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Thursday, September 9, 2021

What Would You Do With Yards of Slightly Crumpled Brown Craft Paper?

My recent orders from came packed in boxes cushioned with crumpled brown craft paper. You should have seen the mound of paper I had in my dining room! As I was rolling it up to store more neatly, I was thinking of the ways I could use it all.

  • a biodegradable weed barrier in the yard and garden
  • layer of paper between layers of green tomatoes at the end of the gardening season
  • wrapping paper (some of the smoother sections, perhaps ironed on LOW) for gifts at the holidays
  • packing paper for shipping gifts at the holidays
  • parcel wrapping paper for mailing
  • compost additive
  • scrap paper for jotting down notes
That's what I've come up with so far. What would you do with several dozen yards of slightly used brown craft paper?

At the end of my hour-long clean-up of this mound of paper, I stored in all in rolls fitted into a cardboard box. It's amazing that what was once a rather large mound can now fit neatly in a medium-sized box.


  1. Perhaps an art teacher at a local elementary school could use some up in projects.


    1. Great idea, Jude! I'll ask around.

    2. Along similar lines, I was thinking of this:

      I know you have sheets, not bags, but I think you could easily adapt it. I was thinking about this because my daughter has recently begun babysitting and she likes to take a simple craft project for the 5-year-old to work on. This was one that I had suggested. I think the trees are cute for fall decorating and they don't require a high level of skill but still turn out looking good.

    3. Hi Kris,
      I love that! The bonus is that when fall is over, the whole thing is compostable. I may give this a try. I do think I could adapt it to the sheets of paper as opposed to the paper bag.

  2. We get cat food and litter delivered regularly and the boxes come with this brown paper. We haven't done anything very creative with it, thus far. We use it for messy projects and when mailing packages. In fact, I used it just yesterday when mailing a box. But mostly, we're saving it now to pack up the kitchen if construction ever begins.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Have you tried using the paper as liner for your cat's litter boxes? That was one thought I had, liner for litter boxes or bird cages. But I have neither birds nor cats. Good ideas for messy projects, mailing parcels, and packing for moving or storage.

  3. The compost bin would be my pick, torn into smaller pieces. This time of year, I have trouble coming up with enough "browns". Hoping to find more leaves along the road to store up for the coming year.

    1. Hi Cat,
      that's one area of gardening that I know we're not good at -- managing the ratio of greens to browns in the compost bins. I think I may try tearing some into pieces to add to the tumbling one that we use for kitchen scraps. Thanks for the suggestion. Good luck gathering leaves.

    2. My kids roll my eyes at me for tearing the TP tubes up for the compost. And adding shredded junk mail. Oh, well.

    3. Ha ha. I've experienced similar eye-rolling.

  4. Is it absorbent? Could you put it under fried foods. Little kids could use it for coloring. Teens could use it as book covers(I used to use brown bags).

    1. Hi Marybeth,
      I haven't tried to see if it's absorbent. I'll check that out. It might also work for wiping out greasy pans before washing. I remember covering my textbooks with brown shopping bags cut open. I think we all did that back in the day. Thanks for the ideas!

  5. I have used it to wrap mailing parcels, and it works very well. When we use the fireplace, DH will twist up a couple of small pieces to use with kindling as a fire-starter.

    I wonder if it would work as a shelf or drawer liner.

    1. Hi there,
      fire starter sounds great and I think using it as a pantry shelf liner (especially the shelf with jugs of sticky or oily liquids) would work well, too. Thank you for your suggestions!


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