Articles

    Making Paper

    Kids, how would you like to make your own paper? You'll need two full newspaper pages, water, a coat hanger, an old pair of panty hose, two spoonfuls of white glue, a wad of dryer lint, a blender or food processor, and a kitchen sink. 

    Please note:  All chemicals and experiments can entail an element of risk, and no experiments should be performed without proper adult supervision.

    Keep the hook in the coat hanger but re-shape the triangle to make it into a square. Stretch the panty hose over the wire square and tie knots in the ends (tie it around the hook); clip off the rest of the hose. Tear the newspaper into strips and then into tiny squares. Put the pieces into the blender and add enough water to cover it. You can add the dryer lint for extra texture. Have an adult turn on the blender and watch while it runs for about three minutes. Turn off the blender, put the stopper in your sink, and pour in the gray gunk. Add four or five inches of water, add the glue, and mix it up really well using your hands. Put the wire square in the sink until it's flat on the bottom, then life it out very, very slowly. Very slowly. When it's all the way out, let the water drip out for a whole minute. Hang your square in a dry, warm place until it is completely dried out. Any moisture will wreck your paper, so be patient. Peel your paper off of the square and cut it, write on it, draw on it, do whatever paper-y thing you like.

    Your paper is in fact better than real paper because it's recycled paper! Every ton of paper we recycle can save 13 to 20 harvestable trees. Recycling helps keep the planet in balance, so keep it up!

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    Kathleen Carrado Gregar, PhD, Argonne National Labs 
    [email protected]
    February 1997

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    References: "Beakman's World" internet site at: www.spe.sony.com/Pictures/tv/
    beakman/beakman.html.