We made homemade paper using cut up recycled paper then added some fresh flower pedals and flowers on top. Making paper is super easy but don’t expect to make a lot of it at one time, especially with kids. This recipe is for roughly six pieces of thick paper. We like turning our paper into journal covers or art pieces you can hang on the wall!
We recommend making your paper outside so that it is less messy and more enjoyable to create even with young children. This is a great spring, summer and fall activity. Our two year old loves the feel of paper pulp so this is very much a sensory activity as well as an artistic craft.
Using recycled paper is a great way to reuse and reduce. It is fun for kids to watch their recycled paper being blended into pulp and then turned into new paper! It’s even better when you can add a design to your paper. For this craft we chose rain clouds but we have made earth paper and rainbow paper recently as well, scroll to the bottom to see those!
Collecting flowers in nature or in your backyard is part of the fun in making this craft.
Our six year old daughter came up with this paper design, after we learned about clouds. You may want to check out our other cloud blog posting!
Imagination is crucial to this craft! You are creating clouds out of flowers, so it’s representing a familiar object in an unfamiliar way. You must rely a bit on your imagination to Interpret your design.
Kids can come up with some interesting concepts if you give them the right materials and let them explore. When we collected the hyacinth flower and broke the tiny flowers off, the concept organically formed, they looked like rain drops when placed under the white flowers!
Dandelion seeds would be a fun one to use. They weren’t ready yet, so we’ll use them next time. See what you find in nature and your backyard and you may come up with some really interesting rain cloud paper!
Paper making kit, or a paper making frame with two separate mesh pieces.
a roller or sponge or block to press the water out.
Recycled paper - blue or white and white paper
White flowers or flower pedals - we used fruit blossoms
Blue flowers - we used purple grape hyacinth
A press of some kind like a heavy piece of wood or a book to press the paper
1. If you haven’t gathered the flowers from outside already, go outside and grab some to use in the pulp and directly onto the paper.
you can make the paper fully out of flowers or just from recycled paper or by combining both. We mostly used recycled paper with some white flower pedals.
purple grape hyacinth:
Wild cherry Blossoms:
2. Rip your recycled paper. For the cloud paper, try to use blue paper or mix blue with white. You can use old boxes with blue colour or newspaper or scraps of construction paper.
We save our used crafting paper to make homemade paper with, you won’t need much. Rip about a cup or cup and a half of paper into small pieces.
3. Blend your paper with two cups of water on high, until it is a pulp, if it seems too thick, add more water. I often fill the blender 3/4 up with water. Here’s a picture of it blending, it looks fuller than it is,
Bring the materials outside to make the paper outside! You will have way less mess and can squeeze out the water directly onto dirt or onto your yard!
This is what it will look like all blended:
4. Pour your pulp into your paper making frame. Make sure you evenly coat the frame. Make it as thick or thin as you’d like. We are making our paper a bit thick because they will be turned into journal covers later.
You can place a removable mesh frame into the paper-making frame, that way you can remove the paper easily and you’ll have the mesh on top of the paper once you turn it over. This is optional, it will release from the frame either way.
Since we made our paper outside we aren’t too concerned with runoff water. Place a tray under your frame to keep water from getting everywhere, if desired!
5. while the pulp is still wet in the frame it is time to add your flowers!
Make any design you’d like for the clouds. Use white flower pedals or the entire flowers. Be careful not to overlap the flowers or they might not stick to the paper, dry as well, or could turn brown before they dry. Some flowers keep their colour better while drying, experiment to see which works best, or use pre-dried flowers if you are concerned.
Place the blue flowers to resemble rain and white flowers to look like clouds. Try to avoid the greenery if it’s still attached to the flower, it may not stick or dry well.
These were made by the kids so I wasn’t as concerned and just wanted them to have fun. Place the blue flowers to resemble rain.
6. Now it is time to press it down. Place a mesh screen over the entire paper pulp. Press it down with something flat like a sponge, or even a foam or wooden block or a rolling pin (or cylinder block or other handy tool). Even just your hands work to press it down if need be.
7. Carefully Remove the paper from the frame:
Take off the mesh layer on top and turn your paper upside down onto a towel.
Lift the frame up and voila your paper is now on the towel.
8. Keep the bottom mesh on your paper (if you had one inserted) or place a mesh screen on top of your paper before you press it with your tool, a sponge or towel. You are trying to get any extra water out.
ONLY pat down your paper while the mesh is still on it! Otherwise you will wreck your paper.
9. Take the mesh off and layer each paper as you create them into one pile,
Your pile will have one piece of paper then a towel or cheese cloth between each piece of paper. Then place a book or piece of flat wood over it for a day or two.
10. Your paper won’t fully be dry the next day, keep pressing and rotating until they dry.
tip: To dry it faster and avoid any mold I often spread them all out on a towel after they have been pressed for a day. Air dry it like this for a few hours, putting it directly in the sun and sun drying works well, just not for too long. Then place them back under a weighted press. Something like a piece of wood or large heavy book works. If it’s a book make sure there’s a dry towel under the book so you don’t damage you book. Leave it for another day or two to flatten further.
Some flowers hold their colours better than others. You don’t need to press dry it for it to hold its colour, drying it will do that. We press it so that the paper is flat. Experiment with what flowers hold their colours best. White is often tricky and turns brown, so follow the tips of laying it flat and not overcrowding it.
Get creative with different concepts of paper or freestyle and randomly add flowers and flower pedals.