repurposed: What To Do With Newspaper After You’ve Read It

Actually, I don’t read the newspaper unless I see a good Sudoku puzzle that needs solving, but I loooove to use it for various other reasons.  Here are ten ways I’ve used newspaper in my entire lifetime…

1.  Cleaning mirrors and glass.  I keep newspaper around the house primarily for this reason alone.  Newspapers do a great job of leaving mirrors and glass sparkling and lint-free.  I’ve done away with paper towels in my house, replacing them with cotton cleaning rags and newspapers.  Just another way I’m doing my bit to benefit the environment.

2.  Bin liner.  Hooray to Vancouver for recently implementing the Green Bin Program, a program to recycle our food scraps!  Now our kitchens are outfitted with little green containers to contain our food scraps that will be emptied out weekly and picked up by the city to be used as compost.  To keep our containers relatively clean, our house has chosen to line it with newspaper, which can easily be dumped out with the scraps.

3.  Alternative drop cloths.  Over the weekend I worked on a small paint job.  Too lazy to unfold a large cotton drop cloth, I grabbed some newspaper out of the recycle bin and spread them on the floor during prep.  They were still able to be returned to the recycle bin after my paint dried.

4.  Hanging art.  When I wrote my post about How To Hang A Group Of Picture Frames, I commented that I didn’t like to use plain, unused paper for this project.  One of my readers suggested using newspaper in order to save on paper.  Mind. Blown.

5.  Papier maché.  I remember as a young girl, my mother tore up strips of newspaper for a papier maché project.  I think it was the make a volcano science project.  This was probably my very first memory of using newspaper as a repurposed material.

6.  Giftwrap.  For my seventeenth birthday, one of my friends gave me a gift wrapped in the comics section of the Sunday paper.  The wrapping prominently displayed Calvin and Hobbes (my favorite comic strip of all time) on the top of the box in a strip talking about friendship.  It was so thoughtful.

7.  Disposal.  Men, close your eyes to this one… it’s not exactly a male friendly tip.  Similar to using newspaper as a bin liner (tip #2), I used to keep newspaper in my bathroom for wrapping up feminine hygiene products.  My mama taught me that one.

8.  Frozen food insulator.  Do you know that newspaper has really good insulation properties?  Don’t ask me why!  I am the worst as explaining science.  I just know that it does.  The last time my husband and I made a trip into the States for grocery reconnaissance at Costco, he declared he would buy ice cream.  In anticipation of the big ice cream purchase, I brought an insulated bag plus newspaper to keep the purchase from melting during the drive home.

9.  Fire starter.  There are lots of great items to use to get a fire started and newspaper is one of them.

10. Gardening.  I have not tried this one personally yet, but it’s on my supply list when I start to work on my garden.  I understand that laying down newspaper when building garden beds will prevent weeds from growing.  Definitely giving that a try!

What do you think of my list?  What have you used newspaper for after you’ve finished reading it?

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Redesigned By M

Leave a comment


  1. niamhington

     /  May 15, 2013

    It makes very pretty bunting! I have been cutting out teapots and cups and putting it on twine.

  2. Calvin and Hobbes is my absolute favorite. Great tips! Never knew that about the frozen food insulating thing.

  3. tacksamhet

     /  May 16, 2013

    Great ideas! I make paper pots for seedlings with news papers. Just cut (or rip) the paper into stripes, put them in a bucket of water and then use a mug or something “pot shaped” and line the wet paper stripes with. Remove the mug and let the wet paper pot dry and voila!

  4. I also make gift bags… actually, I should post a tutorial on how to make them!:-)

  5. How lovely! Do you have a photo of this?

  6. Thank you! The insulation thing was quite a surprise for me too.

  7. I love that! I’m just starting to get into gardening, so trying to glean all the tips in that area. Will have to give this a try.

  8. Yes, please do! I’d love to see how they look.

  9. niamhington

     /  May 18, 2013

    Not yet, but hoping to put something up soon!

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