General ramblings

Recycling in Action

Homemade paper-this has to be the ultimate in recycling!
BigSmall did this with Emma Croft, from the Witltshire Wildlife Trust in the summer, but I forgot to take any pictures, and then the paper blew away when put it out in the sun to dry-oops!
So I was really pleased when he got the chance to do it again, at the Christmas Craft Day where I made my wreath. I even remembered to take some pictures this time.
The paper was studded with wildflower seeds, so that when it is done with, it can be ‘planted’ and wildflowers will grow-how sweet is that?!

If you want to have a go, this is what you need:

  • Shredded paper
  • Water
  • A stick blender
  • Roasting tin/deep tray
  • Colouring-Emma had some special stuff, but I am guessing you could use a smidge of food colouring
  • Some jay cloths/flannels
  • A sponge
  • Old newspapers
  • A mesh thing-I don’t know if you can buy these online, and I am struggling to think what homemade alternative you could use-maybe if you could get hold of some of those plastic cross stitch frames that you sometimes get in kits?
  • Some flower seeds (optional)

This is what you do:

  • Soak your shredded paper in water until it is good and soggy
  • Add your colouring (optional, but it does tend to e a bit of a dreary grey colour if you are using office paper) and blend until it makes a pulp
  • Add your pulp to a tray of water ad swoosh it around so it is kind of suspended in the water


  • Take your mesh and place it on the bottom of your pan, and then with a hand on either side, lift it up, catching an evenly distributed meshful of pulp as you do


  • Put this on top of your old newspaper, and then place a jay cloth on top
  • Start pressing down with your sponge, to squeeze out as much moisture as possible, and keep going until no more water is coming out


  • Flip your ‘paper’ over so that the mesh is now on top, and very carefully peel the mesh away-this is easiest if you start at a corner


  • Ta da! Paper 🙂
  • You can then scatter/place some seeds on top-I think we did about five, and then get little dots of pulp to squidge on top to cover them up.
  • Leave to dry out thoroughly


I think we are going to cut BigSmall’s into a festive shape and then stick it onto a blank card, as it might be quite hard to write on, but I think growable paper is pretty awesome!

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  • Reply Eternal Magpie December 17, 2013 at 8:24 am

    BigSmall’s paper looks great! You can also make a version of the mesh thing with a piece of net curtain stapled very tightly across an old picture frame. 🙂

    • Reply Jen December 17, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      Brilliant-will give it a go-thankyou 🙂

  • Reply Vicky Myers December 16, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Never thought of the idea of putting seeds in, so it can grow:) I think you can buy the mesh sheets at car DIY places (no idea why, I guess patching up rust?!). Alternatively an old net curtain stretched over an old picture frame works well:)

    • Reply Jen December 17, 2013 at 10:45 pm


  • Reply Jo aka Kiwijo December 16, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Well done, Ive always wanted to have a go at this, but never found the motivation. I think the cross stitch plastic canvas would be just right. Am looking forward to seeing more of your creations. :o)

    • Reply Jen December 17, 2013 at 10:46 pm

      Thanks Jo. Had a couple of comments that a net curtain stretched tight over a picture frame makes a good mesh substitute if you did want to have a go yourself!

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