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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Making Recycled Paper

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Making Recycled Paper

(Ages 7-12)

Number of Attendees:


How many did you plan or set registration for? Planned up to 20, registration required

How many did you actually have attend? 20


1 hour

Prep: 20 minutes, unless you will be shredded kids' paper they bring from home.

How long did the actual program take start to finish? 1 hour


  • Waste paper shredded
  • Water
  • Blender
  • Cooking spray (e.g. Pam)
  • Frame (see below for instructions)
  • Felt
  • Sponge
  • Rectangular tub to hold water (must be larger than the door screen you make)
  • Dried flowers or confetti (optional)
  • Liquid starch
  • Rubber bands or clamps
  • Flat trays
  • Newspaper
  • Iron (optional)
  • Heat Gun or hair dryer (optional)
  • Seeds (optional)

Description of Program:

In this event kids grades 2nd – 6th will learn how to make recycled paper from the paper they bring from home. Volunteers and staff members are needed to run the different stations.

Have you ever heard of the 3r's? Join us in learning how we can reduce, reuse, and recycle by making recycled paper out of your junk mail. This is a family event that teaches us the fundamentals on how by recycling paper, companies as well as people can reuse paper for new uses.


Please read all instructions first before you begin.

  1. The Frame - the frame is made by taking wood strips and making a frame. Mesh is attached onto of the frames which is called the "mold", the second frame is made without the mess added. It is called the "deckie". **You can also use old frames as long as it is wide enough to attach the screen to it. The video below will help demonstrate how to make the frame.
  2. Set up room into four centers. There should be a volunteer/staff member managing each center.
  3. Center 1 - The Mixing Center
    1. Part I
      1. Take your frame, screen side up (the mold) and place the second screen on top of it (the deckie).
      2. Coat the screen with cooking spray. (It will help eliminate the possibility of the paper sticking to the screen)
      3. Wrap rubber bands or clamps around both the frames. (As shown in the photo above)
      4. Get your tub and add water.
      5. Put your frame into the water.
    2. Part II
      1. Put the shredded paper into a blender.
      2. Fill the blender 2/3 full with warm water.
      3. Add 2 teaspoons of liquid starch.
      4. Add lid to blender. Pulse the blender a few times until the pulp is smooth.
      5. Pour the pulp into the frame.
      6. Take your pan to the Gathering Center.
  4. Center 2 - Gathering Center
    1. Gently stir the pulp with your hands to distribute the mixture evenly in the pan.
    2. If you choose you can add dried flowers or confetti to the pan to make your paper pretty.
    3. Lower the "Mold" and the "Deckie" into the pan. Gently shake the frame to stir up the pulp. Your goal is to try to get an even layer of pulp to settle on the top of the screen.
    4. If you want you can add seeds at this point. This makes your recycled paper, plantable paper. You cannot use the confetti/dried flowers if you do this.
    5. Take your frame and remove it from the water and place it on your flat tray.
    6. Bring your tray to the Water Removal Center.
  5. Center 3 - The Water Removal Center
    1. Remove the rubber bands or clamps from the frame.
    2. Take the "Deckie" off (the frame without the mesh).
    3. Place a piece of felt (or screening) on top of the "mold". The felt should cover the entire frame and with a 1" overhang.
    4. Take a flat tray and place over the felt/frame.
    5. Flip the screen, paper and felt over.
    6. Use the sponge to soak up some of the water from the paper through the screen.
    7. Squeeze the water out of the sponge as it gets saturated.
    8. Carefully remove the screen.
    9. Take your paper to the Drying Center.
  6. Center 4 - Drying Center
    1. Your sheet of wet paper should now be lying on top of a piece of felt.
    2. Flip it over onto a piece of newspaper.
    3. Your wet paper is underneath the felt. Gently life one edge of the felt up and remove the entire felt sheet slowly.
    4. Grab a sponge and dab the back of the felt to soak up the excess water and dry again.
    5. You can let dry overnight or dry with an iron.


Under $100, however $80 of it was to make the frames, which can be used over and over again.


The room was set up with 4 tables. The Mixing Center and the Drying Center needed to be near electrical outlets for the iron and blender.

We found it was best to do a demonstration before the kids actually started working on the project.


“Kids watching a demonstration”


Submitted by:

Deborah Fagnan, Ridgefield Park Public Library - deborah.fagnan@ridgefieldpark.bccls.org

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