Johnson Paper

Papermaking 101    

Are you looking for a fun activity?

Do you have an interest in trying something new and different?

Does the very thought of making paper in the privacy of your own home sound kind of cool?

If your answer is "yes" to any of these questions, then why not make your very own paper?

Yes, you too can actually "make" paper at home just like the big paper mills do. Of course, we don't think you'll put any mills out of business (at least not yet), but we do think you'll have a fun experience learning how paper is made.

In fact, your personal paper production will be just like a real paper mill in terms of papermaking basics, but on a microscopic level. So, if you're ready to make a mess, let's get started!


1) About 30 sheets of facial tissue (Kleenex, Puffs, whatever).

2) A container that holds a minimum of 10 quarts of water.

3) One tablespoon of liquid laundry starch mixed in two cups of water.

4) A blender or hand-held eggbeater.

5) A fine mesh wire screen screwed or stapled onto the back of a frame. Old porch screens and discarded picture frames work well.

6) Four sheets of blotting paper a little bigger than the size of the screen.

7) An electric iron.

8) A rolling pin. A baseball bat can be used in a pinch, too.



This Paper Play Project is where all our paper principles begin...

1) Tear up the sheets of tissue and place in the tub. Don't worry about doing a super shredding job, one or two complete tears per sheet should about do it. Pour in your starch/water concoction plus additional water to equal ten quarts.

2) Beat the mixture thoroughly until the tissue sheets are dissolved.

3) Dip the frame sideways into the container so the soggy mixture covers it, drenching the screen.

4) Next, slowly lift the screen and let the excess water drip into the container. Dry the screen between two sheets of blotting paper.

5) Remove the sheet from the screen and place between the two remaining dry sheets of blotting paper.

6) Using a cool setting, iron dry the sheet while it's still between the blotting paper. Voilà, you've just made paper!


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