Here is an easy way on how to recycle newspaper into notecards – and this recipe does not require a blender! This recipe came from this 730 Easy Science Experiments: With Everyday Materials. I had fun showing my daughters how to recycle some newspaper and make some beautiful note cards out of it instead! We had a blast doing this as a fun summer project, and my oldest daughter adored making a wedding card for a newlywed couple’s wedding we attended a few weeks ago. This is an easy project to do, but I’d plan on making this when you have a whole day at home where you can work at it a little bit at a time throughout the day.
-1 and 1/2 cup of shredded or ripped newspaper
-spatula or whisk
-aluminum foil or felt
-a notecard to use as a liner
-numerous sheets of un-shredded newspaper
Start by ripping up some newspaper – enough to fill one and 1/2 cups full of paper. Be sure these are compact cups (one cup can hold more ripped up paper than you may realize!). Then dump that into a mixing bowl and fill the bowl with hot water until it covers the papers.
Let this sit for at least an hour and stir. I placed mine outside in the sun to keep the water as warm as possible. I left this outside for a few hours – the longer you let it soak in the sun, the faster the newspaper will break down into a pulp. This is why I mentioned earlier that you will need to set aside a day when you are home, so you can check on the pulp and stir once an hour for a few hours.
Next you need to make a foil template that will be used as a sieve to hold and drain the paper mixture. I want to make a 4 x 5.5 piece of homemade paper that was the same size of other notecards that I purchased at Michaels. I’ll use the notecard as a liner inside of my homemade paper card.
Your foil will help drain water from the paper pulp if you poke holes in it with a toothpick. Poke holes about an inch apart all throughout the 4 x 5.5 piece of aluminum foil. You could also use a piece of felt as your sieve as well – felt will soak up some water and will easily peel off from the homemade paper.
Here is a sample of a foil sieve with the holes poked out of it.
After a few hours of the newspaper sitting in warm water, and stirring it from time to time, you should get a nice pulp that is similar in consistency to what is pictured above. It may be lumpy, but you should not see any real strips of newspaper left – instead just clumps of paper fibers.
Next you will want to add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to a baking pan. The cornstarch will give the paper a little more of a sturdy texture. Then pour in the pulp into the glass pan and stir.
You will want to take your foil sieve and dunk it into the baking pan, making sure to cover it with as much paper pulp as possible. Slowly lift it out of the pan and try to make sure it is the same thickness of pulp throughout. You may need to just grab some pulp with your hands and place it on the foil sieve to make it even.
Now it’s time to get the paper pulp as flat and dry as you can. Cover the top of the pulp with newspaper and use a rolling pin to roll out the extra water and create a flat piece of paper.
You could also place an old towel under your paper to help soak up water as well. Roll the paper until it is flat and as much water has been squeezed out as you can. Once one layer of newspaper has soaked up water, you can peel that off and roll the paper again with dry newspaper to soak up even more water. Be sure to pinch together any holes that you see in your paper – you want the pulp to be evenly spread with no holes!
Once the paper is rolled and as dry as you can get it, stick it on a window to 100% dry. Then peel off the foil or felt. As it dries, it will give you a nice flat side from the glass.
To decorate my stationary, I wanted to use wild pressed flowers. I placed the flowers in newspaper in let them dry out in my college biology textbook (a great way to use this expensive text 20 years after college. 😉
I left the flowers in the text book on my book shelf for about a week to dry out. It may not take quite that long for the flowers to dry, but that is what I did.
The paper won’t fully dry for at least 24 hours. When it is fully dry, it will probably need to be scraped off using a metal spatula
There may be some paper residue left on the glass – but it cleans up n a flash – especially if you use the Norwex Envirocloth and Window Cloth!
Once the paper is dry, it is time to decorate it into a lovely notecard. I grabbed some leaf ribbon and washi tape, along with a blank notecard to make my final product. You’ll also need a glue stick to attach any dried flowers you want to use.
Your recycled paper won’t make a perfectly flat or even piece of paper, but I like that – it gives it character. You can experiment with adding tissue paper, glitter, other fibrous material, etc. to your paper pulp embellish the look of it. I just left mine plain for this first project.
Here is my final version decorated with gold ribbon, turquoise washi tape, and a dried & pressed daisy.
I wrapped the washi tape and ribbon all the way around the card so that the inside of the card had some bling as well. 😉
My 8 year old wanted to join in on this craft, and I think she made an absolutely fantastic wedding card for recent newlywed friends!
Isn’t that so sweet!!??
Looking for more recycling or upcycling project ideas? Check these out: