Introduction: 20 Unusual Ways to Use Any Paper

Picture of 20 Unusual Ways to Use Any Paper

Everyone has paper at home.

Clean, white paper, scrap paper you've drawn on, newspaper, old magazines, random pamphlets, cardboard, and more!

All this paper and no where to use it.

Well, you've come to the right place.

Hereafter you shall find 20 ways to use all that paper. *ta-da music cue*

Please enjoy!

Ps. I'm away on holiday, so I couldn't do these crafts to take photos. Instead, I drew all the photos for references. Please enjoy, and feel free to question if something doesn't make sense! I'll fix it! :)

Step 1: Cleaning Your Windows

Picture of Cleaning Your Windows

Viable for: Newspaper

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Newspaper are made of dense and strong fibers that contain no solid materials like silica or calcium carbonate. Hence, it can clean your windows without scratching it or leaving lint. Perfect!

Since 2000, most newspaper companies had changed to cheaper soy-based ink, which does not cause stains or smears like its predecessor (petroleum-based ink).

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Steps:

  1. Scrunch up individual sheets of newspaper into loosely packed balls and prepare cleaning solution (store bought, or mix equal parts of vinegar and water)
  2. Spray solution on window or dip the newspaper in the cleaning solution
  3. Rub newspaper on windows in circular motion, then horizontal, then vertical till all streaks of residual cleaning solution is gone

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Warning:

  • Try to avoid the frame of the window

Step 2: Shelf Lining

Picture of Shelf Lining

Viable for: Any paper

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Sometimes we buy a shelf and it gets worn, or it just looks too plain.

So let's add some flare to it... using paper!

Using paper lining makes it easy to make, remove, and replace.

Using scrap paper also ensures you are recycling. (Yay for the environment)

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Steps:

  1. Pick desired paper and line on shelf (to check fitting)
  2. Rub glue on the shelf (if you hope to remove it easily, pick water soluble glues)
  3. Line with paper
  4. [optional] Once dry, spray or paint the top with a clear finish

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Warning:

  • Newspaper or other paper that are thin (approximately < 60 gsm) may easily rip without a finish coating

Step 3: Cat Litter Box Lining

Picture of Cat Litter Box Lining

Viable for: Any non-laminated paper

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This is an easy way to recycle scrap paper and save money!

Non-laminated paper is great at absorbing dampness, hence providing a great base for cat litter boxes

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Steps:

  1. Empty out the litter box
  2. Line the bottom of the cat litter box with paper
  3. Place cat litter crystals on top

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Warning:

  • Using paper that is too thin or has weak fibers may make it difficult to remove. It is recommended to use newspaper of paper of at least 70 gsm

Step 4: Barbecue Cleaner

Picture of Barbecue Cleaner

Viable for: Any non-laminated paper

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Barbecue grills are so hard to clean!

Here's a easy cost-effective way to do it... pain-free!

The soaked newspaper makes the residues on the grill moist, making it easier to remove.

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Steps:

  1. After using the grill, let cool a bit
  2. Before it is completely cooled, line sheets of newspaper soaked in water on the grill
  3. Close the lid of the grill and leave it for an hour
  4. After an hour, peel newspaper off grill and wash easily with running water and sponge

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Warning:

  • Using paper that is too thin or has weak fibers may make it difficult to remove. It is recommended to use newspaper of paper of at least 70 gsm

Step 5: Packing Fragile Objects

Picture of Packing Fragile Objects

Viable for: Any paper

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Have you ever needed to pack fragile objects but not had any bubble wrap to pack it with?

Guess what? Paper is the perfect alternative!

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Steps:

  1. Wrap desired object with a few sheets of paper
  2. Line the base of the container with crumpled balls of paper
  3. Place object in the container, filling all gaps with crumpled balls of paper

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Warning:

  • It is recommended that the container is a hard container
  • The softer the paper, the better the protection (generally the list is best: tissue paper > newspaper > paper > magazine paper: not so great) but all will work

Step 6: Paper Mache

Picture of Paper Mache

Viable for: Any paper

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This is super fun craft activity!

There are two alternative methods to doing this craft.

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Steps [type 1]:

  1. Mix three parts glue and one part water
  2. Add shredded paper to water+glue solution
  3. Mold into desired shape
  4. Let dry

Steps [type 2]:

  1. Mix four parts water and one part all-purpose flour
  2. Mix well till there are no visible lumps (should reach a pancake batter consistency)
  3. Add shredded paper to water+flour solution
  4. Mold into desired shape
  5. Let dry

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Warning:

  • The craft is easier with paper that readily absorbs moisture (non-laminated), although it can work for laminated paper like magazine paper
  • For [type 2], add a spoon of salt to the mixture if you live in an area of high humidity to prevent mold growth

Step 7: Bag Shape Keeper

Picture of Bag Shape Keeper

Viable for: Any paper

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Ever put your bags away in your closet, only to find the completely deformed?

