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14 Clever Uses for Old Newspapers at Home That You Can Try Today

Rolls of newspaper to make crafts

Newspapers have long been a primary part of our lives. They give us the latest news and keep us informed about what is happening around us.  However, what do we expect of them once they become outdated or no longer have use for them?

Most people have made it a habit to throw away their old ones, but one can put them to good use as well. The fact that they are made from paper makes them more helpful around the home than what meets the eye.

So, find out how you can use old newspapers in this article. The possibilities are endless, and here are 14 clever uses that are perfect for all skill levels:

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The 14 Clever Ways to Use Old Newspapers

1. Make a DIY Newspaper Flower Basket Cart

Materials Needed: Old newspapers, glue, a circular shape, and ribbons
Tools Needed: Scissors and a pen
Difficulty Level: Easy

If you’re looking for an easy and inexpensive way to go green, try making this flower basket cart using old newspapers. To make this flower basket cart, start by making many newspaper tubes. You may need more than 15 of them, depending on the basket size you desire. Then, start weaving them to form a basket cart.

You can use the basket cart as a display for flowers. It will look great on an entryway table, but you can also put it by the front door for a unique conversation starter.

2. Cleaning Dirty Windows

woman cleaning glass window
Image By: Khaligo, Pixabay
Materials Needed: Old newspapers, water, and white vinegar
Tools Needed: None
Difficulty Level: Easy

An old newspaper is an excellent abrasive for cleaning, especially when it comes to windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces. The lint from the paper will pick up any dirt or grime from the window without scratching it.

The newspapers come in handy if you live in an apartment building with many windows and no access to a hose or water source.

If the glass windows are too dirty, use a mixture of water and vinegar. Then, use old newspaper to dry it.

3. Cleaning Grill Grates

Materials Needed: Old newspapers and water
Tools Needed: Pliers
Difficulty Level: Easy

If you like grilling, you’re probably in the process of cleaning your grill grates. Grill grates are made of metal. Usually, they get covered in grease and food scraps as you cook your food. The dirt can be challenging to scrub off with only soap and water, but by adding some newspaper into the mix, you’ll make the whole job so much easier.

After grilling, use pliers to remove the hot grill grates. Then, use old newspapers soaked in water to wrap them for around 15 minutes. This way, the burned-on foods’ steam is trapped, making it easy for the dirt to come off.

4. Weed Killing

burweed plant
Image By: Adriana Sulugiuc, Shutterstock
Materials Needed: Old newspapers
Tools Needed: Garden staples
Difficulty Level: Easy

Old newspapers are a great way to keep weeds at bay. It acts as an insulator, trapping heat and moisture underneath it. It also creates a hostile environment for weed seeds and roots and prevents them from growing. The best time to use this method is when the soil is warm (between 65°F–85°F).

Water the area before covering it with newspapers. This way, moisture stays trapped under the newspaper. Lay the newspapers in your garden—two or three layers are ideal. You can use garden staples to keep the newspapers down.

The old newspaper will let in the air but block sunlight from reaching the weeds. The weeds die from a lack of photosynthesis. The newspaper also keeps weed seeds from germinating.

5. Making Cheap DIY Seedling Pots

Materials Needed: Fertilizer, water, old newspapers, seed-starting containers, potting soil, and one tin can
Tools Needed: A box cutter or scissors
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Seedling pots are small, thus easy to lose track of them when you’re planting new seeds. They’re also expensive, especially if you use premium potting soil and other nutrients to help your seedlings thrive. But you can easily make cheap DIY seedling pots using old newspapers.

First, take a tin can and roll the old newspaper around it. Fold it well and form a crease. This way, it’ll be easier to fold when you remove the tin can. Then, fill the starter pot you have created with soil.

After that, put the starter pot in a seed starting tray. The seed starting tray makes the starter pots hold water. And there you have your cheap DIY seedling pot made of old newspapers.

6. Ripening Green Tomatoes

Tomato plant disease
Image By: Olya Maximenko, Shutterstock
Materials Needed: Green tomatoes, old newspapers, and a cardboard box
Tools Needed: None
Difficulty Level: Easy

Green tomatoes can be challenging to ripen without risking damage from mold or insects. One clever hack would be using a few sheets of old newspaper. Newspapers are great for ripening green tomatoes you’ve picked before they’re red.

When harvesting, pick the green tomatoes with a bit of stem attached. It makes them ripen fast. Then, take each tomato and wrap it using a piece of old newspaper. After that, put all the wrapped tomatoes in one cardboard box, cover them with another layer of newspaper, and place them in a cool place.

Check them every day or so until they’re red. The result will be clean and well-ripened tomatoes.

7. Wrapping Gifts

Materials Needed: Old newspapers, ribbons, and masking tape
Tools Needed: A pair of scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

The holiday season is here, and you’re probably already knee-deep in gift wrapping. But are you using old newspapers to wrap gifts? If not, you should try it. Newspapers are a great way to add patterns to your gifts without spending a fortune on fancy wrapping paper. Plus, it’s as functional as any other wrapping paper.

Apart from wrapping gifts, you can also use the old newspapers to protect fragile items during shipping or create gift bags for your next party.

