AskERIC Lesson Plans
Lesson Plan #: AELP-GEN0015

Make Your Own Paper*

An AskERIC Lesson Plan

GRADE LEVEL:Adaptable for Grades K-6

SUBJECT AREAS: Science, Social Studies, Math

OBJECTIVE: Students will be able to plan, design, and produce a wooden deckle with a removable screen and make a piece of paper using the deckle.

MATERIALS: Wood, screen, newspaper, cardboard, pieces of yarn, thread, and other papers, rolling pin, laundry starch, egg beater, blotting paper.

ACTIVITY: Students can design and build a wooden deckle with a removable screen in order to learn to make paper. (To make deckle: tack fine screen (30 mesh) to bottom of a wooden frame.) Students will obtain several kinds of discarded materials they can use to make recycled paper.

The materials can include such things as old newsprint, cardboard cartons, notebook paper, and similar items. Including bits of colored paper, yarn and thread can make interesting finished paper.


1. Tear sheets of paper or cardboard into small pieces less than 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter and put the pieces in a large basin.
2. Add water and laundry soap in proportions of 1 tbsp (1 ml) of starch per cup (16 ml) of water to the torn paper. Beat the mixture with an egg beater until the pulp is the consistency of a very light gravy.
3. Dip the deckle sideways into the pulp mixture until the screen is completely coated with a light layer of pulp.
4. Remove the screen and wet sheet of pulp from the deckle and place between two pieces of blotting paper.
5. Press out the excess water with a rolling pin or pipe and allow to dry.
6. Peel the "recycled-paper" from the blotting paper and trim to size.
Students may compare the paper produced from different kinds of pulp materials. What kinds of uses can they think of for their new paper? And what materials that might otherwise be thrown away can they use to make their paper?

*Reprinted with permission, American Forest Council, Copyright 1987, Project Learning Tree Supplementary Guide K-6.

This activity has been copied, with permission, from the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) server to ours, to allow faster access from our website. We encourage you to explore the original site.

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