Ah, home sweet home. The movers have gone, the kids’ beds are put together, the dishes are all stacked in the cupboards and fresh towels are hanging in the bathroom. All that’s left to do is throw away all that packing paper piled up in the corner from all those boxes…oh, the many, many boxes. Or, maybe not!
There are plenty of ways to reuse, recycle or re-purpose that packing paper and clean newsprint. Grab one of those leftover boxes, then grab all that paper and fold it up neatly. You’re going to want to save as much as you can to try some (and maybe all?) of these fun ideas!
For the Kids…
- Large pieces can be used as a protective tablecloth during arts and crafts time. They can get as much glue on there as they want, who cares! At least it’s not on your brand new bamboo dining room table.
- Craft paper for your kids to draw or paint on. Let’s face it, kids love to draw and color on everything. Get creative – tape some large pieces to their bedroom walls and give them some crayons to go crazy with! You may want to monitor them a bit so they don’t start drawing on the wall if the paper rips.
- Back to school book covers your tween can doodle all over. Remember the good ole’ days of saving your brown paper grocery bags to make your custom book covers? Same idea here, but you will probably have enough packing paper left over so they can make a new cover every week!
- Use it as wrapping paper and let your kids decorate it with crayons, markers or stickers. Let’s face it; grandma and grandpa want those hand-made gifts from the grandkids, even the ones crafted from popsicle sticks and clothespins. Now, just think how happy they will be if the grandkids also custom decorate the wrapping paper! Can you say Kodak moment?
- Cut a strip of cardboard from a cereal box (or one of the many moving boxes you have left over) and cover it in packing paper. A quick bookmark your kids can personalize! Make it fancy by punching a hole in the top to add a pretty ribbon or cord.
- Make a countdown garland for a birthday, holiday, vacation or the last day of school. Each day they can write on the paper what they did or why they deserve that awesome new bike.
- Party hats your little guests can decorate themselves. What kid would turn away the chance to personalize a party hat to wear all evening? So much better than the cheap ones from the party store.
- Chinese paper Yo-Yos! All you need is a straw, lollipop stick or pencil along with some glue, packing paper and some markers or crayons to decorate. You can find several patterns online if you need help.
- Make clothes for paper dolls. Your budding designer will have a blast decorating his or her own fashion line!
- Two words – Paper Mache. You can make dolls, little boxes to store things and even a piñata if you are really inspired.
- Paper snowflakes – way better than the real ones if you ask me!
- Paper beads for necklaces, bracelets or garlands. This one may be a little more difficult, but with all the paper you have leftover you can surely make plenty of mistakes and not run out of supplies.
- Weave your own basket to store treasures and trinkets. This one is more for the older kids, but could be a lot of fun.
For the Grown-Ups…
- Wrap recycled tin cans to store pencils, pens, and scissors. (This is a great craft for the kids, too!)
- Make a wreath for the front door of your new home. These are so popular right now when made from fabrics, so why not try it out of paper?
- Sewing patterns. You need durable thin paper when making patterns, so packing paper would be ideal.
- Make personalized envelopes for giving gift cards.
- Design some custom gift tags. Decorate with markers or paint and punch a hole in one side for a string or ribbon. You can even cut them out into cool shapes to give the tag some more pizzazz.
- Giving a bottle of wine as a gift? Wrap it up and add a colorful bow or ribbon! A simple line art design would be perfect.
For the Home…
- Line pantry or linen closet shelves. Who needs that expensive tack paper?
- Line dresser or cabinet drawers. You can easily swap it out every couple of weeks or months to keep dust and dirt to a minimum with very little effort.
- Cut into a pile of notepad sized pieces and use them for grocery, chore and to do lists. You can even staple little packs together to keep in your purse, or write special notes for your kids’ lunch boxes.
For the Great Outdoors…
- Crumpled newsprint makes great kindling to get a warm fire started.
- Add a few sheets to your compost pile. Most packing paper is free of ink and dyes, and will biodegrade nicely.
- A thick layer under mulch can help control weeds in your flower beds. Way cheaper than buying that fabric week liner that just tears anyway. Packing paper won’t hurt the environment and simply break down over time from the elements.
- Wrap a few layers around the flower pots you leave outside in winter to insulate them.
Run a few sheets through your paper shredder…
- Instant holiday confetti! You can even decorate the paper before you shred it so it looks more festive.
- Use it to pack fragile items for shipping. After you shred it, simply crumple it up and it works just as well as those annoying packing peanut that get everywhere!
- Store breakable holiday ornaments. Crumple the shredded paper and use to insulate delicate ornaments inside the boxes.
- Use as filler for gift baskets. The brown crumpled paper strips work great for country and modern looks.
- Fill the kids’ Easter baskets with homemade shred instead of buying that awful plastic stuff. And, if your dog or cat eats a piece or two, there’s no rushing to the vet!
I bet when you read the headline for this story you never thought there could be so much to do with some used packing paper! Have you reused your packing paper in interesting and creative ways? Tell us how in the comments below – we would love to hear about it!
And, if this story got you so excited for some quality craft time, but you are fresh out of packing paper, be sure to stop in to see us and pick up a roll today! It is inexpensive and easy to work with…come on, who says it’s only for packing?
Now, if you are planning to move and need some help with finding a storage unit or using packing paper the way it was actually intended to be used, contact us for more information or give our property manager a call today.