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Saving the Planet: Useful Ways to Upcycle Newspapers

Doing upcycling crafts and making DIY projects that reuse and repurpose things is something we’ll never get tired of. There’s just something about making something new, useful, or beautiful out of something older that we might not be using anymore that makes us feel satisfied and accomplished. Recently, we looked at the giant stack of newspapers and newspaper printed flyers sitting next to our recycling bin and waiting to go out and suddenly saw a lot of crafting potential in them. Instead of taking them out to the curb when we hauled our garbage out for the truck, we left them inside and came back to look up different ways to reuse newspapers that might make us feel inspired to make something of our own.

Just in case you’re interested in the idea of upcycling newspapers too, here are 15 of the coolest and most innovative crafts, designs, and project ideas we’ve found so far!

1. Newspaper wrapped wire trees


Have you always loved making decorative things that will look nice about your house, even though they don’t necessarily match a scheme or overtly “go” with other things in your living room? We don’t blame you for wanting to create artistic things! One of our favourite things to do, actually, is make beautiful new things out of old stuff that might not be considered “beautiful” otherwise! That’s why this newspaper covered wire tree tutorial from DIY Craft Projects caught our eye. They show you how to bend the branches in all different directions and make beautiful swirls with the ends.

2. Newspaper flag bunting


Perhaps you’ve always been a big fan of the way very simple décor can dress a room up to make it look a little fancier, even though the materials you made it with are everyday things? In that case, we have a feeling you’re going to love this paper flag  bunting idea from The Sweetest Occasion, as well as loving how simple the flags are to make! We love the way that you could actually make this bunting our of any paper, but the upcycled newspapers are still our favourite aesthetically.

3. Rolled newspaper coasters


Have you ever seen those beautifully swirling paper quilling projects where coloured paper is used to make patterns and shapes? Well, these beautiful rolled newspaper coasters featured on Instructables are made almost like that but because the paper is hardier they’re a little more functional and a little less decorative. That doesn’t make them any less pretty, though! We also think you’ll be surprised by how simple the technique is to learn.

4. Rolled and woven newspaper basket


Were you very intrigued by the idea of making new things from rolled strips of newspaper but you’ve tried the technique before and you feel like you might be ready to handle something with a little more shape than just a flat coaster? In that case, we think you might be a little more interested in making something like this cute decorative basket from DIY Craft Project. Their tutorial shows you how to weave the rolled strips in and out between each other in order to build the basket upwards.

5. Tall rolled newspaper flower basket


Now that we’ve caught you on the idea of making things out of rolled newspaper, are you looking for something really impressive that uses that same technique but lets you make something a little bigger? In that case, we think maybe you’d be more interested in something like this tall flower basket from Art n’ Craft Ideas. Their tutorial shows you how they painted and decorated it once it was all built.

6. DIY paper hearts garland


Did you love the hanging bunting idea but you’d think you’d rather a cute shape than just a plain bunting style flag? Well, the folded paper hearts you see above might not be made out of actual newspaper in the pictures but you absolutely could make them that way. In fact, we almost think we’d like them even better with a neutral colour and printed words across them, since they’d match just about any décor scheme that way. Get a little but more guidance for making them on Bead and Cord.

7. Painted newspaper canvas


Have you been scrolling through these ideas hoping to find a crafting option that doesn’t quite hide the actual print of the newspaper so much because you actually love the aesthetic it creates? Well, we know that hasn’t really come across in most of the tutorials we’ve shown you so far, so that’s why we thought this newsprint and paint canvas was such a good idea! Check out how Crafted Love made a collage of newspaper columns and sections all across the canvas and then painted a simple telephone pole pattern in black so it looks like a silhouette.

8. Paper quilled newspaper bowl


Were you a huge fan of the rolled newspaper bowl we showed you earlier but you’ve also been hoping to try something like the paper quilling projects we showed you for quite a long time now? In that case, we think you should give this spiralled and quilled bowl a try! This tutorial from Jachelle Stephanie shows you how to make another decorative bowl that’s perfect for holding change on the front table, but with a bit of a different construction than the one we showed you above.

9. Felt, paper, and wood skewer flowers


Here’s another paper craft that, in the picture, isn’t originally made with newspaper, but that we think would look great if you swapped things up and substituted pieces of newspaper in place of cardstock or scrapbooking sheets! Sure, flowers are colourful in real life, but you could still get a colourful look like what you see above by pairing your newspaper with coloured felt. You could eve get coloured newspaper from the comic section for a really cool pop art look! Check the whole idea out on Felt Magnet.

10. Dyed newspaper and wire tulips


Have you always loved the way that white roses looked when they’re dyed all kinds of bright colours, preferably if they’re kind of rainbow looking by the end of the dying process, but someone in your household is actually allergic to flowers so you can’t have them around? In that case, perhaps you’d prefer to make yourself some allergy free newspaper  flowers instead? Thanks to this super fun tutorial from Décor Extra, you can even dye the paper fun colours in almost the same technique you’d use if you were dying the petals of real flowers!

11. Water painted newspaper hydrangeas


Have you always been a fan of water colour painting and that’s actually what the idea we just showed you above this reminds you of, even though it’s done a little differently? In that case, here’s an alternative effect that lets you transform paper flowers in a way that’s a little more akin to water colour painting but gives you much the same effect! Saved by Love Creations shows you how to add colour to paper flowers using water and paint marker ink. This picture doesn’t actually show the technique on newspaper, but that’s what we’d undoubtedly try the technique on!

12. Hand woven and painted newspaper figurine


Have you actually fallen in love with the rolled paper weaving projects we’ve show you so far but you’re very adept with your hands and you think you’re ready for something much more challenging than just coasters, bowls, and planters? In that case, we definitely think you should check out this stunning woven paper figurine tutorial. We love that K4 Craft shows you how to make the basics of the beautiful doll but also shows you different versions so that you’re encourage to add your own details and really make it your own.

13. Newspaper rose flower bouquet


Have you always been intrigued by paper crafting and you’ve even learned how to do some of the basics of origami? Well, this rose craft isn’t necessarily difficult without knowing how origami is done, but experience with paper folding sure doesn’t hurt! Find some guidance on how to make slices of newspaper into beautifully swirled roses on Popsugar. We can’t get over how vintage and pretty a whole bouquet of them looks!