Making "Papyrus" Paper From Corn Husks

 I really wish I could show you how to make papyrus paper out of actual papyrus. 
But creating paper from plant fibers (and hey, that's papyrus!) is easy and fun to do, and I can show you that!  We used corn husks.

I share this activity in our Ancient Egypt Activity Kit, (available in our store) but here are the basic instructions for you to follow:

After eating corn one night for dinner, I took the husks from one ear and cut them into one and a half inch slices, end to end.  Then, I let them dry in the sun for a few hours.  They looked like they do in the photo above, curly and very dry.

We put these curly dried pieces into water to flatten them out and help them be flexible.

Next, we got out a clipboard and pinned five husk strips under the clip.  And we began weaving another husk strip in and out, through the original five strips.

We continued to weave husks through, alternating ins and outs.  We pushed them over and far as we could.

Next, we flattened it out as best we could with our hands and used duct tape to hold down all the edges to the clipboard (as it dried).

Several hours later, it was all dry.  Carefully, we removed the duct tape and applied a layer of ModPodge to give it a nice uniform surface for writing.  We let that dry too, and then our "Papyrus paper" was ready to be written on.

We pulled out our Heiroglyph Translation page, and some acrylic paints and we went to town.

Although this activity isn't very similar to the actual making of papyrus (which has more to do with pounding and mashing the papyrus fibers and then pressing them into flattened pieces of paper), it will give your kids an opportunity to write on a paper made from plant fibers.  Which is still pretty cool.

If you'd like real Papyrus, (even made in Egypt!) head over to  You can purchase packets of papyrus papers for very inexpensive.  And wouldn't it be fun to compare the "paper" made from corn husks with real papyrus?

Our Ancient Egypt Activity Kit is available in our store.  If you and your child decide to make your own papyrus, we would love to see pictures in the comments!

#1: Staging an Archeological Dig

#2:  An Inside Archeological Dig

#3  Foraging with Story of the World

#4  Operating an Egyptian Shaduf

#5  Egypt's Ancient Gods Activity


Unknown said...

What a fun activity! I might try this with my 8-year-old.

Christina Morrison said...

I hope you do! And share a photo if you do: We'd love to see how it works for others, too. :)