30 November 2012

25 Ways to Reuse and Repurpose Junk Mail



This post is written by contributing author Annie of Montana Solar Creations.

Reusing and repurposing junk mail has become a daily activity in our household. It has become a fun adventure to find new ways to reuse junk mail instead of just throwing it out. Junk mail fills our mailbox almost everyday: credit card offers, advertisements, catalogs, insurance offers, political ads and the list goes on.

25 ways to reuse junk mail
We cannot recycle paper in our area so we used to throw junk mail in the trash to be shipped off to the local landfill each week. Now we find all sorts of fun uses for junk mail. Each day when we check the mail, we search through the pile of junk mail and see what creative ways we can reuse it.


Here are 25 ideas for how to reuse and repurpose junk mail:

1. Make a paper airplane.

2. Coloring paper for kids.

3. Use blank sides of paper to print mailing labels.

4. Use colorful paper or catalogs for wrapping paper.

5. Crumple it up and use it for packaging materials.

6. "Free" child's toy. Our daughter loves playing with junk mail and it provides hours of entertainment.

7. Make upcycled beads for jewelry.

8. Use the blank sides for scratch paper or list making.

9.  Find colorful pictures and turn them into gift tags or hang tags for your products if you're a vendor.

make labels out of junk mail


10. Fire starter. Any newsprint junk mail we get is put into a crock by the woodstove with the kindling to use as fire starter.

11. Cut it into strips and use it as a bookmark.

12. Reuse the return envelopes that come in the junk mail but make sure to cover any bar codes on the front of the envelope.

13. Make your own envelopes from the paper.

14. Cut strips and glue them together to make a holiday count down chain.

15. Have children cut out pictures and shapes to make a collage.

16. Make a hand held accordion fan. This was a favorite for us over the summer!

how to reuse and repurpose junk mail


17. Use the paper and catalog pages for origami.

18. For Etsy sellers: Use blank sides of paper cut into small pieces to write a little thank you note to send along in a package.

19. Make holiday collage cards. Cut out pictures or shapes from the colorful
junk mail catalogs and make your own unique upcycled cards.

20. Cut out sewing patterns. I use this for patterns I print off the internet and ones I draw myself.

21. Lay down pieces of junk mail to cover the table or counter for protection when working on a messy project.

22. Cut out paper snowflakes. We like to pick the most colorful pages out of a catalog to make our paper snowflakes.

how to reuse and repurpose junk mail

23. Use blank sides for invoice lists. When I deliver products to shops I sell at in town, I take an invoice list written on the back of repurposed junk mail and the shop owners appreciate the creative repurposing!

24. Use blank sides of paper for recipe cards.

25. Make your own large size mailing envelope by having the blank sides of paper facing out and wrap clear tape around it for protection. We just received a package like this and can't wait to try making our own!

How do you reuse and repurpose junk mail?


Annie lives in western Montana with her husband, 15 month old daughter and two lazy dogs. Annie is a frugal, nature loving, simple living, work from home mama with an Etsy shop. She also blogs at MontanaSolarCreations where you can find DIY projects, real food recipes, natural living tips and stories about their outdoor adventures in Montana.