Newspaper is a plentiful, workable medium for various craft decor projects.

How to Make Decorations Out of Newspaper

by Kathy Adams

Decorating supplies needn't be expensive elements purchased from a craft store. Common, everyday materials such as newspaper can be used to create decorations and decor pieces for special occasions or just for fun. Rather than discarding or recycling newspaper once it's been read, repurpose it into something you can enjoy for months or years to come.

1. Branches and Garlands

A faux leaf branch or garland acts as homage to the trees the newspaper pages originally came from. Cut your favorite type of leaf shape, including a stem, from newspaper by stacking individual sheets and cutting through several layers at once. A piece of cardboard cut into a leaf shape serves as a template. Make dozens of leaves, then glue them onto a branch with twigs, or make a faux branch by tightly rolling sheets of newspaper and securing with tape or hot glue. Hot glue sticks the leaves onto the branches. Stand branches in a plant pot or prop them up in a corner of a room. For a garland, string dozens of leaf shapes of your choice on a piece of thread or fishing line by punching holes near the base of each leaf with a small hole punch or needle. The garland is ready when it looks full and fluffy, ready to hang atop a mantel shelf or drape down from a cabinet or bookcase.

2. Origami

Origami swans of various sizes, strung on strands of fishing line or colored thread, create decorative paper beaded curtains for a doorway or over a window. Holes punched or poked through the tops and bottoms of the swans provide a place to tie the line or thread to each bird until there are several birds on each thread. Tape can be used in place of holes to secure birds to the lines and to secure the lines above doorways or windows. Origami newspaper birds or animals of assorted small to medium sizes adorn a mirrored platter for a table centerpiece fitted with a pillar candle or vase of flowers.

3. Decoupage

Decoupage, which uses torn bits of paper to cover all sorts of objects, is an incredibly workable medium for newspaper. Strips or random bits of torn newspaper, using text-only portions of the paper, can cover nonmatching picture frames to tie them all together with a black-and-white and text theme. Decoupage medium or watered-down school glue holds the paper in place and can also be used as a topcoat and sealer. An outdated, hand-me-down desk covered with newspaper decoupage becomes a fresh crafting or homework space. Letters cut from corrugated cardboard covered with newspaper decoupage create a stunning statement against a wall painted vivid red, green or black.

4. Florals

Sheets of newspaper, glued to colored posterboard or leftover wallpaper samples, turn into stunning paper flowers simple enough a child can make them. A text-only page of newspaper is glued to a colorful or patterned posterboard or wallpaper sheet so the text shows on one side, the pattern or color on the other. Cut a large, wavy circle out of the sheet, perhaps 10 inches across, then cut it into a spiral, leaving a circle in the middle. The flower takes shape when you roll the spiral, starting at an outside edge. When you let go, the spiral "grows" into a flower shape that shows both text and color or pattern. A dab of glue holds the structure together; add a stem by bending a piece of floral wire or a pipe cleaner. A newspaper or colored paper leaf attached to the stem adds interest. Alternatively, cut out a basic flower shape, such as an eight-petaled flower, from cardboard as a template. Trace the design onto newsprint and colored paper, layer them slightly askew, and hold together with glue.

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