The Chinese are credited with being the first to make paper as we know it today, although the Egyptians had the first idea, with papyrus. In fact, the word "paper" comes from the word "papyrus."

Paper making dates back thousands of years, to A.D. 105, when Ts'ai Lun created a sheet of paper from mulberry bark and old rags. Although commercial paper making has come a long way since then, paper you can make at home is surprisingly the same as Ts'ai, Lun's technique.

The following articles describe how to make paper for kids and how to give it a pretty embossed look.

Embossing Paper

Gather up some flat objects -- a key, a button, or a paper clip -- and you're on your way to learning how to emboss paper.

Paper Making

This age-old technique is a fun craft for kids and adults alike. Learn to make paper for stationery or art projects.

Start embossing paper by first going on a treasure hunt around the house for flat objects. Learn more about it on the next page.

For more fun crafts and activities, check out:

Embossing Paper

Flat objects like keys and buttons work well for embossing paper.
Flat objects like keys and buttons work well for embossing paper.

Embossing paper is double the fun because you get to go on a "treasure hunt" to collect your supplies before you do the embossing. Look for flat objects, such as paper clips and keys, around your house.

You don't need special tools; just place a piece of lightweight paper over an object and rub the paper over it with your finger. When you lift the paper, you'll see the textured shape on the paper. You've just created embossed paper.

What You'll Need

Lightweight paper

Flat objects such as paper clips, keys, or buttons

Poster board (optional)

How to Make Embossed Designs

Step 1: Rub over an object with your finger; move the object around under the paper. Use a key to make the petals of a flower.

Step 2: Or cut a wavy edge on a strip of poster board, and use it to make an embossed line at the top and bottom of your paper. It's a pretty decoration for stationery.

For a creative way to recycle junk mail and newspapers, keep reading. You'll learn the art of paper making.

For more fun crafts and activities, check out:

Paper Making

Paper making, a process that's thousands of years old, is a fun project for kids and adults alike. The paper you can make at home will have an interesting texture and is great to use for art projects or stationery.

The basics of paper making are simple, and it's also an eco-friendly way to recycle old paper products. Gather your collection of junk mail or old newspapers and get started!

What You'll Need

Junk mail or newspaper

Dishpans

Blender

8x8-inch piece of small-holed screening

Towels

Smooth board (to press the paper)

Cotton cloth

How to Make Paper

Step 1: Tear up junk-mail envelopes (without the windows), old letters, or newspaper into small pieces. Soak them overnight in a dishpan with warm water.

Step 2: The next day, add more warm water to the paper, and hand-beat the mixture (or use a blender to mix it) until the pulp is broken apart.

Step 3: Place the soaked paper in a blender, and fill it half full with water. Blend it in short bursts to break up the pulp.

Step 4: Spread some pulp evenly on the screen until the screen is covered with the paper pulp.

Step 5: Place the screen on a towel. Press a board down hard on the paper to squeeze out any excess water. Remove the board.

Step 6: Place a piece of cotton cloth on a flat surface. Turn the screen over onto the cloth to remove the paper. Let the paper dry.

For more fun crafts and activities, check out: