Wouldn’t it be weird to look forward to getting your junkmail? If you try this project that’s exactly how you’ll feel about it. You’ll even find yourself admiring some of the measures companies go to to get your attention and make you curious enough to open their junk.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Recycled plastic grocery bag
Old Blender (find one at Goodwill if you don’t have an old one)
Window screen cut into sheet sizes you want to make like 8 1/2″ x 11”
Dried flowers (optional since this takes some planning ahead to pick the flowers from your garden and press them in a book until you’re ready for them)
Start by hanging a recycled plastic grocery bag on a doorknob close to your trashcan. As you sort your mail you can put the junkmail right in the plastic bag. I’m not sure how much junkmail you get, but around here we can fill a bag in about a week.
Once you get a full bag, empty it on the table and give it a good sort. You mainly want to pull out any staples you find.
Then tear your junkmail into smaller pieces. If you own a shredder this will make the job go much smoother.
Take your shredded junkmail and put it in your big bowl. Cover with water and let it soak overnight. This process begins to break down the pulp fibers and makes it easier for you to manipulate into sheets.
After a good soaking you’ll be spooning the mixture into your blender. I usually do it one cup at a time. Always add extra water to the mix in the blender so you don’t fry the motor. Blend until really pulpy, or the consistency you like. Some folks might like their paper with more attitude so they won’t blend it as long.
At this point you could put in some additives like food coloring or starch. Do whatever turns you on. It’s your junkmail.
Once you have a bowl filled with pulp, ladle it onto your screens. I place my screen in the kitchen sink for this and then move them to the stack of newspapers for the long-term drying process. Smooth out the pulp and mash it down with your fingers so you get a nice compact product once it dries. This is also the step where you can add stuff like dried flowers, colored dots, fabric swatches, etc.
Place the full screens on top of your old newspapers to complete the drying process.
Drying time varies.
Once your junkmail-turned-useful-again is almost completely dry carefully peel it from the screen and iron it flat. I have an old iron I use for batik that I use for this process, but you can use your regular iron as this will not hurt the appliance.
I always mark the back of mine with a caveat like “this paper represents a days worth of junkmail from the Shultz household. Enjoy!”
Good luck and recycle!