Creative reuse: paper and card

Kids at a loose end on a wet weekend, half term or holidays? Below are some fun reuse projects for kids and adults alike, with great ideas for personal gifts or just thrifty ways to get something you need from discarded paper and card.

Fun things to make with old paper and cardboard

Children, please ask your parents before starting any of these projects as some may require adult supervision. Thank you.

Do share photos of your completed project with us on our Facebook page or by email. We would love to see them.

Gift bags, boxes, bows and tags

Newspaper gift bag
Last minute gift bags
Paper pyramid gift box
Handmade Origami gift box “Díszdoboz” a bit of a challenge, but beautiful results.

Magazine paper bows – easy to make stunning bows.
3D paper bows for gift wrapping and scrapbooking
Recycling cards for gift tags – simple to do. Perfect for Christmas and birthdays too!

Christmas decorations

Thrifty tip: use scraps of used or spare gift wrap or colourful magazines pages to make:

Easy Origami paper wreath
Beautiful Christmas Wreath (Origami Maniacs 93) – great if you fancy a challenge.
5 pointed star (Origami Maniacs 84)
Easy six pointed cutout paper snowflake
Lacy paper snowflake decoration simple cutting for stunning designs.
Snowflakes (Origami Maniacs 88)
Magazine party balls – smaller versions can be made from old cards to make Christmas baubles.

Finger puppets

Buttterfly finger puppet
Paper finger puppets If you use these fabulous free printable templates, reuse some printer paper to cut waste!

Magazine bowls

Magazine roll up craft waste basket (video) – this one requires a little skill.
Magazine waste basket or adapt to make a bowl (video) – a challenging magazine bowl craft.

Other paper and card craft projects

Fancy a challenge?

These projects will take a lot of patience and time to complete, but the results are remarkable.

Try making this origami earth globe (video tutorial).
Or make this striking woven paper bag (video in French with subtitles) You could use plastic film, like crisp bags, cereal bags or biscuit wrappers for this instead of laminated paper. It would lose some rigidity, but should work well if you strengthen the cut-points with tape to prevent tearing.

For more creative reuse ideas

Visit our pages on inspiring ideas, plastics, furniture, fabric and footwear, and more.