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Eco-island: Silverleaf Forest activity 1

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Make homemade paper in a variety of styles and colours.

Keystage 1

Curriculum links: Art & design 2a-c. Sc4 2a.

What to do: Collect together lots of used paper – sheets that would normally just end up in the bin. Add some coloured paper to it, such as scraps of crêpe paper, tissue paper, kitchen roll and so on. This will all be recycled to make your handmade paper. You will also need: two wooden photo frames (the same size), a piece of window screening (or aluminium net used to mend cars), duct tape, a piece of felt, a blender, a sponge, and a tub or washing-up bowl. Finally collect some flower petals, bits of fabric, ribbon – any little treasures that can be added to the paper.

Pulp in tub 1. Rip up your paper into small pieces and place in a blender until half full. Then pour warm water into the blender (about two thirds full) and blend for around 40 seconds until a smooth pulp forms. Fill your tub half full with water and then add at least three blender’s full of pulp. Finally add dried flowers or other bits and pieces.

Deckle & mould 2. One of the wooden frames will be your mould and the other is the deckle. To make the mould you need to stretch the piece of screening or aluminium net tightly across the frame and secure it with duct tape.

Filling deckle with pulp 3. Place the deckle on top of the mould (screening side up) and, holding them together, dip them both into the tub. Let the pulp settle evenly inside the deckle and then lift deckle and mould out of the water, letting excess water drip off.

Turning paper onto felt 4. Discard the deckle and turn the mould upside down onto a piece of felt.

Squeezing excess water 5. Use your sponge to press on the back of the mould and remove more excess water.

Finished paper 6. Allow your piece of handmade paper to dry (this may take hours) and it will easily lift off the felt.

Completed this activity? Use our show and tell facility to upload your work and help the island inhabitants to improve this zone.

Keystage 2

Curriculum links: Art & design 3b; 4a, b.

What to do: Collect together lots of scraps of used paper, sheets that would normally just end up in the bin. Add some coloured paper to it – scraps of crêpe paper, tissue paper, kitchen roll and so on. This will all be recycled to make your handmade paper. You will also need two wooden photo frames (the same size), a piece of window screening (or aluminium net used to mend cars), duct tape, a piece of felt, a blender, a sponge, and a tub or washing-up bowl. Finally experiment with some different fibres to add to your handmade paper – you can literally try anything – flowers, tin foil, seeds. See which of your ideas work out best.

Pulp in tub 1. Rip up your paper into small pieces and place in a blender until half full. Then pour warm water into the blender (about two thirds full) and blend for around 40 seconds until a smooth pulp forms. Fill your tub half full with water and then add at least three blender’s full of pulp. Finally add your extra ingredients (flowers, seeds etc).

Deckle & mould 2. One of the wooden frames will be your mould and the other is the deckle. To make the mould you need to stretch the piece of screening or aluminium net tightly across the frame and secure it with duct tape.

Filling deckle with pulp 3. Place the deckle on top of the mould (screening side up) and, holding them together, dip them both into the tub. Let the pulp settle evenly inside the deckle and then lift deckle and mould out of the water, letting excess water drip off.

Turning paper onto felt 4. Discard the deckle and turn the mould upside down onto a piece of felt.

Squeezing excess water 5. Use your sponge to press on the back of the mould and remove more excess water.

Finished paper 6. Allow your piece of handmade paper to dry (this may take hours) and it will easily lift off the felt.

Try making paper suitable for writing on by adding two teaspoons of liquid starch to the mixture in the tub. The starch helps prevent ink from sinking into the paper fibres.

Completed this activity? Use our show and tell facility to upload your work and help the island inhabitants to improve this zone.

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