Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, January 1, 2016

Fun reusing newspaper

April Sherrill

If you are currently reading this fine article then I do not have to ask if you are one of the amazing people that still enjoy grey paper with the smudgy black ink that it is printed on. There is something more appealing about having a physical newspaper in the morning when you fire up the coffee pot instead of turning on a computer. 

You see, newspapers always have stories. They don’t just have stories printed on them, but they have also been put together individually by people whose entire day was a story. You never know what the people working on the paper had happen to them before delivery. At one point when I was younger, I actually helped my dear mother-in-law deliver newspapers, as her second job. 

There are so many hands that touch newspapers before they actually land at their final destination, and all of those people attached to those hands have many things happen to them as they work on the paper. They have soul.

The other reason newspaper is so great is because there are an endless amount of projects you can use them for. So, let’s look at some of my favorite projects you can start with old newspaper. You might just find yourself stockpiling them to accomplish a new project!

Wet and stinky shoes

Stuff loosely wadded newspaper into rain-soaked shoes. The paper will help absorb the moisture and allow the shoes to dry much faster, while avoiding mold or mildew.

Pantry Liner

Lay out the newspaper under food items like potatoes and onions to keep the moisture and bugs away. 

Animal Cages

Newspaper can line the crates of dog kennels, birdcages, rabbit cages, and chicken coops.

Fire starters

You can take sheets of newspaper and shove them in between the kindling inside the fireplace or campfire. For longer lasting starters take the newspaper, fold into strips, fold into half, and tie them together with rope; which allows them to last even longer. To create a fire log, take large bundles of paper and roll them up, and tie together with twine.

Weed Blocker

Newspaper makes a great weed-blocker in the garden. Just lay sheets of it down on the garden around the plants that you have planted. Once you lay the newspaper down completely covering the soil surface that you want to remain weed-free, lay mulch down on top. The newspaper is porous, so water will still drain through it to nourish the plants it surrounds but the weed seeds it covers do not get the light they need to sprout. This is something I have been doing in my yard for years which ensures I’ll never pay for the rolls of plastic.


If you have not currently been using newspaper with a vinegar/water solution for cleaning, especially glass then you have been doing it wrong. Newspaper is the best thing to use when cleaning mirrors, windows, and anything else made with glass. It doesn’t streak; combine this with an economical solution of distilled white vinegar and water for an amazing clean!

These are just some of my favorite ways to reuse newspapers. If you have never researched how to reuse paper, I highly suggest you do. The options are endless and range from easy to complicated. Anything from mirror frames, trashcans, purses, to clocks and wreaths can be made from paper. 

Happy papering!

April Sherrill is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald. Contact her at april@dailydata.com.   v