Monday, February 08, 2010

Hearts on a String

Yes, Valentine's parties are on Friday. This doesn't give you much room to wiggle, but here's our project this year: 

Hearts on a string!

It all started with a pile of Construction paper scraps. We sorted the colors and shredded them into little pieces, and put them in a bowl full of water to soak overnight.
They looked so pretty sitting on the windowsill.

Next day we put it all in the blender, added water and beat it to a pulp. The pulp and more water went back into a big bowl. I made a deckle out of a embroidery hoop and some window screening. We put flower seeds in some of the pulp, to make plantable paper! 

Then came the fun.
The kids got to help scoop the mushy pulp onto the deckle, and flip it upside down onto a piece of old sheet. 

It's called couching, but really, it's just flipping circles of pulp onto something absorbent so the water can start to drain off.

I'm the type to use what's around, so the sheeting is really a torn-up sheet, and the toweling underneath is a towel. 

Red construction paper bleeds a bit, so there is a plastic bag between the towel and the counter. After getting one batch done, we stack the sheets between a few sheets of newspaper, and smoosh them in the kid's flower presses. Anything flat will do. 

Finally spread out the sheets somewhere to dry. I pinned burlap to a drying rack for breathable shelves, and the whole thing fits in my laundry room. (the warmest room in the house with the furnace going!) 

Read more about papermaking here

Tomorrow you can see the finished sheets!

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