A little bit of creative recycling can go a long way when you find new ways to use shredded paper. You can get crafty with some unusual art projects, or treat your lawn and garden to some frugal and earth-friendly nurturing. With a little imagination, even kids and pets can benefit from things made from shredded office paper, newspaper, junk mail or magazine pages.
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Arts and Crafts
Make Paper Crafts suggests using shredded paper to create miniature paper mache artwork for jewellery with basic crafts materials like glue, cardboard and paint. You can create festive bowls from shredded card stock by following instructions from Woman's Day magazine. Shredded paper can be recycled as homemade paper that can be used for art or stationery. Gail Miller at Old Fashioned Living recommends using a blender and wire mesh, then colouring and scenting it with natural ingredients. Fave Crafts suggests making greeting cards featuring shredded-paper collages.
Gardening and Compost
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works recommends using shredded paper in your compost pile. Shredded paper is considered a brown material, which is necessary for creating an effective compost mixture. Garden Guides provides instructions for mixing grass seed with shredded newsprint for an effective lawn aid. Purdue University Extension recommends using shredded paper as garden mulch and mixing it with a heavier mulch to keep it in place. It can also be used in flower pots.
Pet Toys, Bedding and Litter
Ink-free, non-toxic shredded paper is great bedding for small animals that enjoy burrowing, such as mice and gerbils, according to Nichole Royer in Rat & Mouse Tales magazine. For pet entertainment, fill a paper bag with shreds and treats, or stuff it in a cardboard tube. You can use shredded newsprint to make cat litter at home by a process of washing it with dish soap, draining the water and rinsing the wet paper, then adding baking soda, according to The Greenists (see Resources). Shredded paper can also be donated to animal shelters that use it in kennels and cages.
Packing Materials and Basket Grass
Shredded paper can be used instead of packing peanuts in mailed packages, or for cushioning fragile items you want to store in boxes. You can also make Easter grass from colourful shredded paper, or use it in the bottom of homemade gift baskets. Martha Stewart recommends using shredded wrapping paper to make Easter grass.
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