Well, say no more!

This is a super easy, cost-effective solution!

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Steps:

  1. Crumple balls of paper
  2. Stuff the bag into desired shape
  3. [optional] add stiffer paper (ex. cardboard) if shape isn't properly maintained

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Warning:

  • Don't overstuff the bags, as it may cause unnecessary stress and strain on the cloth
  • When stuffing the bags, leave a flat sheet of paper under zippers to prevent accidentally clogging it when opening the bag later on

Step 8: Fridge Shelf Liner

Picture of Fridge Shelf Liner

Viable for: Any non-laminated paper

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We know we can line our bookshelves with paper... but who knew you could line fridge shelves too?

Lining fruit or vegetable shelves with paper has many benefits.

The paper will help absorb excess moisture, slowing down the decomposition of of the food.

Additionally, it absorbs various odors, making your fridge more refreshing.

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Steps:

  1. Remove fridge shelf from fridge and empty it out
  2. Line with paper
  3. Refill and put back into fridge

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Warning:

  • Thinner paper is better at absorbing moisture and odors

Step 9: Ripen Tomatoes

Picture of Ripen Tomatoes

Viable for: Newspapers

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Ever order tomatoes from online? Or buy them in a bulk? And then find some or all are green?

What do you do? I'll tell you!

(Honestly, this might work with other paper and other foods but I haven't tried it. If you try, do leave me a comment as to how it worked out!)

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Steps:

  1. Wrap green tomatoes individually with a sheet of newspaper
  2. Store all in a lidded box at room temperature
  3. Leave aside – they will eventually ripen to the delicious red color

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Warning:

  • The box should not be air-tight, but also should not be too exposed to air
  • Leave the box in a dry area away from exposure to direct sunlight

Step 10: Camping Aid

Picture of Camping Aid

Viable for: Any paper

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You go camping and you realize you've forgotten to bring the mat to place underneath your camping bag.

Or the floor is dirty and you don't want your camping bag to pick up all that.

Or the floor is too cold, and your sleeping bag is too thin.

Or the floor is damp.

Well, don't worry!

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Steps:

  1. Line the floor with layers of paper
  2. Place sleeping bag on top

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Warning:

  • Depending on the purpose, different paper is most suitable:
  • Dirty: any will be fine
  • Cold: newspaper is the best option – it is a great insulator due to its high density
  • Damp: laminated paper is the best option – it won't absorb water
  • Damp: consider lining some non-laminated paper underneath the laminated ones for better results

Step 11: Deodoriser & Dehydrator

Picture of Deodoriser & Dehydrator

Viable for: Any non-laminated paper

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Do your shoes or suitcases smell bad?

Do you want to remove the smell?

Do you not have anything to do this with?

Well, actually... you probably have the resources to do this!

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Steps:

  1. Loosely put crumpled balls of paper inside the object
  2. Leave overnight
  3. Discard paper

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Warning:

  • Thinner paper is better at absorbing odors
  • The object does not need to be stuffed – it should allow proper ventilation, which is necessary for effective odor removal

Step 12: Gift Wrapping

Picture of Gift Wrapping

  • Viable for: Any paper

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Hang on. Before you start thinking this is no better than using a trash bag to wrap gifts... let me be clear...

It can be pretty. Really!

Using newspaper or magazine paper can make beautiful gift wraps. Honestly.

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Steps:

  1. Use tape to stick sheets of paper together to form one sheet large enough to wrap the desired object
  2. Wrap object (see pictures)

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Warning:

  • Okay, this might not work so well for scrap paper, but it works wonders for most
  • You can even print special paper, like photos, and use that paper as the wrapping – its more personal that way

Step 13: Protecting Outdoor Garden Plants

Picture of Protecting Outdoor Garden Plants

Viable for: any paper

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When it gets cold and you want to protect your precious garden plants in a cost-effective way, there's no better option than scrap paper!

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Steps:

  1. [optional] If plant is large, tape several sheets of paper together to make a single larger sheet
  2. Wrap around the plant, allowing space to not crush it
  3. Secure loosely with tape or clips

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Warning:

  • Newspaper works best as it is a great insulator (high density paper)
  • This only works if the weather is dry

Step 14: Cleaning Glass Shards From the Floor

Picture of Cleaning Glass Shards From the Floor

Viable for: Thin paper (< 60 gsm)

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Oh no, you accidentally broke a glass cup!

Shards are everywhere... but you don't have a broom or vacuum to sweep it up with.

Don't worry – paper can help you!

When paper is dampened, the cohesive properties of water causes it to make the glass shards adhere to the newspaper.

