Sunday, November 8, 2009

Making Paper

Jeremy was at Walmart one day and found some paper making kits on clearance. They were normally about $20 each, but he got them for $5 each. He decided this would be a great Family Night activity. He started looking at how this works before we actually did it with the kids. He found out that it is a messy project.

First, you have to shred paper. Then the paper has to soak in water for 2 hours, I think, before you can actually use it in the project. We had some newspaper laying around and decided to shred it for this paper making project. I think if we wouldn't have used newspaper, it might not have been as bad. Everyone knows how messy newspaper can be on its own, then try to shred it and soak it in a bucket of water.
After the shredded newspaper had soaked for the designated amount of time, we poured it into little containers that resembled blenders. Each of our children had one. Then we were to "blend" the shredded paper for several minutes.

After it was done "blending" it looked like this...and was called pulp.
Finn, Piper, and Seven were sitting with their tubs of water, waiting for their pulp to be poured into them.
Jeremy was pouring Finn's pulp into his tub of water.
We let the kids pick what color of paper they wanted to make. We used food coloring to change the color of the pulp to make colored paper. Finn chose green.
Piper chose blue. She was trying to take off the lid of the food coloring and put the drops in her pulp all by herself.
Seven chose red.
Next, they picked what shape they wanted their paper to be. Then they had to sift the pulp onto that shaped template. Finn had a hard time at first...he is like his mom and dad and doesn't like his hands to get messy. He just sat their looking at the mess in his tub. I asked him what he was doing. He said that he didn't want to get his hands messy. Poor kid, takes after his mom and dad.
Seven chose to make his paper shaped like a red star. After it was on the template, we had to let it dry for about 24 hours before they could write on their paper.
Here is Finn's green circle paper that he made. I didn't think to take a picture of their paper after it had dried, so it is still wet, too.
Here is Piper's blue heart paper before it dried.

I don't know that we will make paper again. It was an experience that I am sure the kids loved. It was fun. Would I recommend doing this with your family? That is entirely up to you :) There are pros and cons. I think the pros and cons will be different with each person. For one, and you might laugh at this, but Jeremy and I don't like to get messy. This was definately a messy project.

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