Five Fun Things To Do With Newspapers, Besides Reading Them

I’m not going to open up the whole “print is dead” can of worms, but I will point to a statistic I learned from Ken Doctor’s latest piece on Nieman Lab: Print ad revenue has faced 21 consecutive quarters of decline (year over year) in the U.S. That’s saying something. So, on a lighthearted and slightly tangential note, this is a list of five projects worth buying a newspaper for — and you can do them all while you read news on your iPad.

Newspaper gift bags

Everyone knows you can wrap a gift box with newspaper, but for those of you who want to go the extra mile, newspaper gift bags are an adorable and fun  little treat, especially when the gift is coming from a journalist. Said bags would be ideal for newsroom gift exchanges, the birthday of a journalist, or even as a desk decoration. Jessica Jones, a designer who blogs at How About Orange, has the step-by-step guide.

Newsprint fingernails

Apparently this is a very popular technique that I am somehow barely learning of, but you can easily imprint newspaper ink on your fingernails by soaking your fingers in alcohol, then holding a newspaper against them. Although I have yet to try it myself, the many photos on Google Images show that it works. You can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be sporting these nails at the next Online News Association conference, though.

Newspaper Kites

Now that spring is ending and summer awaits, it’s the perfect time of year (in most places) to enjoy the great outdoors. So why not make a newspaper kite? All you need is newspaper, tape and string. If you want to get high-tech, you can use bamboo skewers. The difficultly level is rated as “easy.”

Newspaper Picture Frames

Statistically speaking, journalism is one of the lower-paid professional industries.  So when it comes time for gift-buying, handmade crafts are always a cost-efficient item (I’m only partially kidding). The frame pictured above actually uses Bible pages, but you could create a similar effect with newspaper clippings, and really make it fun by trading in fun headlines.

Newspaper basket

If you are working in a newsroom, you probably have stacks of paper cluttering your workspace. A creative way to mask your mess? A newspaper basket! Basically, what you need to do is cut up an issue of The New York Times (or your local newspaper of choice)  into strips and weave the pieces together, then glue some ribbon to the edges.  Craft Stylish has the full, awesome, step-by-step tutorial.

If you’re not feeling quite so crafty, you can always do boring things with your newspapers like wash your windows, line the bottom of a birdcage or wrap your breakables in them when moving. Of course, before attempting any of the aforementioned tasks, we recommend that you first read the newspaper front-to-back, as a matter of principle.