Re-purposing Recyclables: Paper

There are times when I feel as though I am drowning in paper scraps.  I am literally surrounded by old notes, receipts, grocery lists, advertisements for take-out restaurants, and scraps of card stock.  In my home office, there are piles of magazines and tattered manilla folders.  Eek!

I try to keep the various types of paper as organized as possible, but each day, new paper items come into my home with the daily mail.  Out of necessity, I had to devise a few fun ways to recycle the paper remnants that clutter up my home!

Paper confetti is just one way to use up paper scraps around the house!

  Brown Paper Bags:
I love to use brown paper bags to wrap gifts!  I will tie them with a bit of twine or raffia and decorate them with a fun tag or a colorful card.

Incidentally, brown paper bags also make good sewing templates, or book/journal covers.

 Card Stock:
Since I make homemade greeting cards for most holidays, I have lots of small scraps of card stock lying around.  Sometimes, I will glue chipboard letters onto a few small squares and cut them out as quick place cards or seat markers.

A slightly larger piece of card stock can decorate a brunch or holiday buffet, or a spread for afternoon tea, and let guests know what each dish is.  If I have vegetarian or vegan guests, I like to mark which dishes are meat or dairy-free.

Scraps of card stock also make colorful gift tags for bags or presents.

 Manilla Folders:
I use leftover or well-worn manilla folders for bookmarks, templates, and sewing patterns

Since manilla folders are made from a heavier card stock, they are perfect to use as guides when cutting out photo frame templates for scrap booking, Halloween costume pattern pieces, or my latest place cardsPlace Card Primer: Felt Badges.

 Miscellaneous Paper Scraps:
Two ways that I love to use any sort of paper scraps are for confetti or quick paper shred.  I use newspaper, magazine pages, advertisements, old envelopes, tiny bits of wrapping paper or card stock, or the last wrinkly sheet of a note pad.  All you need is a hole punch of any kind or a decorative punch and you can make confetti for gift bags, envelopes, parties, and table decor in minutes.

If you want to make paper shred, cut the paper with a scissors into thin strips to your desired length.  For a fancier look, you can fold the paper strips back and forth like an accordion.  Paper shred can be used to line gift baskets and care packages, or stockings for Christmastime.

Money Saver:  Making your own confetti and paper shred is much cheaper than buying the tiny pouches of it available in stores!

◊  Newspaper and Old Book Pages:
If you have a book that is falling apart, or stacks of old newspapers, use the pages for wrapping gifts, as the matte board in a photo frame, for dainty envelopes, bookmarks, as wallpaper or as a unique backing for a cork board (just adhere the pages to plain cork board with push pins and tape).

Want Even More Ideas??  Here are some other posts of mine that put paper (of all kinds) to use:

Please check out my other posts on how to use everyday recyclables in creative, new ways: