Make Recycled Paper

An Activity for Tu BiShvat

For this activity, you’ll need:

  • Scrap paper
  • A piece of screening (approximately 10” x 10”) with the edges taped over to prevent wounds (duct tape works best)
  • Washbasin
  • Blender or food processor
  • Old towels
  • Rolling pin

Tear the scrap paper into small pieces and soak it in hot water for half an hour. Take a handful of the paper, put it into a blender or food processor, and add water until half-full. Blend until you no longer see pieces of paper.

Pour the mixture over the screen (with a basin underneath to catch water). Shake the screen back and forth to get an even layer of fibers on the screen.  It may be necessary to lower the screen into the water in the basin in order to even out the layer. Lift the screen carefully out of the water.

Lay the screening between old towels. Roll with a rolling pin to get the fibers flat and even, then let dry for at least an hour.

Gently remove the paper from the screen by turning the screen upside down and peeling the paper away from the edges. The rest of the paper should fall away from the screen.