Before tossing out used printer paper, consider using this resource for a practical or artistic project. You can reduce waste and engage your creativity by giving printouts a new life. Explore three things you can do with old paper printouts.
1. Shred and Toss or Reuse
Shredding is a great way to save space when disposing of old paper printouts, and it's essential for protecting sensitive information. Paper shredders can quickly process paper into strips, confetti, or microcuts. Clean the shredder every few weeks or months to ensure performance and increase the lifespan of your paper shredder.
After shredding, you can throw the paper away or reuse it. Paper shreds can make a great cage liner for pets or act as packing material for shipping.
2. Make a Notepad
Another thing you can do with old paper printouts is create scrap notepads. This idea is for paper that has printing on only one side.
You will need:
- Scrap paper (your printouts)
- Padding compound
- Clothespins or binder clips
Steps for Making a Notepad
Divide the sheets into four pieces with scissors or by tearing. Stack these small sheets so that the printed side is face down with a smooth top edge. Stack 50 or fewer sheets to create the notepad.
Place a clothespin on either end of the stack to keep the pages together. Then, use a brush to apply a thin layer of padding compound to the straight edge. Let dry for 24 hours, then you can use your notepad.
3. Do Crafts
You can use printouts in art projects as well. For example, printouts in different colors form an excellent base for collages, and you can add textures and patterns to create interesting compositions.
Or you can use strips of printouts for papier-mâché. Layer the paper with paste to create decorative objects, masks, sculptures, and other fun projects. The paste can be as simple as one part all-purpose flour to two parts tap water.
Once the papier-mâché structure dries, you can paint it. Since you're covering the paper in glue and paint, papier-mâché is a great art project for reusing double-printed paper.
Consider using shredded printouts as packing material or cage liner, making a notepad, or creating collages or papier-mâché art. Repurposing used paper is a fun way to engage your creativity and reuse a resource.