Ancient Egyptians used papyrus --- a thick paper-like material produced from the papyrus plant --- as a writing material and wrote in hieroglyphics, a pictorial writing system. While it may be difficult to make traditional papyrus, it is easy enough to use brown paper bags layered together to create paper that looks similar to the Egyptian paper. To give the Egyptian paper project an authentic look, decorate it with hieroglyphics or a traditional Egyptian scene, such as the pyramids or the sphinx.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
Things you need
- 4 to 5 brown paper bags
- White glue
- Vinyl table cloth
- Book or website on hieroglyphics
- Acrylic paint or markers
Tear the brown bags into approximately one-inch strips, and let the edges be rough for a more natural look.
Mix together equal parts glue and water in the bowl with a spoon.
Cover your work space with an old vinyl table cloth to protect the surface.
Dip each paper bag strip into the glue mixture one at a time, coating it fully. Once coated, remove it from the mixture and pinch your fingers on the strip and pull down, removing any excess glue.
Lay the strip flat on the table cloth and repeat the glue-dipping process with the other strips, arranging them so they overlap horizontally and vertically. Smooth out any wrinkles.
Air dry your paper on the table cloth for a few hours or until it feels slightly dry. Gently remove it from the table cloth, peeling up slowly, and hang up to dry both sides.
After 24 hours, your paper is ready to decorate. Using a book or website about hieroglyphics, pick your favourite designs out spell out your name using the ancient Egyptian writing using acrylic paint or markers.
Let the finished image dry for an additional few hours, especially if using paint.
Tips and warnings
- If you don't have time to make your own paper, use light brown parchment paper. Attach two empty paper towel holders to each end of your parchment and your Egyptian paper project will look like a scroll.
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