You are most likely asking yourself, “What is Papercrete?” Well, Papercrete is a mixture of shredded paper, water, cement, and a textural component (such as sand or vermiculite). The mixed result is a clay that can be formed into flower pots, candy dishes, and even building blocks! Once the process is complete, you are left with a lightweight, yet sturdy, material.

The Papercrete Making Process

We begin the Papercrete process by making paper pulp from shredded paper. The paper is placed in large buckets and covered with water. After soaking in the water for several days, the paper and water is pulped with a large-scale mixer until the paper is completely mixed with the water. It is transferred to a strainer for 48 hours to allow all of the water to drain out of the mix. Once the water has drained it becomes paper pulp – the base of our Papercrete mix.

The Mix

The Papercrete is made with a mixture paper pulp, Portland cement, and Vermiculite or another textural component, like sand. The ingredients are combined in a large mixing bowl and, using gloves, it is hand-mixed until it becomes the moldable Papercrete. The mix is formed into the different molds and then set aside to dry for several days.

Sanding and Watering

Once dry, the Papercrete is removed from the mold and sanded until smooth. The Papercrete is submerged in a water bath in order to remove the lime from the cement contained in the mix. This allows the final product to be safe for potted plants.

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