House & Home

Five Unbelievable Uses for Paper Bags

Posted March 15, 2013 11:45 a.m. EDT

The use of plastic bags is restricted in quite a few cities, and if you don't happen to be carrying a reusable shopping bag on the day when you pop into the grocery store after work, you'll find yourself with a stash of paper bags at home. Yes, you could recycle them. But what if you could turn your paper bags into something truly astonishing? Like what, you ask? Like a new floor, for instance, or a vintage-inspired wall covering. Is it weird? Is it cool? Would you even have room to store enough paper bags to make a floor out of them? These DIY bloggers took the plunge, and they love the results of their DIY paper bag upcycling projects. Let's have a look!

Paper bag floor: Ashley from Domestic Imperfection wanted a new floor, but didn't have the budget for a pro job by a San Antonio flooring contractor. Not that a crafter like Ashley would even need a contractor; she did a totally amazing job herself. Ashley's flooring is made from paper bags that were glued to the underlayment, stained, and then covered in 12 coats of polyurethane.

Paper bag stairs: In a process similar to the paper bag stairs discussed above, Meg from Nutmeg Place transformed her stairs with paper bags, stain, and polyurethane.

Paper bag lamp shade: A drab lampshade can become fabulous when it is covered in decoupaged-on and painted brown paper bags. Give any lampshade a natural-but-luxe look with this technique.

Paper bag walls: Duane from Cottage in the Oaks saved up all of his wrapping paper and decorative paper bags, and then wallpapered his foyer with them. The result is a psychedelic, down-home patchwork wall that is as attractive as it is unique. He stuck each piece of paper to a patch of wall that was covered in wet paint, then smoothed with paper with a brayer. He covered all of it in Matte Mod Podge.

Use paper bags for a smooth paint finish: Sheila G. from Plum Doodles discovered that a piece of brown paper bag wrapped around a sponge or sanding block makes a perfect sanding material for sanding furniture between coats of paint. It's gentle, and the paper can be replaced when it gets "fuzzy".

Do you have any tips for upcycling paper bags? Tell us!

Chaya Kurtz writes for

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