Consumers have created a demand for recycled content in their paper, but only 4.8 per cent of recovered paper is reused to make new paper as of a 2001 report by the American Forest and Paper Association. You can create homemade sheets of paper--each one as unique from the others as a fingerprint. By adding seeds to the pulp, turn a simple craft into a plantable gift. Include your paper as a gift tag to create a memorable impression.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 50 sheets of recycled computer paper
- 10 sheets of coloured construction paper
- Small flat flower seeds
- Food processor
- Turkey baster
- Window screen
- 5-by-7 inch wooden picture frame
- Stapler and staples
- Plastic basin
- Disposable cloths
- Baking tray
- Cardboard square
- Brick or stone
- Optional mixture of any of the following:
- Egg cartons
- Paper towel rolls
- Tissue paper
- Recycled cards
Center a window screen over a picture frame. Staple the screen securely into the frame about every inch.
Shred several kinds of paper into small pieces. Fill a food processor or blender half full, and pour in water to the liquid line. Pulse for 60 seconds until the pulp mixture is smooth.
Fill a rectangular basin half full of water. Pour three to four processor loads of paper pulp into the basin. Add small, flat flower seeds and stir.
Immerse the frame into the water basin, slowly moving it back and forth until pulp covers the frame to the desired consistency. Lift the frame out of the water, being careful to keep it even. Hold the frame above the basin for a few seconds, allowing the excess water to drain off. Use a turkey baster full of pulp to fill in any gaps in the frame.
Place a disposable cloth on top of the frame and flip over with the pulp side facing down. Use a sponge to soak up any extra water. Have a friend hold the fabric flat while you slowly pick up the frame, leaving the pulp on the dish towel or cloth. Use your fingers to gently smooth any rough edges or bubbles.
Repeat the process again, stacking the disposable fabric squares on the baking tray until the pulp is gone from the basin. Lay a piece of cardboard over the final layer and place a stone or brick on top to squeeze out the extra water.
Peel the layers of cloth apart and allow them to dry for 24 hours. Carefully separate the cloths from the paper.
Turn the paper into cards or cut out shapes and attach to gifts. Include instructions for planting the paper. Recipients should rip small pieces of the seeded paper and plant.
Tips and warnings
- Use more pulp to create thicker paper.
- If the pulp sticks to the frame when you remove it, you probably took it off too quickly.
- Remove staples from paper before putting in the food processor.
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