5 Ways to Repurpose Newspapers

New uses for newspapers

Guest post by Julia from Roots of Simplicity

Do you have a stack of newspapers sitting in your house or garage? Whether you like to read the articles, scan the comics or just clip the coupons (like me!), the daily paper is a versatile resource beyond the information it holds. Besides the recycle bin, there are several other uses for newspapers which can help trim your expenses.

1. Substitute newspapers for paper towels

For very messy clean up jobs, newspapers are an ideal choice. Though a paperless kitchen is a worthy goal, sheets of old newspapers can be very handy for lifting the bulk of big messes (eggs, oil, mud, etc.). The final swipe can be done with a wet cloth or paper towel if needed.

You can also prevent a huge countertop spill if you are pouring grease or oil by placing a sheet of newspaper under the container before pouring the liquid.

In addition, newspapers are a thrifty, streak-free way to clean windows and mirrors.

2. Make an eco-friendly newsprint gift bag

Newspaper gift bagGlossy gift bags are often an expensive addition to the cost of a gift. By using your own materials to create a gift bag, you can save cash and reduce consumption. Use a trimmed cereal box “wrapped” in newsprint for you bag. Poke holes and thread with ribbon (strung with pieces of plastic straws!) for your handles.

You can also customize the bag according to the recipient or what you are giving. For example, for a sports fan, use the sports section; for a general gift, use the comics; for a cooking-related gift, use the food section.

If the gift is too big to fit in a bag, simply use the newspaper as wrapping paper.

3. Use newspapers as a disposable table covering for picnics and crafts

Wrap a table in sheets of newspaper and secure with tape. Why buy a single-use tablecloth when you can easily get newspapers for free? I noticed that a popular food magazine (Rachael Ray) recently featured a brown paper table cover for a casual outdoor party.  Instead of buying anything, “go green” and reuse your newspapers for the same effect.

4. Make a party pinata

Using a cardboard box, some newspaper, tape and colored tissue paper, you can have fun making and then breaking your own pinata. Tape is easier and quicker than paper mache, but you can go whichever route your creativity and available time indicate. Homemade pinatas can become a fun, frugal, personalized tradition for birthdays and other celebrations.

5. Use newspaper as a disposable diaper changing pad

Changing the diaper of a squirming baby or toddler is not always a tidy affair. Using a newspaper is cheaper and more eco-friendly than buying disposable changing pads, but just as convenient.

Through being resourceful with the newspaper stack that you already have, it is possible to save money and reduce your need to buy specialty paper products.

Do you reuse newspaper in a clever or frugal way? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments!

Julia blogs at Roots of Simplicity. She is a stay-at-home mom of three children who employs her creativity in the kitchen and at the craft table with whatever she has on hand.

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Comments

  1. Tammy says

    I use old newspaper, a couple of window screens, my shredder and a thrift store blender to make new paper! A couple of drops of bright food coloring and you have a nice paper for stamping cards on! In the fall I buy flower and herb seeds on clearance from the gardening section so my spring cards have seeds all ready for planting in them! All the receiver has to do is plant them in a pot and water!

      • Tammy says

        @Julia, As long as you get the pieces small enough to get pulpy when you wet them you should be fine. Give the kids a bucket and a stack of newspaper and put them on the porch and let them tear it into little pieces! I got my paper recipe from the internet, some call for a “silk screen” for straining but I found a site that said a used old window screen worked well and being the frugal person that I am I went that route and have never had any problems.

  2. karen says

    I have always recycled newspapers as long as I can remember. But a couple years ago I realized our local vet used them to line the dog & cat’s cages in the back. So….now I bag them all up & take them to the vet! It helps everybody.

  3. Lois says

    My parents owned a seafood business in Texas and when relatives from Minnesota would take fresh frozen seafood home with them, my mom would first freeze it in zippered freezer bags, wrap in newspaper, then put in any other plastic bags. The paper would keep shrimp, fish, etc. from piercing through the outer bag and insulate it enough to stay frozen for the long trip home. Newspaper will insulate to keep anything frozen or cold for hours. I noticed from several posts that it works for keeping hot stuff hot as well.

  4. says

    My family has always used newspaper when making large batches of sugar cookies. It’s easy to spread one end of the table or another flat surface with a couple of layers of newspaper, then lay the cookies on them to cool. That way, you don’t have to worry about having enough cooling racks, and it’s a little less to wash, too.

  5. Margaret Lind says

    Great article! As a former newspaper reporter, it was our custom at office parties to wrap gifts in the Sunday Comics. They are colorful, seasonal, sometimes have great pictures in them, coordinate with any color of ribbon or bow. I rarely purchase gift wrapping paper any more and just save up my comics for gift-giving occasions! Also, newspaper makes a great substitute for tissue paper if you’re placing your gift in a “store-bought” gift bag. When using newspaper for picnics or tables outside, you need to tape down the sheets or they blow like crazy! (VOE = Voice of Experience!).

  6. Betsy says

    I use newspaper to clean my mirrors and windows. Just use your regular spray and then I scrunch of the newspaper and use it like a paper towel. Although my fingers have a little ink on them, it always leaves my mirrors and windows streak free and absorbs the spray quickly!

  7. says

    JUST A SUGGESTIONS TO USE THE OLD NEWSPAPERS. I BELONG TO A SCRABBLE CLUB AND IT IS GOOD TO FIND WORDS THAT COULD COUNT FOR MANY POINTS AS YOU PLAY THE GAME. READ THEM FIRST, USE THE WORDS, THEN CHALLENGE YOUR OPPENT. IT IS FUN.
    IF YOU HAVE CHILDRES STILL IN SCHOOL, HELP THEM IN THE SPELLING GAME, FIND A WORD IN THIER HOMEWORK , TELL THEM TO LOOK IN THE PAPER FOR THAT WORD, WHEN FOUND BY THE CHILDREN REWARD THEM WITH SOMETHING SIMPLY AND THE KIDS WILL LEARN FASTER AND MORE, BECAUSE IT IS A GAME FOR THEM. TRY IT (IN FACT ANY AGE CAN DO THIS) HAVE FUN.

  8. Linda Meziere says

    If you iron the newspaper it sets the ink and it won’t smear all over your hands, or baby or whatever.

  9. Joyce Farino says

    I just love all the great ideas you have all given me, and I wanted to add one of my own. We have an older dog, who needs wee-wee pads because of his accidents. First I lay down a plastic shopping bag (always seem to have too many of them laying around), then I cover the bagged area with 2 layers of newspaper, and tada…an upcycled wee-wee pad. In our area the wee-wee pads sell for around 8.99 for a 12 pack, by recycling our old newspapers we are saving alot. This can also be used for training puppies as well. Hope this helps someone else.

  10. Kym says

    I read in a book that you can use old news paper as fire logs by bundling them with rubber band and then soaking them in water and letting them dry out. I made a few this summer and have yet to try them since it has been way to hot for a fire.