Making Homemade Paper With Your Grandkids Is A Surprisingly Fun And Thrifty Activity

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Kids like to ask a lot of questions, especially when it comes to observing the world around them. One of the more recent things I was asked by one of my grandkids was how paper is made, which, of course, got the wheels turning in terms of our next activity.

That’s right: We made paper! Or, at least, we sort of made paper…

With this activity, we learned how to recycle and reuse old pieces of paper and turn them into something new and repurposed. Before I get into the how, here’s all the supplies you need:

  • Old papers (newspapers, junk mail, old notebook pages, etc.)
  • A large basin or tub
  • Warm water
  • A blender
  • A screen or a mesh (an old window screen or a splatter guard works well)
  • Towels or cloths
  • Sponge
  • Optional: flower petals, glitter, or dried leaves for added texture and decoration

1. Preparation

First things first, gather your old papers. The idea is to repurpose, so use up those old receipts, mail, or any other scraps you have lying around. If you want colored paper, try using colored scraps or add in some colored craft paper.

2. Tear and soak

Tear your paper into small squares (about 1-inch size). The smaller the pieces, the easier they’ll blend. Place these torn pieces in the basin and cover them with warm water. Allow them to soak for a few hours or, even better, overnight. This will soften the paper fibers and make them easier to pulp.

3. Blend to a pulp

After soaking, transfer the paper bits to a blender. Pour some of the water in as well to make blending easier. Blend until you achieve a smooth, oatmeal-like consistency. Now’s the time to get creative: Add flower petals, tiny leaves, or even a sprinkle of glitter to your pulp.

4. Spread and strain

Pour the pulp onto your screen or mesh. Use your hands to spread it out evenly, as you’ll want to make sure it’s neither too thick nor too thin.

5. Press out the water

Place your screen on top of a towel. With another towel or cloth on top of your pulp, use the sponge to press out as much water as you can. You want to sponge press repeatedly to remove the water, and the towel below will absorb it.

6. Drying

Once you’ve sponged out as much water as possible, leave your paper to dry. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a day, depending on the thickness of your paper and the humidity in your environment. For faster drying, you can place it in the sun or near a heat source.

7. Enjoy your homemade paper!

Once dry, gently peel your paper off the screen. Voila! You now have a piece of homemade paper ready for use. Whether it’s for a special handwritten letter, a craft project, or just to enjoy the beauty of creating something from scratch, there’s something truly magical about the process.


I hope that you and your grandkids both enjoy this wonderful lesson in recycling and creativity – I really think you will! This is one of those things that you can do more than once, so have fun creating and experimenting with different materials. Let me know what you think – and, as always, let’s talk again soon.

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