot glue gun 
  • Glue sticks 
  • Scissors 
  • Egg carton (make sure it is cardboard!) 
  • Rolling pin 
  • Blender 
  • Stove & saucepan (you will need to boil water) 
  • Large bowl 
  • Glass baking pan 

Now, you and your kids are ready to make your own recycled paper from cardboard egg cartons. Your kiddos will learn how recycled paper is made by making it themselves. First year your egg carton into tiny pieces. Make sure to tear enough pieces to make 2-3 cups. Help your children put the pieces into a blender. 

Next, boil 2 cups of water. While you are waiting for the water to boil, find your craft sticks and create a frame. Use eight sticks to make a large square. Use your hot glue gun to glue your square together. Grab your fabric and glue it to the frame, cutting off any excess fabric. 

Now your water should be boiling! Pour it into your blender along with your paper pieces. It is time to blend the water and paper pieces together. You should notice the cartons are turning into pulp. Do not turn the blender off until you have a soup-like mixture. 

Take the frame and place it over a large bowl. Grab your blender and pour the paper pulp over the frame. Use your rolling pin to spread the pulp. Make sure it is spread evenly across the frame. If your paper is sticking to the rolling pin, place another piece of fabric over the pulp to roll over. Lay your frame on a glass baking pan turned upside down. This will allow the water to strain out without allowing the paper to sit in water. Let your paper dry overnight. It should be completely dry and ready to use by the morning.  

When you are experimenting, do not limit yourself. Try using different kinds of paper like newspaper, old computer paper, construction paper, etc. Each type of paper will produce a different final product. Making this homemade paper provides a hands-on example of how we can help save the environment by recycling! 

See the full experiment and the science behind it from STEAMSational HERE.   

As always, get as creative as you want, and above all, have lots of fun learning together!   

We’ll see you right back here next Saturday for another STEAM Saturday activity!  Scroll through the rest of our website to learn how Critchlow Adkins is Building Brighter Futures for the children and families we serve! 

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