Bricks and Paper

One of those things that’s good to do when you need to bang something around a bit, making paper bricks with the nifty little brick maker ticks a lot of boxes, when you need boxes ticked.

Tick away:

  • Physical activity
  • Using up what would otherwise be thrown in a bin
  • Playing with water
  • Creating something useful
  • Getting into the fresh air, especially if it is starting to smell like spring

In other words, all the things your mother would tell you to do if you said, “I’m bored!”

I haven’t been bored, but I did need a bit of all the above, so I made up my mind to make a few bricks.

A bucketful of paper (mostly newspaper) torn into strips makes about six bricks. I wear rubber gloves and tear the separate sections into strips – no need to do individual pieces at a time. Ripping things is such good therapy.

When the bucket is full of torn-up therapy, I add water and then fill the brick maker with the soggy pieces, packing down as much as possible. It’s messy but not as much as mud pies. With the two handles, I press down to squeeze out as much water as possible, using my foot as well as my hands (not all at the same time!). If there’s enough paper in the mould and enough force used to squish it all, there will be little round bumps on the bricks, so they look a bit like Lego.

If it’s a sunny or breezy day, I leave them outside for awhile to start drying, then bring them in to my utility space to completely dry, which takes a few days.

Once dry, they are ready for throwing on the fire. They light easily, thanks to random pieces of paper sticking out of them, and burn steadily away, making a cosy hearth on those nights that are still pretty chilly, which in lovely synchronicity is also a therapeutic solace.


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