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Top 10 Ways to Use Old Newspapers

There are many great ways to use old newspapers after you’re done reading them! Instead of just throwing them in your recycling bin, try a few of these suggestions.

I looked around online and found dozens of ways to use newspapers, but these top 10 were the things I read about most often. I’ve done the majority of these things myself and they really do work! Try them for yourself to see.

Top 10 Ways to Use Old Newspapers

Use Old Newspapers

1. Cleaning Windows
Yes, really. A friend of mine was always confused when I told her that I often used newspaper to clean my windows. Obviously that would be counterintuitive, right? Wrong. When she was over one day, I showed her just how clean I get my windows using old newspapers – not dirty, like she thought!

2. Packing Boxes
When we moved to this home almost 2 years ago, most of our packing material was old newspapers (and old towels/sheets). Instead of purchasing expensive bubble wrap, we mostly used newspapers and it did the trick just fine – and for free! We wrapped the items first, then threw crumbled up newspaper in the box as well, making sure that everything was tightly packed.

3. Pantry Shelves
Lining your pantry shelves with newspaper is an excellent idea for 2 reasons: it keeps moisture away from our food, and it makes cleaning up spills much easier (like last week when I spilled a jar of oil!) – just remove the paper and replace.

4. Painting Projects
Last week I had to spray paint some picture frames, and was doing so in my garage – but I didn’t want to get paint all over the floor, so what did I do? I laid down old newspapers and threw them out when was done painting. Easy, and no paint on the floor!

5. Seedling Pots
Recently I stumbled upon this post about making newspaper pots to start seedlings. They look super easy to make, they’re frugal, and they will decompose over time, which is an added bonus!

6. Compost
Use old newspapers in your compost! It’s free, and works extremely well. Shred it up first, then throw it in. Some people even use unshredded wet newspapers to suppress garden weeds!

7. Gift Wrap
This is not cheap and unsighlty, as many would think! It’s actually a fun way to package a gift. I like to use the comics section of the newspaper to wrap gifts, and always get a smile from the recipients, because it’s a fun and creative way to wrap a present for someone!

8. Soak up Moisture
When it rains and you have to go outside, lay down some newspapers by your door, and when you come back in, put your footwear on the papers. It will soak up the water and prevent your floor from getting dirty and wet.

9. Ripen Fruits
If your fruit isn’t ripe and you want to eat it soon, simply wrap it up in a piece of newspaper for a little while. I’ve done this with avocados and it works very well (you can also put them in a paper bag)!

10. Keep the Shape
Roll up some newspapers and stick them into your boots to keep them standing upright, instead of flopping over. If they’re wet, this will also help to absorb the moisture.

How do you use old newspapers? Please share in the comments!


  1. Kris

    My 8 year old learned how to make a “sit upon” for Brownie camp last week: a small stack of newspapers wrapped in a black garbage bag and sealed with duct tape. Waterproof cushion for sitting by the campfire! It would probably make a good stadium seat for watching kids’ sports too.

  2. Crystal

    Before our last move, I went to the newspaper office and purchased a roll end of paper for $3. I used this to wrap my framed pictures. I have lots left which my kids use for art projects and will make a fantastic DIY tablecloth for summer bday parties!

  3. Cassie Howard

    That is such a great idea!

  4. Cassie Howard

    Crystal, thanks for sharing!

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