How Is Construction Paper Made?

How is Construction Paper Made?

how is construction paper made

Construction paper is nostalgic for many of us. Its smell, texture, and bright colors feel linked to childhood memories. So, how exactly is this memorable paper made? The process is fairly simple.

Construction paper is made by combining three simple materials: recycled paper, wood pulp, and dye. That’s it!

  1. Wood pulp is made simply by mixing shredded wood with hot water until it becomes soft. This process is usually done within a large steel vat called a pulper. Once the pulp is ready, recycled paper and liquid dye are added to the mushy mixture. Once the paper slurry has achieved its optimal color and texture, the drying process can begin.
  2. The mixture is gradually moved down a conveyor belt above heated barrels. As the mixture dries out, it begins to take a familiar form: construction paper.
  3. Lastly, the colored paper is fed into a “the feeder” machine to be assembled and cut. And voila, that’s how construction paper is made.

How Thick is Construction Paper?

Construction paper has a thickness of a little over 0.003 inches (.076 mm). It’s foldable and easy to draw on, making it ideal for arts and crafts. To gauge its thickness, think about what it’s like to cut through a fresh piece of construction paper with a scissor.

You can hear the texture and feel some resistance. When cutting a piece of standard white paper, it has a different feel and sound.

What is Heavyweight Construction Paper?

Heavyweight construction paper is a sturdier, slightly thicker version of construction paper.

It’s good for school or art projects, as you can curve it and bend it without cracking. The sheets are very textured, so it’s easy to write on without the ink fading.

Like regular construction paper, you can draw on it with crayons, markers, pencils, etc. It’s also still good for decorating, cutting, and pasting.

Why is It Called Construction Paper?

why is it called construction paper

Construction paper has always been used in classrooms, so it’s theorized that that’s where the name originated. In schools, teachers use construction paper to show children how things are constructed.

In early 20th century dictionaries, people called them “colored school papers.”

Can Construction Paper Be Recycled?

can construction paper be recycled

Construction paper can be recycled in most places. For it to be recycled, it can’t be contaminated.

That means paper with glue, tape, or other contaminants needs to go in the trash. A child’s school project that is made from construction paper but has glue and sequins all over it won’t be able to be recycled, but plain construction paper scraps can.

In some places, construction paper is strictly not allowed in recycling bins because of its dyes.

It can be challenging to process the colored paper and turn it into a new product. When looking into recycling your construction paper, check the rules in your county.

Is Construction Paper Biodegradable?

Construction paper is made up of natural material so that it can break down quickly. So yes, construction paper is environmentally friendly for the most part.

However, dyed construction paper is typically not compostable.

If the construction paper has glue or decorations on it, such as stickers, it will no longer be biodegradable because of those additional attachments.

Is Construction Paper Toxic?

is construction paper toxic

Construction paper is acid-free and has non-toxic ink for color.

Children mainly use it, so it must be made with non-toxic ingredients to keep everyone safe. Most packages of construction paper will say “non-toxic” or something similar on the label.

What is the Difference Between Construction Paper and Cardstock?

what is the difference between construction paper and cardstock

Although cardstock and construction paper have similarities, they are pretty different.

Cardstock vs construction paper thickness and weight

In comparison to construction paper, cardstock is very thick. While construction papers’ thickness is just over 0.003,” card stocks range from 0.010” to 0.016.”

Predictably, because of its thickness, it weighs more than construction paper.

Size differences

Typically, construction paper measures 9” x 12.” Cardstock has more sizing variety; it ranges from 4” x 6” through 12” x 24.” The sizing makes sense, as cardstock is in demand for so many different things.

Appearance and finish

Cardstock has a glossy or matte finish, while construction paper is rough to the touch. Both are available in various colors, although cardstock is frequently sold with patterns and designs on its surface.

If you’re interested in printing over cardstock (and don’t have access to a photo printer), you’ll have to purchase it uncoated. Construction paper is much easier to print on, given its size and finish.

Arts and craft use differences

As stated earlier, construction paper is typically used for arts and crafts and is popular with children, parents, and teachers. Because it’s so pliable, it’s easy for kids to use for school projects, art class, etc.

Cardstock, however, is the sturdier option. Its glossy finish makes an ideal canvas for invitations, letters, resumes, and business mail.