Green Living: Homemade Paper Yarn from Recycled Newspaper

Recycling old newspapers into usable objects is a “green living” project that I have tasked myself with over the past few years. As an art teacher, I used old newspaper to do numerous art projects with my students. Now, as a freelance writer, I find that I enjoy using my artistic abilities to refurbish and recycle used objects such as newspaper. One such project is making paper yarn. The paper yarn is simple to crochet into rugs, handbags, hats, table runners, placemats and many other usable objects. The sky is the limit with paper yarn products. Use your imagination and let your fingers do the crocheting.

Things You’ll Need:

3 to 4 full sheets newspaper
Quilting ruler
Rotary cutting mat
Rotary cutter


Step 1 – Stack 3 to 4 sheets of newspaper on top of one another making sure to match the edges. Fold the newspapers in half.

Step 2 – Place the folded newspapers on a rotary cutting mat.

Step 3 – Position the quilting ruler so it is 1/2-inch from the edge of the paper.

Step 4 – Cut along the edge of the quilting ruler to create 1/2-inch strips. Repeat Steps 1 through 4 until the entire piece of newspaper is cut into strips.

Step 5 – Unfold the first strip. Place it on a flat work surface so the long edge is on a vertical axis.

Step 6 – Start roller the paper into a tight roll beginning with the bottom left hand corner of the strip. Roll toward the right edge. A snake-like coil will appear. Make the coil as tight as possible. Continue to roll the strip to create a coil of paper yarn. Stop rolling the paper approximately 4-inches from the end.

Step 7- Overlap the next piece of paper approximately 4-inches. Continue with the rolling process. Repeat Step 6 and 7 until the desired length of paper yarn is created.

Step 8 – Roll the paper yarn into a ball for easy storage.


Crochet with the paper yarn using a size K or larger crochet hook. The larger size hook is required to create crochet stitches easily.

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