Boulders by the lighthouse were made when we washed the paper in the washing machine.

Anyone who has ever had to do shredding of unnecessary papers at home,  knows what a nightmare it can be. Usually it is something that hangs over your head, and when it finally starts, it goes slowly, with little effects and leaves terrible mess. Of course, the dream option would be burning those heaps of paper, but not everyone has the option. I don’t. In my young years, I lived in an apartment in Poland where one of the beautiful tiled stoves was not converted into an electric one. In this one we burned old paper garbage and my thoughts always go back to it, when a mountain to be destroyed grows in front of me.

My daughter has willingly accompanied me in the works we are talking about here, almost from her birth. It all started with a basic shredder. Little one, because I try not to clutter too much. I quickly had to look for a new method, because the machine swallowed, as far as I remember, one sheet at a time, and it jammed for any reason, and the staples had to be removed under the risk of breaking it down completely.

I started to wash old papers in the washing machine, in a net for washing delicate clothes. My mom gave that mesh to me in Poland and it turned out to be worth its weight in gold, because similar nets bought here had too large openings. When the mesh was finished, I bought some linen pillowcases for decorative pillows, which were also good for the purpose. I fastened the zippers of the bag or pillowcases with safety pins to keep them from opening in the washing machine. The biggest advantage of this method was the final product, paper boulders of various sizes and in various attractive colors (depending on the type of documents to be destroyed). My daughter used them with delight in many ways, as she is always full of ideas, for example as in the photo with the lighthouse. The downside was the possibility of breaking down the washing machine. For this reason, even though Julka really appreciated this method, we had to abandon it.


I switched to cooking papers in the biggest pot we have. This way we obtained papier-mâché to play with and we nicely moistened the dry air. We even started adding essential oils to the pot. Nevertheless, cooking paper soup turned out to be so tedious that after some time I decided, to








get another shredder. Small so as not to clutter. The new machine turned out to be much more technologically advanced: it eats credit cards, CDs, staples and small paperclips (not the big ones). She swallows 12 sheets at a time and it’s really great, if not for the fact that… when her minimal bucket gets full (which happens after a very short time), it jams so that sometimes after an hour of work I was not able to bring it to life.

Of course, I wanted to use it without its mini bucket, but it turned out that the sophisticated sensor does not let it turn on unless it is sitting on its own bucket. And this was the moment to be an inventor. Meaning: instead of throwing it to the garbage or returning it, to saw off its bottom. With the addition of a garbage bag, the kit works like a dream. 🙂