Annoyed with JUNK MAIL? Get creative!
10 Simple Uses to Recycling Junk Mail at Home
There is too much of junk mail coming at our doorsteps and mailboxes nowadays. What do you do with all these unwanted mail? Do you sort them out and retain what is useful like promotional coupons on fastfood and groceries? Do you immediately get rid of them and say, "To recycle you go."? With time in your hands, would you select the bright, attractive ones to use for craft projects?
On the "common-standing postboxes" like the Canada Post mailboxes in my neighbourhood, some residents would leave their flyers and junk mail laying on top of the postboxes and not take them into their homes. These could easily be disposed in a recycle bin than having the wind blow them away littering the neighbourhood grounds. It is just plain common sense to accept junk mail as our own garbage.
If you are passionate about DIY crafts, here are a few ideas that you can incorporate junk mail into homemade craft transformation. The world is going green so does creative ideas.
1. Flower Power Décor - Create flowers out of coloured flyers and magazines and use a crepe streamer to cover the wire stem; also you may use the streamers as solid petal colours combined with the printed junk papers. The wire stem will keep it flexible. Set nicely in a tall, large glass vase on your patio protecting it away from natural elements. Add paper butterflies.
2. Personalized It - Handmade envelopes became popular amongst my friends way back in school years, cutting patterns out from glossy coloured prints of catalogs, newspaper pages and old magazines. They were cute and useful. Your friends will love to keep your special unique, thoughtful ways.
3. Master Coaster - Make your own glass/cup coasters using colourful waste paper or cards from junk mail. If you prefer simplicity, it is much attractive too by using simple black and white newsprint. You can make cut-out letters and favourite colours to turn into personalized coasters for each member of the family. Or find words and form them into "Message Coasters" like- "How's my cooking?", "A crumb is dumb.", "Glad you joined us.", "Drink. Don't wink.", "Worry about calories later.", "Food for thought. What are you thinking?"...and many more. Shape them into square or round pattern, glue neatly, and then apply thick coating of varnish or adhesive lamination to protect it. There are plain cork coasters that you can buy from dollar stores or craft stores and make them from scratch.
4. Placemat Matters - Create sturdy placemats out of them, same trick as #3. Use it as creative pieces for your coffee table and tea time with friends, or to match your coasters. Make photocopies out from your collage if you prefer a monotone appeal.
5. Spare Change - I just made a "coin-change bottle" as a birthday present for my daughter who will be turning 22 to put all her extra and loose change in it. Hopefully, if she makes this a habit, she will not be pestering me for some change whenever she needs it. She will be 22 and I want her to learn how to look after her bus fairs. "Mom, do you have $3 for the bus?" she would occasionally ask.
I also have a medium rounder jar for my dog where I drop in extra small bills to save up for his costly necessities. Our dogs are extra special and my, their things are more expensive than ours. My dog is richer than anyone of us in the household. We borrow money from him and making sure we return it back in his jar. ♥
6. Waste Not - Glue or wrap around an existing/not-so-attractive waste bin; spray varnish. Create picture ads and news patterned garbage cans for your kids' rooms or as a storage basket for their magazines.
7. Hot Box - Turn junk mail into colourful art patterns for a cardboard treasure box. Use sturdy & wide or small shoe boxes, or any craft boxes from craft stores. This will make a great gift idea with your gift inside for your small children and teens where they can reuse the box as a school supply box, storage for trinkets, memorable and sentimental treasure box or for safe keeping of photographs. Your teen will probably take it to school for her locker.
8. Illustrative Jars - Use coloured cut-out images as symbols to label recycled jars in your cupboard. We always have the "extras" in our cupboard from open packages and moving them into recycled jars would keep them fresh and a longer shelf life. Examples: pictures of different pasta for your pasta storage jars, pictures of spices to mark your recycled jars for extra spices, sugar, tea bags, etc. It creates a neat and attractive organization in your cupboard.
9. Tricky Sticky - Junk mail makes attractive fridge magnets. Cut them in geometric magnet shapes by reusing those old fridge magnets that you have collected from promotional give-aways. Those magnets that you think are no longer updated, don't toss them away, but make creative and lively magnets with your junk mail. Perhaps cutting and gluing onto the magnet your favourite chicken wings and pizza delivery phone numbers with their logos. Probably a magnet that says "To Do" a reminder that would secure your shopping list or kid's snack reminder hanging on your fridge. Another is keeping information of the "hours of operation" of your favourite grocery, pharmacy, liquor and beer stores. You can trim them out from their flyers and glue them onto magnets. Helpful tip: Never post your recent lottery tickets on your fridge.
10. Kinder Organizer - Use clear symbolic pictures to mark and help your toddlers to identify what is to be kept into their toy compartments/bins or to label their clothing drawers. Reward your little kids with stickers sticking them onto a bulletin board to give encouragement into maintaining good helpful habits with organizing. Start teaching your little ones about organizing in their own little playroom and bedrooms using helpful identifications to guide them through. In the end, you will be one happy and proud mom.
≈ ♥ ≈ © coffeegginmyrice
Reuse junk mail labels of your name and address
Aside from crafts out of junk mail, I cut out my address from the envelopes and junk letters and keep them in a small compartment in my desk drawer. It is also useful to label some stuff that needs labelling with both your name and address already pre-printed for you, or just trim out your name. I learnt about this practical idea from my ma who sends me mail from the Philippines reusing my addressed envelopes to her, cut them out and paste them on her mailing envelopes back to me. It just does not save her time from writing it, but my address is not plastered in her memory. Instead of looking through her address book, she just grabs a cut-out mail address from her drawer and glues it on. There you go, smart and easy!
She also gathers mail addresses from family members who are now living abroad, some from relatives and friends by trimming them out from their mail to her, then pasting them on her address book. That's totally a convenient way to update an address book.
With these cut-out addresses with my name on it, it will serve and save time for me to write them out fully when mailing Christmas cards or for other mail. I would just glue them into position. Thanks, ma!
I keep pretty sturdy envelopes neatly by opening my mail without ripping. The used envelopes come handy in useful cases like filing pockets and sending out a not-so-important mail, rather saves money than using a fine new envelope. And again, the cut-out home address contributes to it.
When to use "used mail envelopes" as filing pockets inside a box or your drawer to avoid clutter:
- for receipts that you don't dispose right away
- for storing stamps, stickers, labels, tags
- for keeping jot down old notes that you might look again one day
- for grouping your paper bills by month, marking 12 envelopes for each month
- for saving little scrap papers (coloured cut-outs of card or paper materials)
- for keeping cut-out old greeting card messages to reuse for homemade occasional cards
≈ ♥ ≈ coffeegginmyrice
Don't throw them all! Craft them.
Other usage of newsprint
Retain a few newsprint for cleaning purposes. A newspaper really makes a mirror, car windshield and windows or a glass table squeaky clean. If you just got caught by pouring rain, of course your shoes are soaking wet. To dry them quickly and absorb the smell, use a newspaper, rub some baking soda, round it into a ball and insert it inside the shoes. Let sit until shoes are totally dried. And perhaps your dog wants to read the papers after you.
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Punk Up the Junk
- Junk Mail Art Most Popular Posts | Apartment Therapy
Our recycling is full of junk mail and election flyers. Hating to see all that colorful and heavy cardstock paper just go to waste, we decided to create something from them. Here are the results of our endeavor.
- Junk Mail Gems: Recycled Kids' Art Project: Used Magazine Collage!