How to Make Toilet Paper From Old Newspapers

How to Make Toilet Paper From Old Newspapers

Making your own toilet paper from old newspapers is an eco-friendly and budget-friendly project that anyone can do at home with minimal supplies. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to recycle newspapers into toilet paper that’s soft, strong, and works great.

Gather Your Newspaper Supplies

The first step is gathering enough old newspapers to make a usable amount of toilet paper. Here are some tips:

  • Aim to have 5-10 pounds of newspaper on hand which will make 10-20 rolls of toilet paper. Most standard size newspapers when shredded make about 1 roll of TP per pound.

  • Only use newspaper – do not use shiny inserts or magazines. The ink and fibers in newspaper are ideal for breaking down in water.

  • Collect clean, dry newspapers without any contaminants like food or chemicals on them.

  • Store newspapers flat in a bin, bag or box until you’re ready to make the TP. Damp or crumpled newspaper is harder to work with.

Prepare Your Newspaper Strips

Now it’s time to shred or cut the newspaper into strips:

  • Use an electric shredder if possible for fast, consistent strips. Set to a standard shred size.

  • Otherwise, use scissors or a paper cutter to cut newspaper into 1-2 inch wide strips from top to bottom.

  • Cut all paper in the same direction with the grain for strength.

  • Make strips roughly uniform in width so they pulp evenly.

  • Aim for a large batch – at least a few pounds of shredded strips for 10+ rolls.

Make Newspaper Pulp

Next, soak the newspaper strips and blend into a pulp mixture:

  • Place your newspaper strips in a large bucket or tub.

  • Cover the strips with very hot water – as hot as your tap provides.

  • Let the newspaper soak for at least 2 hours or overnight to soften.

  • Blend the newspaper and water in batches in a high speed blender until smooth.

  • Return pulp to a container and repeat until all is blended.

  • Add more hot water if needed to reach a pancake batter consistency.

Form the Toilet Paper

Now the pulp is ready to be formed into toilet paper:

  • Place a toilet paper mold on a flat surface covered in plastic. A simple square mold works.

  • Ladle pulp evenly into the mold until full and smooth.

  • Use a “couching cloth” (canvas or felt) to press gently and absorb moisture.

  • Carefully transfer the sheet onto a drying rack or board.

  • Repeat until all pulp is used. Make same size sheets for even rolls.

  • Let sheets fully air dry for 1-2 days before removing from mold/rack.

Rolling Toilet Paper

The final step is rolling your dried toilet paper sheets into usable rolls:

  • Gather your dry TP sheets and cut into rectangles about 4 inches wide to fit rolls.

  • Using a toilet paper roll as a guide, tightly roll 1 sheet around it.

  • Glue or tape end in place; slide off roll.

  • Continue rolling sheets using a dowel until desired thickness is reached.

  • When complete, glue or staple final seam to secure.

  • Cut edges with scissors or a serrated knife to make sides even.

And that’s it – you’ve successfully transformed old newspapers into fresh, eco-friendly toilet paper! With some practice, you can customize thickness, size and quantity. Make enough to be self-sufficient or give to friends and family!