It’s not usual to hear the sound of a blender coming from a classroom.

But that was the case in Mary Taylor’s art classroom at Emerson Elementary School. The students were learning how to make their own paper.

They took discarded pieces of construction paper, tore the paper into tiny pieces and placed them in the blender with some water. Each student took turns pressing the blender buttons. As the paper and water blended, the excitement grew as the students waited to see what color of paper pulp they had made. One batch turned purple while another was cherry-colored. Yet another turned dark gray.

Afterwards, the paper was pressed thoroughly to remove excess water. In a process called “paper casting,” the students put their handmade paper into molds to create various heart shapes.

Caitlyn Perry said the paper didn’t feel “yucky.” “When you moosh it, it feels like wet paper,” she said.

Taylor then took a heat gun and dried the paper molds.

Other students worked at cutting and coloring heart shapes for bookmarks. These are designed to fold over the page of a book.

Another project involved mixing flour, salt and water. This mixture was then rolled out flat with students using heart-shaped cookie-cutters. Taylor then baked the hearts in an oven to harden them.

These designs and more will be sold Tuesday at the school, 301 E. Van Buren Ave., during “The Little Art Show with A Big Heart” starting at 6 p.m. The show is open to the public.

Taylor said the students have a service project each year. This year’s project is to raise funds for victims of the recent hurricanes. Monica Engelsen said “It’s to buy things for the people in the hurricanes.”

The funds will be given to the Southeast Oklahoma Chapter of the American Red Cross for its disaster relief fund.

Contact Teresa Atkerson at family@mcalesternews.com.