How to Make Recycled Paper at Home?

Discover how to make recycled paper at home and enjoy this ecological activity with your children. What do you think?
How to Make Recycled Paper at Home?

Last update: 02 August, 2022

Do you have unused paper and cardboard stored at home? Do you want to do something useful with it? Learn how to make recycled paper at home! You’ll see that it’s a very simple and fun activity to do as a family.

Your children won’t only love this craft, but you’ll also teach them how to contribute to the care of the environment. There’s no better way to learn than through example and imitation.

How to recycle paper at home

Keeping order in our home is a daily challenge, as over time, the accumulation of unnecessary objects saturates the physical space and produces a feeling of chaos. The key to improving this quickly is to become aware and start with an organized cleaning of drawers, cabinets, and closets to select everything that can be recycled.

Then, the process is simple. First, you have to separate everything that can be reduced, recycled, or reused and make sure it’s not stained with grease or oils. Next, select items that contain paper, such as envelopes, notebook pages, magazines and newspapers, cardboard boxes, brochures, books, or printing paper that you no longer use. Place the rest of the recyclables in boxes or bags to take to the recycling center nearest your home.

Step-by-step instructions for paper recycling

In the eyes of children, the process of making paper can be magical. They’ll be transforming useless things into something completely new and usable. Shall we get started?

Materials to use

  • Paper for recycling
  • Water
  • Deep container
  • Blender
  • Metal or plastic mesh
  • Sponge
  • Rolling pin
  • 2 soft cloth cloths

Procedure

  1. Cut the paper by hand into thin strips.
  2. Fill a container with water. It can be cold or hot, but the latter accelerates the paper disintegration process.
  3. Soak the paper strips for at least 12 hours.
  4. Place the soaked paper in the blender and shred.
  5. Drain the excess water. It should be a smooth, lump-free paste, which is the paper pulp.
  6. Spread the paper mixture on the mesh and stretch with the help of a rolling pin.
  7. Press with a sponge to remove excess water.
  8. Turn the sheet over on the wet cloth and with the sponge remove the excess water again.
  9. Remove the mesh and cover with another damp cloth. Press so that the dough is very thin.
  10. Place a heavy element so that the sheet is smooth.
  11. Let dry for 24 hours.
Notebooks make of recycled materials.
You already have a sheet of recycled paper at home! Now, you can write or paint on it and also make your own ecological notebooks or notepads.

Another recipe to recycle and create as a family

Without a doubt, knowing how to recycle paper at home is good, but also, finding a functionality for it encourages children to learn more. The additional idea you’ll find below is to work with the wet dough that you already prepared in the previous process and add a little imagination, creativity, and color to it.

Materials to use

  • Wet paper dough
  • Glue
  • Oil, Vaseline, or detergent
  • Food coloring
  • Molds of different shapes (hearts or stars)
  • Varnish or wax
  • Painting materials: Acrylics, tempera, watercolors
  • Elements to decorate: Beads, glitter, among others

Procedure

  1. Perform steps 1 to 5 of the previous process.
  2. Add the glue to the paper pulp. The ratio is as follows: For each cup of paper pulp, add 1/2 cup of glue.
  3. Mix and knead well.
  4. Add coloring powder according to what objects you want to mold next.
  5. Grease the mold with oil, petroleum jelly, or detergent.
  6. Spread the dough on the chosen mold.
  7. Apply details of your choice: Delicate or rustic finish with beads, glitter, threads, or whatever you like.
  8. Let dry for 24 to 72 hours, depending on the thickness.
  9. After this time, gently remove from the mold.
  10. Pass varnish, wax, or hand paint with the motif of the children’s choice.

The final finish will give a special touch to each piece, making it unique and original!

A child separating recycleable materials from non-recycleable materials.
Teach your children to separate waste from an early age. This way, they’ll be able to adopt it as a habit and put into practice the 3Rs technique: Reduce, recycle, and reuse.

What are the benefits of making recycled paper at home?

Recycling is the process of collecting and transforming waste or unused materials, such as paper, into new elements or products to give them a “second life”.

“… making recycled paper from paper that has already been used means a 74 % reduction in gas emissions into the atmosphere compared to making paper from cellulose.”

– NatGeo Spain –

You can present this activity to children as a game, but in reality, you’re teaching them ecological habits and environmental responsibility with the consequent benefits:

  • Reduced use of resources such as water and energy.
  • Reduction in the need to manufacture new materials.
  • Reduced environmental pollution due to less waste.
  • Control of gaseous emissions from waste incineration.

In short, making recycled paper at home is a way to teach children some basic concepts of environmental education. Therefore, they’ll understand that with small actions, it’s possible to contribute a lot to the care of the environment.

But there’s still more to do, such as spreading the advice of Greenpeace and achieving a much healthier world.

Spread the word: You know, campaign in your environment (company, school or association) to reduce paper consumption, recycle it, and improve the consumption of paper and its derivatives.

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