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Steps:

  1. Pick up large shards with gloved hands and dispose shards
  2. Crumple newspaper into balls
  3. Dampen base of newspaper ball
  4. Blot on floor where tiny shards may be

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Warning:

  • Glass shards are sharp. Take caution when in contact
  • Do not use the same newspaper too many times as it may become to cluttered with shard to be effective
  • Do not add excessive water to the paper – if it leaves water on the floor, it would make all efforts futile

Step 15: Unscrewing Broken Lightbulbs

Picture of Unscrewing Broken Lightbulbs

Viable for: Any paper

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Poof! Your lightbulb has broken!

You've cleared up the broken shards using paper (as suggested just before), but how should you unscrew that hot, sharp lightbulb?

Simple! More paper!

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Steps:

  1. Make large bun-like wad of crumpled paper
  2. Carefully place on jarred edges of lightbulb
  3. Unscrew lightbulb

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Warning:

  • Ensure the lightbulb is completely covered by the wad of paper
  • Do not stand directly below the light bulb, as loose shards may fall
  • Ensure the power source of the lightbulb has been switched off

Step 16: Insect Traps

Picture of Insect Traps

Viable for: Any paper

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Ever find your garden infested in earwigs? Eek!

They destroy the garden!

It's okay! There's an easy way to remove them – using a simple biodegradable trap.

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Steps:

  1. Roll up paper to form a loose roll with a hole in the center large enough to fit a pencil through
  2. Tie with string or fit roll in a empty toilet paper roll
  3. Leave in infested areas of the garden

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Warning:

  • Leave them horizontally flat or tie onto thick stems vertically

Step 17: Pet Enclosure (cage) Lining

Picture of Pet Enclosure (cage) Lining

Viable for: Any non-laminated paper

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What's a more cost effective alternative to pet bedding lining than used paper?

This can be great for hamsters, rabbits, birds, and more!

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Steps:

  1. Rip paper into small, thin shreds
  2. Line paper in enclosure (cage)

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Warning:

  • Laminated paper is likely to produce sharp edges that may be uncomfortable for pets
  • Ensure that all ink on the paper is non-toxic before doing this

Step 18: Compost

Picture of Compost

Viable for: Any non-laminated paper

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If you simply have too much paper at home, composting is another great option.

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Steps:

  1. Rip paper into small, thin shreds
  2. Place in compost bin

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Warning:

  • Ensure all ink on papers is non-toxic

Step 19: Iron Board

Picture of Iron Board

Viable for: Any paper

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Oh no your clothes are wrinkled!

Gotta iron it then... wait where's the iron board?

Paper can serve as an amazing alternative!

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Steps:

  1. Find stacks of paper, and layer them to form a flat surface
  2. [optional] line flat sheets across the top to bolster smooth surface
  3. [optional] wrap or line with cloth
  4. Place wrinkled clothes and iron away

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Warning:

  • Do not place the iron face-down on the paper – it may cause a fire
  • Avoid having laminated paper or paper with tape on the top layers, as the heat of the iron may cause it to melt

Step 20: Furniture Cover

Picture of Furniture Cover

Viable for: Any paper

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Plan to go on a long holiday?

Worried your furniture will accumulate thick layers of dust?

Don't worry! There's an easy solution to that.

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Steps:

  1. Prepare paper and tape
  2. Place sheets on furniture, and using tape to go around curves of the object

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Warning:

  • Ensure the tape does not touch the furniture directly – on the long term, when the house temperature is not controlled, the sticky part could melt and damage the furniture
  • Ensure there are no parts of the furniture that isn't covered – this could caused uneven discoloration
  • Consider ignoring the most minute details to save time

Comments

DIYsnipeshot (author)2017-07-23

nice

Mizathel (author)DIYsnipeshot2017-07-23

Thank you!

DIYsnipeshot (author)Mizathel2017-07-24

your welcome oh and please check out my instructable!

Mizathel (author)DIYsnipeshot2017-07-24

haha will do ;)

DIYsnipeshot (author)Mizathel2017-07-24

no problem oh and please check out my instructables

DIYsnipeshot (author)Mizathel2017-07-23

welcome

Hoogly (author)2017-07-23

Thanks! I actually didn't know how to gift wrap until now!

Mizathel (author)Hoogly2017-07-23

You're welcome! I'm glad to have helped! ^-^

PrincessPug10 (author)2017-07-23

These are such useful tips! Some of them are quite time-comsuming but they're worth it in the end!

Mizathel (author)PrincessPug102017-07-23

Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Yes, some are time-consuming, but as you said: the prospect of cost-effective and eco-friendly DIY makes worth the trouble!

Have a great day! ^^

Mizathel (author)2017-07-22

Hope you enjoyed this, and please vote for me in the unusual uses contest! :)

About This Instructable

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Bio: Hi! I'm Miz! I'm just a girl who loves DIY! Happy to create instructables and happy to help with anything I can! \(^-^)/
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