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Doing your own bit

Making new paper from old paper

If you don't know what to do with your old school books and scraps of paper, why not roll up your sleeves and make them into new paper with flower petals in for a nice smell and a pretty look.

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How to make new paper from old paper

There's always paper lying around. Scraps of it, old notebooks, pieces of wrapping paper that are too torn to re-use. (Pssst... we can also show you a cool way to wrap gifts without paper) But getting back to your new paper, here's what you have to do.

1. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get your hands a bit dirty.

2. Get your old paper, a big bowl, a soup mixer (like the one in the picture), water, flower petals (if you want some) and a big sieve. We made ours by stapling mosquito netting onto an old picture frame. But if you don't have a sieve and don't want to make one, you can also just put the paper on a cloth to dry. That works too!

A soup mixer

Don't put your fingers near its blades! They are sharp.

3. Have some fun tearing up the old paper. 

4. Put the scraps in your bowl and add water, enough to make it into a paper and letter soup. Don't taste it though. 

5. Take your soup mixer, which you have to promise to ask your parents if you are allowed to use because the blades are VERY sharp. Once they have said yes, you can start mushing it all up.

6. When you have a really yummy looking bowl of sloppy stuff, you can add the flower petals - or anything else you want to put in it, like little bits of leaf - and get your hands in and mix it all up. It feels cold and slimy, but kind of nice.

7. Take handfuls of the mixture, squeeze some of the water out (but not all of it) and then put it on your sieve or your cloth. Don't make the piece of paper too big, because it will just break, and also don't make it too thick either. 

8. Put another cloth on top of the new paper and press it down to get some of the water out of it.

9. Leave it to dry.

10. Come back a day or two later and you will have beautiful new paper to write all your secrets on. 

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