Ways to Recycle or Reuse Paper
More Than 20 Ways to Recycle or Reuse Paper at Home
Paper piles up fast in most homes. Mail, school papers, and newspapers are just a few types of paper that stream in daily. According to "Recycled Crafts Box," by Laura C. Martin, the average American consumes a whopping 750 pounds of paper each year! That's a lot of paper.
Paper has been around for thousands of years. When exposed to the environment, paper will eventually break down and decompose, so it doesn't present a landfill problem like plastic. However, you can reduce your consumption of paper by getting rid of unwanted junk mail. Eco*Cycle.org can help you eliminate junk mail and stop solicitations.
Some paper is unavoidable. Here's a fact to motivate us to recycle: It takes much LESS fuel to make new paper from old paper than it does to produce new paper from raw materials. Save the trees and reduce fuel consumption by recycling.
But before you carry your paper to the recycle center, is there a way to reuse it? Get the most out of the paper you already have by trying the practical and crafty ideas below to reuse it before you recycle it.
Make Your Own Paper at Home - Recycle Used Paper into New Paper
A great craft project for young children is to recycle your own paper at home. You can puree used paper and water in a blender and dry it on a screen to make your own recycled craft paper. It makes a thick sturdy paper perfect for special notes or invitations. Add food coloring to create colored paper. Detailed instructions on how to do this yourself are below.
Photo by HSSchulte
Reuse Paper as Beads
If you have a scrap booking tool that cuts paper shapes, you can reuse paper to create these cool beads. The author of this tutorial, uses the pages of old books, but any paper can be used including colored paper. A string of them would make a very interesting way to decorate a girls room, or any other room you had in mind.
Reuse Paper before Recycling
Ways to Reuse Paper
Paper can quickly fill a recycle bin, how about trying these things to reuse paper before recycling it.
1. Shred it and use it for packing material.
2. Reuse the blank side of paper to make lists, print things on the printer, or let the kids color.
3. Compost it
4. Use it as kindling for a fire.
When using the first two reuse ideas above, go ahead and recycle the paper when you are finished reusing it. The last two ideas eliminate the need for recycling the paper.
Photo by HSSchulte
Paper Trash Can - Another Way to Reuse Paper
Lovething posted this amazing idea for a reused paper trash can on the Craftster forum. It is simply genius. The small paper strips are rolled and glued. Then they are stacked together to form this trash can. As she states in her forum post there are so many other possibilities. Magazine pages were used in the photo. Since I prefer an earthy look, I would use brown paper, such as paper grocery sacks.
Reuse Paper to Make Bracelets
This tutorial reminds us that any paper (from white paper to brown bag paper) can be jazzed up using computer art. To make a bracelet from computer printed art, cut it out and cover it with packing tape. Add some Velcro for a stylish homemade bracelet. Young girls may have fun personalizing them with names and exchanging them with their friends.
Greeting Card Box
Crafty Way to Reuse Paper
Have you ever gotten a special card that you wanted to save, but it just ended up in a drawer or closet? This recycled craft creates a box from a greeting card. Use Christmas, Valentine's day, or birthday cards to create these cute storage boxes. You will need a ruler and some scissors.
Altered Book Safe
Mysterious Way to Reuse Paper as a Recycled Craft Safe
An idea perfect for any mystery lover. A hardback book that can no longer be read, can be repurposed into a book safe. It makes a perfect gift for a child who loves hidden treasure. A very sharp knife and a hot glue gun is required to complete this project.
Paper Mache - Crafty Way to Reuse Paper
Paper mache is a great way to create an artistic figurine or a pinata for a party. Paper mache usually starts with a frame for the paper. The frame can be made of wire, such as a coat hanger, balloons, or any lightweight material that will hold the paper in place. Use various materials to construct the frame in the shape you want. It can be the shape of a fish, cartoon character, bicycle, ball, or anything else your heart desires.
Once the frame is in place, paper is dipped in a flour and water mixture that acts as glue. Use the flour glue to add many layers of paper over the frame. After it is covered, allow it to dry. Once dry, you can paint the paper mache art. More detailed instructions are below:
Recycle Paper at Home
Another variation to the homemade paper above, is to use only one color of colored paper. (If you use more than one color the overall outcome will be gray.) Alternatively, you can use white paper and add food coloring to the mix. Make the paper as explained above, accept when you are spreading it out to dry, place it inside a form to shape it, such as a cookie cutter.
Reuse Magazine Pages to Make a Magazine Holder!
Make a Weaving by Reusing a Paper Card
If you have a special card that you don't want to throw away, this is another great way to craft with it and keep it around. This is a weaving craft and ideal for young children, curtosy of Education.com
Make Your Own Personalized Gift Bags - by reusing old paper bags
Here is a cute way to personalize an old paper bag. (The one you got when you forgot to take your reusable bag to the store.) All you need is a few household items:
Brown paper bag or an old gift bag
Glue or Adhesive
Pencil and scissors
... and these instructions from AllFreeCrafts.com.
Inexpensive Wall Art - Reuse Paper to Decorate
Another idea for reusing special cards, photos, or pictures that you enjoy from a magazine is to reuse them as wall art. With the proper frame any type of photo can hang on the wall. Get more ideas for reusing paper as framed wall art at:
RePlayGround has some more ideas for ways to reuse paper as gift wrap. An ideal way to put above the ordinary paper to work. Sheet music, magazine pages, comics, book pages, etc., all make unique gift wrap and bows. See how many types of old paper you can think of to use as gift wrap.
Paper Bows from Reused Paper - How to Make Paper Bows from Recycled Wrapping Paper
You can reuse old wrapping paper to make the clever paper bows. You will need:
* old wrapping paper to reuse
* a ruler
* old scraps of cardboard to reuse
Paper beads are a fun way to reuse junk mail. The beads can be worn as bracelets and necklaces, or used to decorate key chains and backpacks. How many ways can you come up with to use these cute beads?
More Resources for Reusing Paper from Amazon
More Ways to Reuse Paper
- How to Reuse Paper | eHow.com
How to Reuse Paper. You can help the environment by reusing paper. Reuse minimizes the amount of trash you produce and conserves resources. Many everyday paper items can be reused and kept out of landfills.
- Make a Recycled Notebook from Scrap Paper
wikiHow article about How to Make a Reusable, Recycled Green Notebook.
- Magazine Holder Craft: Spring Crafts for Kids - Earth Day & Recycling Crafts - Kaboose.com
A magazine holder made from a cereal box, is a great way to reuse paper/light cardboard boxes.
What do you do with your paper?