11 Functional Uses for Old Newspapers

Got some piles of old newspapers in your garage? Bring them back to life with these easy yet crafty (and practical) projects you’ll definitely love!

Repurposing Ideas for Old Newspapers

I know there are a lot of people out there who have switched to more of a paperless lifestyle. The bills come via e-mail and the newspapers are read online, BUT, there are still some of us who enjoy turning the pages of the newspaper and the scent that comes from the freshly printed ink on paper. For those of you who still read the news the old-fashioned way, I have some repurposing ideas for those old newspapers piling up. Of course, there’s always the recycling bins which is great!

1. Paper Mulch

Paper Mulch | 11 Functional Uses for Old Newspapers
image via tallcloverfarm

If you have a paper shredder you can use it to do the shredding for you. If you don’t have one you can just use scissors to cut the papers up or just rip them into pieces. What I prefer to do with my paper mulch is to use it as the ground layer and then I use wood mulch over top of it. This process seems to help keep the weeds out even better. You don’t have to use it as a secondary, it can be used on its own, but it’s a little light.

2. Paper Mache Projects

11 Functional Uses for Old Newspapers

11 Functional Uses for Old Newspapers

Paper mache can be fun for all ages. Easter is on its way and using a balloon, newspaper strips, glue or flour paste mixtures you can create an awesome Easter Egg. Here’s a great video tutorial you can follow. I like to do a cracked egg and stash the goodies inside of it!

3. Liners

11 Functional Uses for Old Newspapers

11 Functional Uses for Old Newspapers

We all know some craft projects can get pretty messy, it doesn’t matter how old we are, it is what it is! Just line the work area with a few layers of the newspaper, I like to tape it down so I know it’s not going anywhere. Peel it off when you’re done and toss it in the tinder box. *Be sure if you plan to burn the newspaper after use that you use non-toxic paints!* This lining method is also an amazing way to cover windows, trim, and furniture when painting indoors! It’s also much cheaper than tarps and covers. Although tarps and covers are good to have if by chance paint is actually spilled.

4. Recycle It Into Clean Paper

I remember doing this in school when I was a little girl and I was amazed. There is a process to it but this video explains the whole process in less than 10 minutes. You can even turn it into colored paper using dyes and inks.

5. Kindling & Fire Starter

11 Functional Uses for Old Newspapers11 Functional Uses for Old Newspapers
image via archivodiario

Well, newspapers are pretty dry stuff so it makes great tinder and kindling to start campfires. If the weather is damp and rainy I will even use it to get my wood stove going in a pinch. You can just store it and crumble it as it’s needed or prep it if you’d like.

6. Cleaning Windows

Cleaning windows | 11 Functional Uses for Old NewspapersCleaning windows | 11 Functional Uses for Old Newspapers
image via cutefetti

Don’t waste another paper towel trying to clean the windows. There’s just something about the newspapers that seem to eliminate any streaks and they also clean them better. It also saves you money and is more eco-friendly. I have a little box I use to keep my dirty window paper. Once it dries back out it can be used as kindling. Just a quick side note, I use eco-friendly cleaners that are free of harmful chemicals, hence safe to burn.

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7. Insulation For The Coop

Insulation for the coop | 11 Functional Uses for Old NewspapersInsulation for the coop | 11 Functional Uses for Old Newspapers
image via acreagelife

If you have an abundance of saved newspapers you can use it as insulation in the chicken coop and other animals housing. I prefer to use it in between the walls just as you would housing insulation, but it can be laid down for bedding which will help keep them warm. Be careful – goats will sometimes make a meal out of it.

8. Make Art

Make Art | 11 Functional Uses for Old NewspapersMake Art | 11 Functional Uses for Old Newspapers
image via iheartartsncrafts

There’s so much more than paper mache projects that old newspapers can be used for. For the toddlers, you can use the old paper for finger painting projects. Just tape the paper to their easel and let them make art. You can also create collages and sculptures, paper airplanes etc.

9. Package Padding

Package padding | 11 Functional Uses for Old NewspapersPackage padding | 11 Functional Uses for Old Newspapers
image via sweetsugarbelle

The process will go much faster if you have a paper shredder but if you don’t you can always cut it up by hand. As a matter of fact you don’t even have to cut it up you can just crumble it up. Put it in boxes to protect fragile items when shipping them. I personally like to shred it if I am sending smaller stuff but I use the crumbled technique for heavier items. Works just as good as those styrofoam peanuts.

10. Moving

Moving | 11 Functional Uses for Old NewspapersMoving | 11 Functional Uses for Old Newspapers
image via wikihow

Just as you can use the old newspaper padding for shipping fragile products you can also use it for packing up the house and moving. My mother always like to wrap her china and glassware directly in the newspaper before placing it into the boxes with the crumbled sections of the newspaper. It adds extra cushioning and keeps it from getting scratched.

11. Small Wall Murals

Small Wall Murals | 11 Functional Uses for Old NewspapersSmall Wall Murals | 11 Functional Uses for Old Newspapers
image via she-wears-flowers

The pages of the newspaper are pretty big when you open them up. You could take the pages of the newspaper and tape them together to make one massive painting page for the kids. Just tape or glue the pages together starting in the lower corner of the wall from there add more until you have it to the desired size. Once you have a small wall mural you could take it down, roll it up and start over. This allows you to swap out from the old to new and change things up for fun.

Aside from old newspapers, old magazines can also be turned into a DIY home decor. Check out this video and find out how to make one:

Finding new ways to use old things is one of my favorite things to do! When something’s reusable why not find a way to put it back into use. I hope some of these ideas spark your creative interests.

What do you think of these old newspapers repurposing ideas? Which one will you try out soon? We’d love to hear some of your ideas too so drop us a line in the comments!

Looking for DIY projects for your creative kiddos? Check out these 30 Projects for Crafty Kids!


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