Evelyn Romans | 

15 Genius Things You Can Do with Old Newspaper

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After you’re done reading the news and grabbing coupons out of the newspaper, do you just pitch it? After you check these things you can do with old newspapers you’ll start hanging onto them. Repurposing is a great way to save money and the planet. You’ll never look at a newspaper the same way. You’re welcome.

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1. Dry wet boots quickly by stuffing them with newspaper.

A person putting newspaper into a boot.


2. Keep the shape of shoes and purses when they’re not in use.

A person putting a piece of newspaper into a boot.


3. Clean mirrors and windows without streaks.

A person holding a bottle of Windex and wiping a mirror with a newspaper.


4. Lay newspaper under a tablecloth to shield your wood table from spills and other damage.

A person holding up a tablecloth above a table with newspaper on it.


5. Build the frame for a newspaper fort.

Children on the floor under a newspaper fort frame.

You only need newspapers, a stapler, and masking tape to build this fort frame. And yes, it’s totally sturdy enough to hold a light blanket or sheet draped over the top!

Part of a newspaper fort frame.


  • Newspapers
  • Stapler
  • Masking tape


  1. Using two layers of newspaper, roll diagonally from the bottom corner to the top and secure with a piece of tape.
  2. Make as many rolls as you want. I made about 35 rolls.
  3. With three rolls, staple the ends together to make a triangle (a great shape for creating stability in a structure).
  4. Lay your triangles out as pictured. Tape the corners together with masking tape (it may not look pretty, but use plenty of tape to get them secure) and create a triangle ladder.
  5. Save several rolls for the roof of your fort.
  6. Stand your triangle ladder up and create your design.
  7. The fort will be wobbly at first, but as you add the rolls for the roof, it will become secure. Your fort will be strong enough to cover with a light blanket or sheet.
A person putting together a newspaper fort frame.

Let the fun commence!



6. Soak up spills.

A person wiping up spilled milk on a counter with a newspaper.


7. Ripen fruit fast by wrapping individual pieces in newspaper.

A person wrapping fruit in newspaper.

Ethylene gas is released from fruits and vegetables as they ripen. By wrapping them in paper, you’re trapping the ethylene gas and accelerating the ripening process.


8. Catch drips and absorb trash can odors.

A garbage can with newspaper in the bottom.


9. Absorb leftover food smells in a plastic container.

A person holding a plastic container with newspaper in it.

Stuff a piece of balled up newspaper into a plastic container and seal. Leave the newspaper overnight to neutralize odors.


10. Block weeds from growing in your garden.

Newspaper laying around a plant in the ground.

Via A Garden for the House

Lay down about five to seven sheets of newspaper over a weed-prone area and spray with water to keep the newspaper from flying away on windy days. Cover with mulch or fallen leaves. The newspaper prevents weeds from germinating and feeds the soil as it breaks down.



11. Prevent mud and dirt from staining the carpet in your car.

A person laying newspaper in the floorboards of a car.


12. Protect your table during messy seafood meals or kids’ arts and crafts projects.

A child painting on a table covered in newspaper.


13. Wrap presents using the comics or business and money sections.

A person holding a box wrapped in newspaper.


14. Absorb smells and leaks in your vegetable drawer.

A refrigerator vegetable drawer with newspaper under mangos and avacados.


15. Create nail art with strips of newspaper and rubbing alcohol.

A person painting nails with pieces of newspaper on the nails.

You can easily create a unique manicure. Here’s what you need:

  • Polish (light pink or white)
  • Newspaper (tear into pieces that’ll fit over your nails)
  • Rubbing alcohol (pour into the bottle lid or small disposable bowl)


  1. Paint your nails with a clear basecoat or a light shade of nail polish and allow them to completely dry.
  2. When your nails are completely dry, dip each finger into rubbing alcohol.
  3. Evenly press a newspaper strip onto each nail, being careful not to shift the nail in order to avoid smudges. When you peel the newspaper strip off, you’ll see newsprint ink overlaid on your nail polish.
A person holding down a piece of newspaper on a person's fingernail.

Paint over the newsprint with a clear coat and admire your clever manicure.




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