In Case You Missed It: Recycled Paper Making

This article was written by library work study student Sebastian Silguero. Sebastian is a student at Loyola University Maryland, part of the Class of 2025. Sebastian plans to major in Computer Science.  

Materials required:  

  • Mould and deckle (both in shape of picture frame) 
  • Shredded paper (recycled paper)
  • Blender
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Paper towels or fabric
  • Sponge
  • Coffee or fruits to change color

This pop-up class, Recycled Paper Making, was hosted by Anastatia Zita through the Loyola Notre Dame Library on Zoom. The workshop was an introduction to making recycled paper. Making recycled paper is cost-effective and conserves our environment. Some materials that are needed are a mould and deckle in the shape of a picture frame, shredded paper, a blender, water, a bucket, paper towels, and a sponge. There were two methods of making recycled paper discussed in the class.  

To begin with, preparation of the paper is essential. You will need the shredded paper that you have gathered or obtained and place it into a blender with water. Then you will blend the shredded paper and water together for about one minute. You will see a pulp mixture in the blender. Once this mixture is created, you will pour the pulp from the blender into a bucket with water. You have finished preparing and can begin.  

After completing your preparation, you will take your mould and deckle and put them together. You will want the mold on top and the decal on the bottom. It is very important that the screen is in between the mold and decal. Once they are together, you will submerge the mould and deckle in the bucket with the pulp mixture and water and use it to scoop some of the pulp water. Immediately afterwards, you will wait for the excess water to drip out through the deckle screen. Once all the excess water has been removed, you can remove the mould and the pulp will remain on the deckle. You will then place the deckle on a paper towel or a sheet of fabric. You will get a sheet of paper or fabric and place it on top of the pulp mixture. In addition, you will place a sponge on top of the fabric to soak up any excess water while also flattening the paper that is on the decal. You will repeat this and soak up excess water from behind the deckle. You may continue soaking up the excess water by putting fabric over the paper. Finally, you can let your paper dry overnight and your paper will be ready to use whenever you want to use it.  

The second method of making recycled paper uses the same material, but there is a different structure in this method. First, you will have to lay out a piece of fabric. Next, place a sheet of tool paper on top. Once the fabric and tool are laid out, you will place your mold, and place your paper pulp mixture inside the mould, flatten it, and spread it out across your mold. Next, take another piece of tool paper and place it on top of your mold. Along with this, place a sponge and sheet of fabric on top, and flatten your paper. Once this is completed, remove your mold and place the tool paper and fabric on top of the paper. Use a rolling pin and roll across the paper to make your paper more flat. Finally, you let your paper dry overnight and use when you are ready.  

Overall, there are many reasons why making recycled paper is beneficial. Considering the cost effectiveness, the simplicity, and the environmental conservation, this is an amazing skill to learn if you are someone who cares about the environment and uses a lot of paper.