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Making paper with kids is a rewarding experience, and today I’m going to share how to make paper with kids. These steps work for anyone interested in how to make paper, and I give specific tips and advice on how to make paper with kids (even toddlers!)

how to make paper with kids

Supplies: How to Make Paper

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  • Window Screen. This sliding window screen is economical and reusable.
  • Two Plastic Wash Tubs  or similar
  • Washcloth/rag/burp cloth/large piece of felt
  • Water
  • Torn paper from newspaper, tissue paper, magazines, etc. Be sure that it’s staple and tape-free
  • Blender  <<This is my favorite economical workhorse machine. 
  • Small seeds (optional)

Instructions: How to Make Paper

  1. Tear the paper into tiny strips, about 2″.
  2. Place your window screen on top of one of the plastic tubs
  3. Place your window screen on top of one of the plastic tubs
  4. Add paper to the blender, cover it with water, and run the blender on a low speed. Since you will squeeze all the water out of the paper pulp, you can’t really have too much water. If the blender doesn’t move easily, add more water.
  5. Run the blender a little bit faster until you get the paper mixture into a nice, smooth pulp. Ours is kind of chunky because my kids wanted it that way. Yours can be smoother.
  6. Spread the pulp thinly and uniformly across the screen and then layer a cloth diaper or towel on top to absorb the extra water, while also pushing the water through the screen into the tub. Get the kids involved.
  7. Place one hand firmly on top of the cloth while you flip the screen over onto a table or countertop that can handle water.
  8. Remove the screen and put the cloth with paper pulp in a spot where it can dry, undisturbed, for about a day. The thicker the paper, the longer it will take to dry.

Making paper with kids - so easy!

How to make paper with kids

Making paper with kids requires some patience and preparation, but it’s not tricky and the process is worth exploring with children or anyone who’s curious about how to make paper.

After my toddler created a sensory bin full of paper and water, I saw an opportunity to upcycle that mushy paper pulp into some new-to-us paper. We had most of the materials handy, but had to make a trip to the hardware store to buy a small window screen (affiliate)

To get into the spirit and expand our knowledge of paper making, we watched a Mr. Roger’s episode about paper making. You can watch it, too!

If you like this video you’ll also love learning about how crayons are made.

how to make paper with kids

Let’s start with the materials…

how to make paper with kids

  1. Mix paper with water

how to make paper with kids2. Place the screen over tubMake paper with a blender

3. Put wet paper in the blender

how to make paper

4. Blend the paper

My toddler wanted to play with the pulp right away. She squeezed it, scooped it, and carried bowls full of pulp into the living room. Fun!

how to make paper with kids

5. Spread the paper pulp over the screen

how to make paper

6. Press the pulp down and squeeze out the water

how to make paper

7. Allow the paper to dry. This could take a day or two depending on humidity and thickness of the paper.

Make paper with a screen

8. Remove your paper and cut it into pieces, draw on it, or use it in art making.

Because our pulp was on the thick side, the paper doesn’t look like typical thin paper. As a result of this, your child may wonder if they really made paper! This is a great opportunity to discuss and question how paper manufacturers might get such thin paper.

What can you do with homemade paper?

We haven’t done much with it yet, but we’ll probably write on it with permanent markers or paint with watercolors. Because we embedded seeds in the pulp, we could cut these up and give them away to friends, with the invitation to plant them in their gardens.

Benefits of Making Paper

Making paper teaches children how one of our most ubiquitous materials — PAPER — is made, and it’s also a fun sensory project for kids of all ages.

More Handmade Paper Inspiration

Allison of No Time for Flashcards used and Immersion Blender to make Recycled Paper Hearts.

Kristi of Creative Connections for Kids made Wildflower Paper Ornaments (using the same screen as us!).

Melitza of Play Activities made Earth Day Seeded Paper.

How to make paper with kids | TinkerLab

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40 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing our wildflower paper ornaments! Great post. 🙂 Kristi

    • Of course, Kristi. I love your ornaments. So pretty!

  2. Thanks for the post!!
    Putti and me have tried making paper at a local wildlife festival last yr. Havent tried it at home. Thanks for inspiration and remainder!! Love all the added links, gives more ideas.

    • Don’t you love showing up at community events and having someone else take the kids through a great project? I bet you girls will enjoy this.

  3. Lovely! I may try this and cut them into small hearts (or just draw some hearts on) to make “Mother Love Seeds”. Then have my son give them to his friend’s moms on Mother’s Day! Will keep this in mind for next Valentine’s Day – I think his preschool friends would like to plant their valentine.

  4. Making paper is fun.  After my wedding, I used some of the flowers in handmade paper.  Thanks for sharing.

  5. You always do such a great job of giving me confidence to do something that I have been too intimidated to try before. After your post, I believe we could make paper on our own. Now, I am regretting giving away our window screens when we moved into a house with installed screens.  
    Thank you so much for sharing our idea!  I am looking fwd to checking out the other ideas too.  

  6. Back in mid-March we made a dandelion paper. My son picked lots of yellow dandelions and we added them to the ingredients before blending. So the paper was really pretty light yellow color. Which gave me an idea to make paper each month using different flowers (or leaves or seeds), whatever is in season and easy to find in the yard or at the farmer’s market. We are yet to make paper this month, so your post is a reminder for me. 

  7. I used to make paper all the time! This brings me back.
    Great idea and fun for all ages. My one year old would love the texture and my four year old is into letter writing. How fun would it be to have to make her own stationary. Thanks for the inspiration and reminder on how to do it!

  8. This is a great sensory activity! What an excellent idea. I think we will be trying this out very soon. We’ve never made our own paper before.

    • Oh, I’m sure you’ll love this, Didi. The pulp has a nice texture. Squishy and soft, and not sticky or icky. And then you have paper at the end of it!

  9. We made paper before blogging days. The process is always awesome. Try adding glitter and flower petals next time.

    • We’ll do that! Now that I own the screen, I see a lot of paper making in our future. Thanks for the great ideas. 

  10. Hey! Great idea! I would try putting more water in the blender, which will make the material lie flatter on the screen after all of the water is pressed out of it. This will make thinner, more traditional paper!

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  14. This is so awesome I loved making paper when I was in elementary school they really only did it for earth day. I had figured out how to do it at home.
    Now sharing the same passion ( renewed )for creativity I once had with my children.
    Your post reminds me of fond memories I had long since forgotten. Thank you for your post I will be doing this soon.

    • I’m happy to hear this inspired you, Erica. One of the biggest gifts of being a parent is to remember what it’s like to be a kid 🙂

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  16. […] climate change conversation, here are three earth-focussed activities you can try with your child: make your own recycled paper, make a fairy garden, build and then create in a mud […]

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