How did ancient Egyptians make papyrus paper?

Papyrus Plant
Papyrus Plant
Have you ever wondered how they made papyrus paper in ancient Egypt? I've broken it down into five simple steps.

How ancient Egyptian papyrus was made in 5 steps

1. Harvest

First, the tall, fibrous stalks of the papyrus plant were harvested and sliced into thin strips.

2. Soak

The strips were then soaked in water until softened. 

3. Arrange Crosswise

Once they were soft enough to work with, the papyrus strips were laid out to make up a giant square. A second set of strips was laid on top in a crosswise direction. 

4. Pound and Dry

The whole thing was then pounded flat and allowed to dry. The starch in the papyrus plant acted as a glue, which bonds the paper together during the drying process. 

5. Cut Into Sheets

Once the papyrus sheet had dried, the final step was to cut the large square into smaller sheets of paper for use.

Some facts about papyrus:


• The papyrus plant grows in tall stalks--up to 16 feet high!

• It is now almost extinct along Egypt's Nile and in the Nile Delta.

• Parts of the plant are edible.

• It's also called paper reed or Egyptian reed

• Papyrus was expensive in ancient Egypt, so people often used stone shards for writing notes instead

• Hieroglyphics were written using a brush and ink made from crushing minerals and stones

• Egyptians used papyrus to make other things like sandals, boats, baskets, and mats.

Where can you buy papyrus sheets today?


I can't get enough of this great, traditionally made ancient Egyptian papyrus paper. The pages are perfect for school projects, arts & crafts, scrapbooking and so much more. It's made with actual papyrus stalks from Egypt, which are pretty rare.


10 blank Egyptian Papyrus sheets for arts, crafts, and school projects
10 Papyrus Sheets with Hieroglyphics Charts

So there you have it. How to make papyrus in five steps, and some fun facts about the ancient Egyptian papyrus paper.