How to Make Papercrete Blocks


Never heard of it? Go here.

Up to speed?

Great, Let’s get going.


Papercrete mixer

Block molds (mine are made from 2x6s and scrap siding)




Paper (used of course)

Shredded plastic (if you want)

95 lb bag of cement (cement not concrete- no rocks or sand in the mix)


Emtpty papercrete molds

1.  Set out your molds.  You will need enough flat space to drive over them and pull your truck and the mixer in all the way front of the molds.

Filling papercrete mixer with water

2.  Fill the mixer 3/4 full with water.   I just eyeball it.

papercrete mixer filled with paper

3. Put in the paper/plastic.  I use about 75 lbs.

adding cement to papercrete mixer

4.  Add the bag of cement.  You don’t need to open it,  just toss it in.

covered papercrete mixer

5.  Cover the mixer securely.  This is very important.  Just think of what happens when you have a blender top malfunction and multiply it by 100…  I use a canvas tarp with a cargo strap.

papercrete slurry

6.  Drive slowly- 5-10 mph for one mile.  The mixer will chop up the paper into a pulp and mix it with the water and cement.

emptying the papercrete mixer

7.  Empty the slurry into the molds.  If you got the mix right you should be able to open the drain, fill some blocks, close it, pull forwards a bit, repeat.  If the papercrete is too thick there’s some shoveling in your near future.  Sometimes I use a plunger to force it through too.  I get about 45 blocks per batch.

papercrete blocks in molds

8.  Remove the molds.  I do this right away.  I want as much air flow as possible.

papercrete blocks

9.  Wait a few days for the blocks to dry.

pile of papercrete blocks

10.  Stack the blocks under cover to dry further.  I like to wait a couple weeks before using them.

11.  Do it again and again until you have several pallets stacked with bricks and your year’s supply of paper trash is gone.  That’s 10-15 batches for me.  I usually have to go to the recycling center to pick up more paper to boot.

Now go make something cool and send us a picture.

Next time:  building with papercrete blocks.

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  1. Najam Ashraf
    Posted February 20, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Very easy instructions.I’ll start with the blocks first.

  2. padre
    Posted March 23, 2015 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Are they more or less Buller resistant than a plain old concrete block? I would bet more, but I am wondering if you have ever taken them to the range for a comparison.

    • Mike
      Posted March 25, 2015 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      Never tried that test.

  3. Chris
    Posted March 25, 2015 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    this looks like a great idea, but I have several question.
    first, where did you get the mixer?
    second, once dried how weather resistant are they?
    third should they be kiln dried or baked?
    forth, how structurally strong are they, can they be used for walls or footers?

  4. elizabeth sandvick
    Posted August 18, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    where do I get one of your mixers ? thank you

    • Mike
      Posted August 18, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      If you want a tow mixer you have to make one which is a big barrier to entry for getting started. You can use an electric drill with a paint or plaster mixer and a 5 gallon bucket to do small batches in. I have instructions on all things papercrete here:

  5. Mini Kitten
    Posted August 23, 2015 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    It’s extremely interesting. :-)

    Did you try to use only plastic shred ?

    And if so, is this “plasticrete” more or less prone to suck moisture as papercrete ?

    If not, which are differences btw paper only papercrete and plastic and paper papercrete ?

    • Mike
      Posted August 25, 2015 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      You need the paper fibers to hold everything together & provide the airspace for insulation. Plastic only works as a filler. I don’t use more than 10%

One Trackback

  1. By No More Trash « Stuff I Made This Year on February 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    […] slowly for a mile or so you end up with a bunch of pulped paper mixed with cement.  You can then cast this goop into blocks or any other form you like.  After the block has dried its light weight and very durable.  The […]

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