Since the invention of paper, its importance in our life has never diminished. Not even with the invention of the e-paper. So, the value of paper today is immeasurable. It would be safe to say that our daily life would be thrown into disarray, if paper were absolutely eliminated. However, our over dependence on paper has resulted in the destruction of the very forests from which the paper is derived. That is why, it is of outmost importance that we utilize each and every bit of paper we can find. And the best way to do this is recycling. The raw materials for papermaking are free and widely available. Waste paper can be recycled to make new paper, and we all know how much paper we throw away each day. Glossy magazines and hard structured paper, however, do not make very good paper, but there are other sources of waste paper, such as packaging and discarded envelopes, and newsprint, which you could recycle. Printing inks are washed out during the papermaking process or you can add a small amount of bleach to the paper pulp to remove the color. Vegetable fibers are another source of raw material. Paper can be made from celery, iris, gladioli, straw, wheat, bamboo, potatoes, reeds, or beans; each gives a different color, texture, and even a pleasant aroma to the finished sheets of paper. Coarse stems and leaves leave particles of fiber in the paper, which add to its natural "handmade" appeal. To know more, go through the article below for tips on making homemade recycled paper.
Learn To Make Homemade Recycled Paper
- Old papers like newspapers, printouts, notebooks or any other unwaxed paper.
- A wooden picture frame
- A fiber glass screen or a window screen
- A wide basin
- 2 tablespoons liquid starch
- A felt or flannel fabric or a piece of Formica
- A flat surface
- Take the wooden picture frame and then stretch the window screen or fiberglass screen over it. Fix the screen on the frame by stapling or nailing it. The screen should be pulled tightly across the frame. The frame should be large enough to hold the entire size of the paper that you wish to make, as this frame will be used to prepare the paper.
- Source the papers that you want to recycle. While selecting the papers, remember that the amount of dark ink in them will determine the grayness in the recycled paper. Remove the staples, pins, or plastic from the paper. Keep only the paper and discard all the impurities.
- Fill the bucket with water and soak all the paper in it for two days.
- After the paper has been thoroughly soaked, shred the paper into tiny bits and place the scraps into the blender. Pour warm water into the blender and then blend until the paper forms into a smooth pulp. It is better if you run the blender slow at first and then increase the speed. It will generally take about 30 to 40 seconds. Take care to blend thoroughly so that there are no flakes behind. You can also use a pestle and mortar but the blender is the most effective.
- The paper pulp must be transferred to the basin. The basin should be of the size that it comfortably accommodates the frame. Fill half the basin with water. Then add the paper pulp and make a homogenous mixture by stirring vigorously.
- The thickness of the paper will depend on the amount of pulp you add to the basin. For a paper of normal thickness, add as much pulp as to cover the screen without making the whole tub into sludge. With repeated practice, you will get to know the correct amount of pulp for the right thickness.
- Now remove any paper clumps from the mixture. The smoothness of the paper will depend on the fineness of the mixture.
- If you want to use your recycled paper for writing purposes then you should make it ink-ready. For that, you should mix 2 tablespoons of liquid starch into the pulp mixture. The paper fibers will then be prevented from soaking in the ink by the starch.
- Next, immerse the screen frame into the basin with the screen down and then level it while it is still submerged.
- Shake the screen gently from side to side, so that the pulp in the top of the screen lies uniformly flat.
- Lift the frame swiftly above the water and drain it over the basin. After the water is drained, you can check for the thickness. If the paper is too thin, then you can add more pulp by stirring in the mixture again. If it is too thick then use a plastic knife to scrap the pulp from the top.
- After the water stops dripping, place a piece of flannel or felt fabric on top of the paper. Press gently to squeeze the excess water out.
- After you have removed the water completely, gently lift the fabric out of the frame. The paper should remain stuck on the fabric and not on the screen. If you find any bubbles or ‘hills’, then press it out.
- Now place the fabric with the paper on a flat surface to dry. You can also use a hair dryer to dry the paper.
- After the paper sheets have dried thoroughly peel them off from the fabric.