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Make Your Own Paper

Did you know you can make paper in your own kitchen? Gather some old papers from around your house and, with a grown-up's help, follow these instructions from PBS Kids.

Making your own paper relies on a mechanical recycling process. That means the paper is ground up so that the cellulose fibers in the paper are separated from each other. Then you can mold the separated fibers into a new shape, making a new sheet of paper and giving those old papers a second life!

This is very similar to the mechanical recycling process for textiles, which is the primary way that fabrics are recycled into new threads. Unfortunately the mechanical recycling process can weaken the strength of the fibers, so the new threads are not usually as strong as the original fabric was. That's why Dr. Pendo Bigambo and her research group are working on chemical recycling processes which preserve the strength of the textile fibers, meaning they can be recycled multiple times!

What will you make with your homemade paper?

Top: The mechanical recycling process for textiles. Bottom: The chemical recycling process for textiles.


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