How to Make Paper with Kids: A step-by-step tutorial

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 learning 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 | TinkerLab

Papermaking with kids is a fun and creative activity that can be done with common household items! Making paper teaches children how one of our most commonly used materials — PAPER — is made, and it’s also a fun sensory project for kids of all ages. You will need a blender, water, a few sheets of paper or paper scraps, a screen, and a large container.

TLDR > How do you make your own paper?

First, rip the paper into small pieces and put them in the blender. Add enough water to cover the paper, then blend until the paper is completely broken down into a pulp. Place the screen over the container. Pour the pulp into the container, and then use your hands to spread it out evenly. Press the pulp with a towel to absorb moisture. Finally, flip the paper over, remove the screen, and let the pulp dry on the towel.

Supplies: How to Make Paper

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  • Water
  • Paper: newspaper, tissue paper, magazines, etc. Be sure that it’s staple and tape-free
  • Window Screen. This sliding window screen is economical and reusable.
  • Washcloth, towel, rag, paper towels, o a large piece of felt to absorb water
  • Small seeds, plant fibers, flower petals, or food coloring (optional)

Getting started

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 to make our own 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)

Mr. Rogers shows us how paper is made

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: a step-by-step tutorial

What is the best material to make paper?

Almost anything goes. Just make sure it’s staple and tape-free. Also, no plastic! See if you can gather one or a few of the paper products from this list:

  • old newspapers
  • printer paper
  • junk mail
  • wrapping paper
  • paper grocery bags

Other Materials for Papermaking

  • flower petals
  • food coloring
  • small seeds
  • plan fibers
  • thread
  • leaves
  • hemp or cotton pieces

Instructions: An Easy Way to Make Paper with Kids

  1. Tear the paper into tiny strips, about 2″.
  2. Place your window screen on top of one of the plastic tubs
  3. Fill the blender about three quarters with water. Add a couple handfuls of paper to the blender. Run the blender on a low speed. You don’t want to burn the motor, so be sure the paper is covered. 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.
  4. Run the blender a little bit faster until the mixture is a nice, smooth pulp. Ours is kind of chunky because my kids wanted it that way. Yours can be smoother.
  5. Pour the pulp thinly and uniformly across the screen. Place a towel on top to absorb the extra water, while also pushing the water through the screen into the tub. Get the kids involved.
  6. Place one hand firmly on top of the cloth while you flip the screen over onto a table or countertop that can handle water.
  7. 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.
how to make paper with kids: a step-by-step tutorial
how to maker paper with kids easy

Let’s start with the materials…

how to make paper with kids: a step-by-step tutorial
kids make paper slurry

1. Mix paper with water to make a slurry. You can skip this step and just add dry paper to the blender, but it’s fun for kids to swoosh the wet paper around.

how to make paper with kids: a step-by-step tutorial
prepare to make paper with kids

2. Place the screen over a pan or bin

how to make paper with kids: a step-by-step tutorial
paper pulp in a bin

3. Fill blender about three quarters full with water, or as much water as you like. You can’t overdo it.  Add paper to the blender.

how to make paper with kids: a step-by-step tutorial
paper pulp in blender

4. Blend the paper until it’s smooth. Ours is intentionally chunky because that’s how the kids wanted it. Who am I to say otherwise?

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: a step-by-step tutorial
toddler makes homemade paper over a screen
how to make paper with kids

5. Spread the paper pulp over the screen

how to make paper with kids: a step-by-step tutorial
press paper pulp with towel over screen and bin

6. Press the pulp down and squeeze out the excess water. You can see the extra water falling into the bin below.

how to make paper with kids: a step-by-step tutorial
papermaking screen and cloth

7. Place the towel over the paper pulp and flip it over. Allow the paper to dry. This could take a day or two depending on humidity and thickness of the paper.

how to make paper with kids: a step-by-step tutorial
papermaking drying on cloth

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?

You can do so many fun and creative things with homemade paper! You can create cards, scrapbooks, banners, origami, collages, and so much more!

We haven’t done much with it yet, but we’ll probably write on it with permanent markers or paint with watercolors.

You could also make Seed Paper: We decided to embed seeds in the pulp, so we could cut these up and give them away to friends with the invitation to plant them in their gardens!

Can you do this without a screen?

Yes, you can make paper without a screen! You just need is a blender,  scrap paper, a piece of felt or a towel, and water. Start by blending the scrap paper until it turns into a pulp. Then, spread the pulp over the felt with a spoon and your hands. Once the paper is dry, you can add color, designs, or other decorations. Have fun!

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: a step-by-step tutorial
how to make paper with kids


  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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