Recycled paper

make homemade recycled paper

This is a simple method and almost any paper can be recycled.

The most recommended papers are:

  • The continuous forms (Extremely suitable since they are resistant because they contain long fibers).
  • Brown paper used for wrapping (unless it contains a large amount of wood fibers),
  • Paper bags and envelopes.
  • The paper already printed (although it is not advisable to use any that is too much [1]).
  • Newsprint can be used for volume, provided it is combined with other materials.

Avoid glossy and glossy papers, as they are probably coated with kaolin, which could cause dusty patches on the paper.


  • Cotton rags [2]
  • Vegetable Fibers [3]


  • A blender
  • Complementary molds [4]
  • Newspapers
  • Spatula

If you are interested in the subject, look at our articles to learn how to make craft paper and also Washi

Preparation of the pulp

First remove any residue of glue, metal hooks or anything else that could spoil the final product or damage the work utensils. Then tear the paper into pieces of approximately 3 cm2 and soak them in water overnight (If they are soaked for longer, the paper will unravel, but it should not be left for more than a week because it will acquire a bad smell). The soaking time can be shortened by pouring boiling water over the paper and leaving it for a couple of hours, or it can also be boiled in a large stainless container for half an hour. Then liquefy the wet paper little by little. Starting with about 10-15 pieces per ¾ liter, then you can judge how much paper you can comfortably blend in each batch (Do not force the blender as it could spoil and the paper would not fall apart evenly). Blend until there are no clumps of paper suspended in the pulp, and it has a smooth and creamy consistency (Avoid blending for a long time, since the shorter the fibers and the less resistant the paper will be).

Storage of the remaining pulp

The pulp can be stored, but if it is stored for a long time it will begin to give off a bad smell, so it will have to be washed thoroughly before using it, if the pulp is very strong, add a little bleach (bleach), it is left about an hour and then clears up. To prevent rot, you can add a few drops of formalin (or formaldehyde) for each liter of water.

Leaf formation

Fill the tub with the pulp, so that the mold and shape can be submerged easily, but not less than 7 to 8 cm below the rim, otherwise the work area will be splattered when the mold and the mold dry. form. Then stir the pulp by hand or shake it with a brush. Do this quickly, before the pulp settles to the bottom of the tub. Immediately place the shape on top of the mold, on the mesh side. Hold them firmly and submerge them vertically towards the opposite side of the tub. Using the gentlest movements, tilt the mold until it is horizontal and draw it towards the front of the tub until it is completely submerged. Pull up to collect the pulp. Holding the mold in a horizontal position, give a quick shake from side to side and front to back. This should be done before all the water has drained and the pulp has started to harden. This action will even out the pulp and disperse the fibers, preventing all of them from being arranged in the same direction. To finish, hold the mold and the shape on top of the tub slightly inclined to drain the excess water.


Leave the mold on a pile of newspapers, they will absorb the humidity of the mold, so it will be necessary to change them. When you have drained most of the water from the pan and sheet of paper, it is safest to tilt them. They lean against a wall or a piece of furniture to finish drying, but you have to be careful that the pulp is dry enough, otherwise it could slip. When the paper is completely dry, carefully insert the spatula along one edge to separate the paper from the mold and carefully remove the sheet from the mesh.


[1] The ink can be removed by boiling the pulp in a solution consisting of about 2 tablespoons of detergent for every 4 liters of water.

[2] Commercial cotton chamois can be used when a large amount of paper is to be made. To lower the cost, they can be mixed with recycled or vegetable pulp and, in this case, a kilo of preparation should yield enough. The fibers of cotton rags are longer than those of recycled paper, and they also increase the strength of handmade paper. This quality makes them especially useful as an ingredient in delicate vegetable papers. To transform the cotton rags into pulp, simply cut a piece of about 15 cm2, tear it into pieces and liquefy in ¾ of a liter of water. The pulp, which is left for a few minutes to absorb the water, is ready to use.

[3] Collect about 300 grams of vegetable fiber such as banana leaves, pineapple, tobacco, or any other and cut with scissors into pieces of about 2 centimeters. Soak again for half a day (12 hours) and add about 25 grams of caustic soda, previously dissolved in cold water. Bring it back to a boil for about three hours, stirring every 20 minutes. Drain and rinse very well. Blend the vegetable fiber in the same way as paper.   

[4] The mold, the form and the press: these are the only two objects that will have to be built at home or purchased in a shop specializing in handmade paper. The other pieces of basic equipment are readily available. The mold and shape are simple rectangular frames of the same size. The mold has a mesh covering it and the shape has no mesh. Both constitute a simple sieve. To produce a flat sheet of paper, it is necessary to keep it firmly pressed while it dries. A press can be improvised using two sheets of Formica or two wooden slats with plastic sheets to prevent them from getting wet. On top of the press it will be necessary to place heavy things, for which you can use any homemade object.


Although in the past, paper was obtained from other plants (including hemp from which a high-quality cellulose is extracted), most of the paper is made from trees. Trees and forests protect the fragile soil layer and maintain the proper balance of the atmosphere for all forms of life. To make 1.000Kg of conventional paper, a pond of 100.000 liters of water is necessary. In the world, the industry consumes around 4 billion trees each year, mainly pine and eucalyptus. Modern pulp making techniques use very specific species of these trees. The consumption of paper and cardboard in Argentina reaches 000kg per person per year; in the United States, 42kg per person per year, and in China and India 300kg per person per year.

Waste paper can be shredded and recycled multiple times. However, with each cycle, 15 to 20 percent of the fibers become too small to be used. The paper industry recycles its own waste and that it collects from other companies, such as packaging manufacturers and printers.

SOURCES: 1 2 3 4

Industrial paper making process

Today we want to bring the world of industrial paper production.

Botnia plant operation

They comment on the recycling of waste, although as I understand the paper-producing factories they are very polluting due to their bleaching processes.

Discovery Channel Papermaking

This video is much more practical and shows us what all the components that have been discussed in the previous video are really like. As always, the Discovery videos are very good.

55.000 sheets per minute ...

If you know good links on paper production do not hesitate to share it with us.

4 comments on "Recycled Paper"

  1. good excellent and impeccable your work I am amazed I wish I hope to follow you more often and learn I wish you send me your post thank you and congratulations

  2. I need to buy Nepalese paper in Chile or import it, there is a place, telephone, address or mail where. can you contact me to get this role ... thank you very much for your kindness. Best regards


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