How to make useful things from waste paper?


How to make useful things from waste paper?

Andra Land

It is a dilemma as old as ecology itself.  What to do with the mountain of newspaper and one side already used paper currently taking residence in a corner and growing daily?  Throwing it all away is no longer an easy fix.  Many years ago, waste paper went straight into the burn pile.  Neighbors waved at each other as they stood over smoldering, smokey barrels each week in their backyards.  Those days are gone thanks to burn ordinances and a general undercurrent of respect for the environment.  Waste paper recycling is the thing to do now!  Reuse waste paper at home in a variety of creative ways.

The number one reuse for waste paper in most homes is kids arts and crafts projects.  With the volume of waste paper that is only used on one side, there is no need for a parent to ever buy new drawing paper!  Designate a special place for paper that can be used for drawing.  Keep it in a box with crayons and colored pencils.  Newspaper can be reused for painting, stuffing three dimensional art projects, and paper hats of all kinds.  Homemade paper dolls are still a fascination to little girls.  Boys can make a triangular paper football by folding paper tightly then flicking it across a table to score a goal.

Most households have a paper shredder.  Shred and reuse waste paper as packing material when shipping boxes.  If your waste paper is colored, it can enjoy a shredded new life as gift or Easter basket grass.  Shredded newspaper can be used as a type of mulch for gardens.  Some have had success with reusing finely shredded newspaper for filling the cat litter box!

Magazine pages can  be reused in jewelry making.  Cut colorful pages into long, narrow rectangular strips and snip each end into a long gradual point.  Tightly wind the paper strip around a pencil and glue the end tip securely down with  strong craft glue.  Slide the paper bead off the pencil and make some more.  These can be used for bracelets, necklaces, or even garland to decorate your home.

Never buy sticky notes or pads of paper again.  Reuse waste paper with writing on only one side by cutting it down into uniform size pieces and stapling or clipping them into homemade notepads.  Skip the clip if you choose and place paper in a small basket on the desk or near the phone.

Once begun, waste paper recycling becomes second nature.  Before long, the mountain of waste paper will become a memory.


You can make paper mache pinata by blowing a balloon, put it in a safe surface, cut small pieces of paper and dip them on a dish with elmer’s glue, or boil water, add a bit of salt and flour till you get a glue consistently. Add small pieces all around, several layers, you can make cone shapes and put them around to simulate a star. When completely dried, burst the balloon and you will have your pinata, you can color it, cover with other coloring tissue paper. You can also use a light mixture of paste ( the flour), smear different kind of paint colors, put another piece of paper, ” massage it around, take them apart, and you will have paper book covers, and/or wrapping paper. Children love to do this, and my little grandaughters have cut it on a small pieces and use it for stationary, wrapping paper orcut out paper dolls, depending the color you use.

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