8. Draft Proofing Your Windows and Doors

sick looking orchids on a window sill
Image Credit: AdaCo, Shutterstock
Materials Needed: Old newspapers, sewing pins, iron, thread, and decorative cotton fabric
Tools Needed: Measuring tape, scissors, a sewing machine, and a hand-sewing needle
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Drafts coming in from outdoors can be expensive to fix, but there are ways to reduce them without breaking the bank. One of the easiest ways is using old newspapers as draft-proofing materials. Newspapers are great at keeping drafts out of your home during winter. They can also help prevent rattling noises that sometimes occur with poorly fitted doors and windows.

Wrap the newspaper around the frames of your windows and doors. Tape them into place if necessary. This simple step can save you money on heating bills during the cold months. It’ll keep warm air inside where it belongs.

You may also want to invest in weather stripping because newspaper alone may not be enough for leaky windows or doors.

9. Making a Colorful Newspaper Owl Craft for Children

Materials Needed: Old newspapers, watercolors, glue, and construction paper
Tools Needed: Owl template, paintbrush, scissors, and chalk markers
Difficulty Level: Easy

Owls are some of the most popular animals for children’s crafts. This colorful owl craft is no exception. It takes just a few minutes to put together. It’ll make an excellent decoration for your child’s room. The best part is that there isn’t much cutting involved—just some folding!

Start by cutting out the eyes, beak, and wings from the sheet of newspaper. Then cut out small triangles from another sheet of newspaper for the feathers on top of the head. Draw two circles for the eyes and color them using markers, watercolors, or crayons.

Next, glue the wings and beak onto the front side of your owl’s body. There you have your beautiful owl.

10. Making a Newspaper Christmas Tree

stacks of Newspaper
Image Credit: Pexels, Pixabay
Materials Needed: Old newspapers, yellow spray paint, green paint, paper towel tube, masking tape, and glitter
Tools Needed: Scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

A newspaper Christmas tree is a fun way to decorate your home during the holidays. You can use any printed paper, but newspapers work best because they are sturdy and easy to fold into a cone shape.

Start by weaving strips of newspaper into a cone shape. Attach branches for decorations. Use tape or staples to secure pieces together but don’t glue them. However, the tree gets ruined if it gets wet.

11. Easy DIY Newspaper Envelope

Materials Needed: Old newspaper cutouts and high-quality glue
Tools Needed: A pair of scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

If you want a fun way to send letters to friends and family without having to buy fancy envelopes, try making an envelope out of old newspapers! This hack can come in handy if you need to send invitation cards for upcoming events.

You can quickly make envelopes from old newspapers by folding them lengthwise. Then, cut along the fold line with a utility knife or scissors. The resulting envelope has two flaps that you can seal with tape.

Use colored or decorative papers to match your invitation theme if you want to make fancier envelopes. Then, write your address on each side and add postage stamps. You can tie it closed with a string or ribbon.

12. Sew a Newspaper Dress

woman while sewing a dress in leather with needle and thread
Image Credit: ChiccoDodiFC, Shutterstock
Materials Needed: A stack of newspapers, Velcro, white thread, straight pins, and a belt
Tools Needed: A sewing machine, a ruler, pencil, scissors, and a mirror
Difficulty Level: Advanced

Have you ever heard about making dresses out of newspapers? It may sound crazy, but it’s possible! Even though newspapers are made of different materials, they’re mostly made from wood pulp. All you need is creativity and patience to sew together these pieces of newspaper into something you can wear.

Start by making the pleats. Once done pleating, sew the newspaper pieces you have pleated. Then, sew the front and back body parts together and tie them to the body and make sure they fit well.

The other steps are sewing the neckline, making the armholes, and adding the Velcro closure. Also, make the straps and attach them to the newspaper dress. Finish by making the petticoat and the waistband.

13. Paper Heart Garland

Materials Needed: Old newspapers and a scrap of cardstock
Tools Needed: Pencil, scissors, and a sewing machine
Difficulty Level: Easy

If you’re looking for an inexpensive, easy craft, this paper heart garland made of old newspaper is perfect. It takes only a few minutes, and you can make it in many different ways. You can make it as big or as small as you want.

Cut out hearts from colorful pages and string them together with twine or ribbon. Then, hang them on a wall or door for decoration. You can even use them as gift wraps or as a backdrop for photos.

You can make a festive paper heart garland for Valentine’s Day or any other celebration.

14. DIY Newspaper Craft Coaster

Materials Needed: Old newspapers and glue
Tools Needed: A pencil
Difficulty Level: Easy

Coasters are a simple way to add design and color to your coffee table. They’re also practical since they can protect your furniture from water damage. If you don’t have any coasters at home, consider making some yourself. A newspaper coaster is a great way to reuse your old newspapers.

Start by rolling newspaper pages around with a pencil. Then, attach the ends using glue. You can attach several rolls of newspaper to lengthen them. After that, flatten them and start folding each in a circular motion to form a coaster.

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Old newspapers are an alternative to more expensive paper products. Many times, they do the job just as well, but there are many other uses of old newspapers in your home. In this post, we have outlined 14 of them. This way, you can see first-hand how you can put those old newspapers to use.

If you’ve been looking to save some money by using your old newspapers, the ideas we’ve presented here will give you a great starting point. The possibilities are endless.

Featured Image Credit: Elisa Galceran Garcia, Shutterstock


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