Paper making

Hangzhou homestay tutors learnt traditional paper making crafts in this creative cultural activity session!

The paper making tradition

Paper making originated in China in the Han dynasty, making it one of the five great Chinese inventions which later spread around the world.

Originally, paper was made from simple rags and plant fibres, combined together to make rudimentary sheets of thick paper. This developed into an art form by the addition of flower petals and coloured pigments, resulting in beautiful creations. 

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Learning the culture

First, the homestay tutors enjoyed a short introductory talk on the history and culture of paper making, particularly in the Hangzhou area. 

This was a great opportunity to understand the culture in more depth, as well as to learn some key words and phrases in Chinese relating to the activity.

Making the paper

There are several steps to the paper making process. First, the paper pulp is produced by mixing together recycled paper, tissue and plant fibres along with water. This is then pressed into a mould with a small hammer.

Next, the decorating process can begin! The homestay tutors selected flower petals and leaves to place onto the paper pulp, forming beautiful patterns and scenic pictures. The mould is then pressed together to squeeze out the excess water and bind the flowers on.

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What do our au pairs say?

Virginie from Canada really enjoyed participating in this activity. 

The Chinese teacher is very friendly, she taught me to make it by hand patiently, and also explained the art of papermaking to me. Thanks for her kindness, I love China!”

What do our au pairs say?

Maria from Italy enjoyed this opportunity to make beautiful artwork from such a natural product:

The canvas made of flowers is so wonderful, I have never heard of such a thing in my own country!”


Lynn from Germany loved catching up with friends old and new while learning a new skill:

“I have met many new friends here again. It is a pleasant experience to share hand-made works with each other and to understand each other’s country!”

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Celebrating their creations!

Everyone produced some incredible artwork, and they all enjoyed a celebratory group photo at the end!

Want to experience Chinese culture first-hand while teaching English?

Our homestay tutor programs provide an unparalleled insight into Chinese culture, with a fully immersive homestay experience supplemented by language classes and cultural activities. 

In return for teaching the child of your host family English, and occasionally assisting with light housework, you will receive all this for free, as well as a small monthly allowance or flight tickets!


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