How to make mirror paper

Written by joshua roberts
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Mirror paper is a great craft material to have around for young children, but it can be extremely expensive and hard to find. Robert Lang of Lang Origami has an easy approach that uses some very basic household supplies and simple steps to make metallic paper. The end result will be a flexible, reflective piece of paper that kids can cut up, colour, or manipulate for a variety of craft projects.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Regular aluminium foil
  • Newspaper
  • Tissue paper (in sheets)
  • Artist's spray adhesive
  • Roller

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  1. 1

    Set up an area with plenty of ventilation. Spread newspaper on a clean, flat surface such as concrete, vinyl, hardwood, or concrete. Do not set your craft area over tiles as the grout channels can cause wrinkling.

  2. 2

    Dispense a square of aluminium foil roughly equal to the size of your tissue paper, leaning a little bit to the larger side. Take your spray adhesive and hold 18" away from the newspaper. Give a very light spray of the adhesive, just enough so that the foil can be held in place on the newspaper during the assembly process. Gently rest the foil shiny side down on the newspaper and tap down just a little bit.

  3. 3

    Spray a heavier amount of adhesive on the side of the foil that is now facing up. You want to cover the entire surface area so that no amount of reflection is visible. Be sure to spray all the way to the edge.

  4. 4

    Take a sheet of tissue paper and very carefully drape it as flat as possible along one edge of the foil. Use your hands to guide the rest of the tissue down to the foil without leaving wrinkles. This is a delicate process, but the feather light weight of tissue paper should allow you to very slowly land the paper on the foil without a problem.

  5. 5

    Use the roller to apply gently pressure progressively from one side of the tissue paper to the other.

  6. 6

    Pull two corners of the newly made mirror paper from between the newspaper and the foil. Slowly pull the foil away from the mildly adhesive newspaper until it is free. Use windex and a soft rag to gently clean the shiny surface of the paper, and then the kids are free to cut, colour, and use the paper in any way they want.

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