Thursday, May 26, 2011

Making Paper the Quick and Easy Way

     I discovered this way of making paper a little while back when I was teaching my co-op nature class.  I wanted the kids to make paper as an activity to go along with our wasp study, but I couldn't find any tutorials that didn't require hours of time and lot's of equipment.  That was until I discovered the tin can method.  You can turn out little circles of paper in just a few minutes, and I didn't have to buy or make any special equipment.  We had so much fun making this in class, that I decided to incorporate it into Anna's tree lapbook. 

All you need is :
1. Two tin cans, (or a tin can and a yogurt container, as is the case here) with one of the cans having it's bottom cut out.
2. A blender.
3. Window screen.
4. An embroidery hoop.
5. Several rags or hand towels
6. Scrap paper
It was actually all those little bits of paper left over from cutting out the mini books, that gave me the idea of making paper for her lapbook.
     After you have all your supplies, start ripping up the paper into little bits, and then let them soak for a few minutes.  Dump the water and the paper into the blender, and blend until it looks like sludge.  Set your embroidery hoop with the screen in it, on top of the yogurt container, and then put your bottomless can on top of that.  Lift up the can when the water has mostly drained out, and it looks gelatinous.
Press the water out with a rag, and then remove the screen.  If the paper wants to stick to the screen, just press some more water out. 

 Lay the paper on another rag or paper towel, and press some more.  That's it!  This project is so easy, that Anna was able to do it almost entirely by herself.  She made  a few different colors, and even experimented by putting leaves in the mix. 

Here are some of the paper circles finished, and drying in the sun.

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