Make paper 10

3. Make your own paper
devised by John Malam

Follow these step-by-step instructions to make your own paper. It's an easy classroom activity which can be carried out over two or three days. You could plan to make many sheets and build them into a class book linked to your World Book Day or Children's Book Week events.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Sheets of newspaper
  • Mixing bowls
  • Potato masher or a hand-held food blender
  • Wire coathanger or garden wire
  • Pair of tights
Make paper 01
1. Tear sheets of newspaper
into lots of small pieces.

Make paper 02
2. Put the pieces into a bowl.
Cover with lots of water.
Leave to soak over night.

Make paper 05a
3. Mash the soaked paper with a
potato masher (very slow method).
Or give them a quick whizz with
a food blender (best fast method).

Make paper 05b
4. The mashed-up paper should
look like thick grey porridge.
This is your paper pulp.

Make paper 06
5. Add the pulp to a bowl of
water. The mixture should look
like thick soup – not too runny.

Make paper 03
6. Bend a wire coathanger into the shape you want your paper to be.
It has to be able to fit into the
bowl you've used in step 5.

Make paper 04
7. Stretch one leg of a pair of
tights over the coathanger.
Stretch as much as you can.
Attach to the coathanger handle.

Make paper 07
8. Give the paper pulp a good stir.
Lower the coathanger frame into
the water. Keep it level. Cover with
a thin layer of pulp. Lift out.

Make paper 08
9. Place the frame on sheets of
newspaper to dry (takes a few days).
Or put it on a tray in an airing
cupboard (faster method).

Make paper 09
10. When dry, carefully peel
the paper from the frame.
Make paper 10
11. Your paper is ready to use.

Try this:
For coloured or textured paper, add food colouring, leaves, chopped grass
or petals to the pulp mixture at step 5.