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Creative uses for junk mail

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I moved not too long ago and had the good fortune of leaving junk mail behind me. Or so I thought! Seems they found me somehow - I've tried to stem the flow as much as possible but there are always a few that get by. I was trying to think of some creative ways to use junk mail and I came across this company called Junk Mail Gems that makes gifts and jewlery and what not from junk mail! They're pretty fun looking:

 

 

They also have some cool DIY instructions on how to make ornaments and other stuff.

 

I also came across this post from Green Upgrader about an artist named Sandhi Schimmel Gold. She makes these great mosaics from junk mail pieces.

 


Any one else do anything cool with their junk mail?

post #2 of 14

I didn't actually ever do this with junk mail...but come to think of it, you definitely could.

 

When I was in middle school, I was on a big make-stuff-from-old-magazines kick.  I made a lot of paper cranes first of all (what utility those had...don't ask me - although I did make a lot of them into Christmas ornaments).  But then I started making gift bags.  Really all I did was cut and fold and glue (and attach a little ribbon at the top for a handle) but they weren't too shabby for giving away a little piece of jewlery or something reasonably small.

 

I'll have to make a few from junk mail and take some pictures.

 

post #3 of 14

Okay, I know this isn't as creative a use for junk mail as those above, but I have to tell this story.  After I read about these creative uses for junk mail I went home from work, and my German Shepherd greeted me at the door with a wagging tail and a big wad of chewed up insurance advertisements in her mouth that I had gotten in the mail the day before.  My dog maybe just has a thing for paper, but she absolutely loves junk mail.  So there is a free dog chew for you :)  It probably isn't too healthy for them, I don't let her eat it if I can help it, but at least it occupies her, she loves that shredding sound!

 

By the way, love the mosaic!  Looks like Botticelli's Primavera figure.  The jewelry reminds me of those kits we used to buy as kids that had colored paper triangles you could roll up into beeds.  Thanks for this tip, I will definitely have to attempt some of these.

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stins:

 

When I was in middle school, I was on a big make-stuff-from-old-magazines kick.

 

Speaking of making things from old magazines or junk mail, I just made a few envelopes from junk mail! Not hard, mostly you just cut and fold and tape/glue a little. Of course you have to make sure you're using something sort of sturdy so your letter doesn't get torn to shreds.

 

Here are two pictures of an envelope I made (not the most thrilling but more fun than a plain white envelope):

 

    

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by srj0385:

After I read about these creative uses for junk mail I went home from work, and my German Shepherd greeted me at the door with a wagging tail and a big wad of chewed up insurance advertisements in her mouth that I had gotten in the mail the day before. 

 

Haha, that's too funny!  Yeah, it's just too bad more junk mail isn't printed with soy based ink or something.  I wonder if maybe paper bags might be a "healthier" option for homemade dog toys.

post #6 of 14

I agree, I really like the mosaic.

 

I wonder if Terracycle will do something with junk mail someday?  There'd be no shortage of supply...

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessg:

Speaking of making things from old magazines or junk mail, I just made a few envelopes from junk mail! Not hard, mostly you just cut and fold and tape/glue a little. Of course you have to make sure you're using something sort of sturdy so your letter doesn't get torn to shreds.

 

Here are two pictures of an envelope I made (not the most thrilling but more fun than a plain white envelope):

 

    

 

That's really clever - I would definitely appreciate being sent something in an upcycled junk mail envelope...there's definitely a business in there somewhere. The people whose lame direct mail campaigns certainly couldn't complain about another company re-sending their materials with their logo, etc. attached.

 

I agree with nitedreamer - Terracycle - get on it!!

post #8 of 14

Hello Everyone. I can tell you that at TC we are thinking of a couple of ideas that we can pursue with the Junk Mail. Our whole business is building things from garbage so we will see how everything develops.

 

Cheers,

 

James

post #9 of 14

When I get junk mail I usually shred it and then use it as compost, a fitting end for junk mail I think. After shredding it you can place some of it in the bottom of a flower pot when planting a new plant, the paper will hold water for several days longer than just plain dirt. You can also mix it into your compost pile and it will rot and add to your compost.

post #10 of 14

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by geostorms View Post

 

When I get junk mail I usually shred it and then use it as compost, a fitting end for junk mail I think. After shredding it you can place some of it in the bottom of a flower pot when planting a new plant, the paper will hold water for several days longer than just plain dirt. You can also mix it into your compost pile and it will rot and add to your compost.

 

Great to know, geostorms!  I read somewhere that you had to be a little careful with some of the dyes on paper leaching.  Do you know anything about it?

post #11 of 14
all paper mail or any paper we get, gets torn up into 2inch pieces and immediately gets put in a box next to our other bins...i save all of it,all year to make paper pulp and recycled paper with my kids...i then sculpture allsorts but mainly puppets...Once i get my new pc sorted i will upload a pic perhaps. Glossy advertising paper CAN be limiting though for paper mache.

i also save bread tags...
not for any other purpose other than to massage my hands. i clip them onto the woven string part of my hanging orange basket in the kitchen :) now n then i give the palms of my hands a massage..
strange i know...but colours r cute too :)
post #12 of 14
normally i use the back to reprint on and i will cut out any cool pictures or words to use in scrapbooking :)
post #13 of 14
You're not supposed to use colored inks in food gardens - i.e. no turning junk mail with colors or plastic windows into garden mulch. There's an ongoing debate about the colored inks but overall, most people think that you should stick to newsprint (newspapers) or junk mail with black ink. Junk mail is actually better used for other stuff because it doesn't, on it's own, add anything of nutritional value to your garden. It mulches, but so does other stuff that also adds other benefits to the garden. I only use junk mail or other paper to mulch in a pinch.
post #14 of 14
You can also use junk mail to make new paper... You can even add natural plant dyes, small flowers and leaves, and even some herbs and spices to make the paper look super slick.

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