How to Make Recycled Paper Without Mold and Deckle
Updated: Jun 22, 2021
I don't know exactly what it is about recycled paper, but it feels SO good to make them! Maybe it's the fact that you can make something like paper (that looks way more aesthetically pleasing than factory processed sheets) out of scratch, or it could be the proud and accomplished feeling you get from choosing to recycling rather than burning to release toxic fumes. Trust me, I would know since I've done my fair share of burning old notes and contributing to global warming...yikes!
Anyways, I've come across a lot of tutorials on how to make recycled paper but most of them required things like a mold and deckle (aka frame, mesh, and screen), paper towels and what not. I had none of those things in my possession which led me to improvise with whatever I had in my household. And now I'll be sharing my wisdom with you!
What you'll need:
Used paper/old egg cartons
Small sheet of polythene
Get your waste paper and tear them into small bits. The smaller the better. Here, I've used 5 CR book pages from my brothers Chemistry or Physics (not sure which since Thermodynamics was taught in both subjects, right?) notebook. I swear it's an old one and he doesn't need it anymore!
Soak the paper overnight. Yeah, this is where you need that patience.
Side note: I know the image looks like my paper isn't soaking but floating. I swear that's not the case! Guess my phone camera just doesn't pick it up. So I want to emphasize once again that the paper bits must be drenched and submerged.
I also tore up an old egg carton to see how that would turn out. In the end, I noticed that one 10-egg carton yielded three times more recycled paper than the 5 sheets of A4 sized paper.
Once the paper has soaked and become soggy, strain the water (not a compulsory step but I feel like the paper comes out more clean if you strain the water left from soaking), throw the paper into a blender, add some fresh water, and grind it to a smooth pulp. Avoid adding a lot of paper at once since it might heat up your blender.