Activity: Pulverized Pest Paper Print

pulverized-pest-paper-300Here’s a handy recipe for making your own putrid paper with dead insects smushed right into the surface! You won’t find this sickening stationery at any local shop!

What you’ll need:

– parent (good to have around for that annoying clean-up part, too)
– scrap paper – about a cupful per sheet of paper you want to make
– lint from clothes dryer
– dead ants, mosquitoes, gnats
– water
– measuring cup
– a blender
– section of wire window screen (metal is best)
– bathtub or big tub large enough for the screen to fit in
– 2 pieces of thick wool felt larger than the size of paper OR 
1/2 yard of felt of an average thickness (fabric store)
– laundry line and clothes pin
– rolling pin

What to do:

1. Rip up your paper into piles of 1″ squares. You’ll want all different kinds of paper but don’t use anything too dark (you won’t be able to write on it) and newsprint doesn’t count.

2. Cut the screen to the size of paper you want to make. A regular notebook sheet is 8.5 x 11 inches. Put the sized screen away for now.

3. Take a handful of paper scraps and put it in the blender, then cover with about 1- 1/2 cups of water. Blend your concoction until it looks sort of like watery oatmeal. Keep adding handfuls of scrap to the mixture and blast the blender each time to chop it up. When you’ve got all your paper in the blender, add your “mix-ins” — now’s the time to put your insects in! But DO NOT blend when you add them or they’ll disappear into nothing but black goo.

4. If your mixture is too watery, you can drain some water out or try adding some white glue. That should get the goop to stick together!

5. Now it’s time to take your putrid pulp to the tub. Close the drain in your bathtub and fill it with clean water. Pour the stuff from the blender in and swirl it around. You want it to be distributed evenly before you start dipping in your screen. Add more water if you need to.

6. When it’s ready, slide your screen under the water and putrid pulp concoction until it’s fully covered. Then move it back and forth until the buggy batter settles evenly across the surface of the screen.

7. Then pull the screen straight up. What you’ve collected on your screen should be enough for one sheet of paper. Let the water run through the holey screen so that just the pulp stays on the surface level. If your paper looks like it’s too thin, add more pulp to your tub and dip again. If it seems too thick, take some of the pulp out of your tub and re-dip.

8. Time to squeeze out the water, bub! Lay one of your felt sheets down on a flat table. Put the screen pulp side down on the felt and cover it with another layer of felt.

9. Now roll the rolling pin evenly back and forth across the felt to get out the extra water and mash together the fibers of your vermin infested paper.

10. Carefully fold back two corners of the paper and gently peel off the felt layer from the bottom of the sheet. Go slowly here so you don’t rip the wet paper.

11. Clip your new paper to a laundry line (anywhere that’s warm and dry inside is probably best) to let it dry for about 3 hours.

Voila, you are now the proud maker of pulverized pest paper!

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