Here's What You Can Do with Your Paper

Up-cycling with SCRAP Humboldt



We've gotten plenty of suggestions from readers as to just what we can do with our newspaper — printed locally with soy-based ink on recycled paper, incidentally — from birdcage lining and fish wrapping to less practical and, shall we say, more symbolic gestures. We threw the challenge to the master up-cyclers at SCRAP Humboldt ( and they came up with a bevy of creative reuse projects for the paper in your hands, including plantable seed paper, a whimsical wig and a seed-starting box. All better than stacking newspapers in your home like a creepy hoarder. Here are a few of our favorites. Got your own creative way to reuse the Journal? Email a snapshot and description to [email protected].

Ready to get crafty? SCRAP Humboldt's scrappy crew of newspaper ninjas have gathered instructions and links so you can whip up our favorite up-cycle projects using the Journal. Visit them at to find out more about creative reuse and the nonprofit's plans for expansion.

Roll sheets of newspaper diagonally around a dowel. Remove the dowel and flatten the tube, and repeat until you have enough strips to start coiling them to form the base of your bowl, securing the ends with painter's tape and removing as you go. Paint over the base with Modge Podge and allow it to dry. Add more flattened tubes of paper, again securing with painter's tape, this time inching upward to form the rising sides of the bowl. Once you have finished your form, paint over the whole bowl with Modge Podge, securing the last edges with binder clips. Remove the clips when the bowl is dry.

Cut three squares of paper and … check out this great tutorial.

Paper/seed paper:
Tear the newspaper into shreds and toss it into a blender with enough water to blend it to a loose pulp (use a paper shredder if you have one). Staple a window screen onto a frame that fits into a plastic or metal tub or bin. Dump the pulp onto the screen, spreading it evenly. If you are adding seeds, sprinkle them on now. Lift the screen from the bin and allow it to drain and air dry before removing the paper.

Place a plastic shopping bag over the crown of your head. Have a friend place masking tape over the bag to form a mold of your head. Trim off and tape the edges of the bag/head form. Cut the newspaper into strips and wrap the ends around a pencil to curl them. Tape the strips to the head form until it looks fabulous.

Origami boxes/seedling planters:
This is complicated. Check out this instructional video. Have your paper ready.

Baseball cap:
This is complicated, too. Here's another video.

Roll narrow strips of paper around a metal or wooden skewer. Remove the skewer and flatten the tubes. Twist and/or roll the tubes into spirals and secure them with glue, holding them in place with mini-binder clips until dry. Form a paper loop and glue the spirals inside. Paint over with Modge Podge and attach the loop to earring hooks.



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