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Unusual Uses: New Ways to Recycle Phonebooks

Filed Under: papercraft, Unusual Uses

If the most creative thing you've done with a phonebook is use it as a makeshift stepping stool, you're in for a treat: You can recycle your old phonebooks into everything from coffee tables to clothing.

In a world of the internet and caller ID, does anyone really search through a phonebook? Yet we're willing to bet that you've got one or two -- maybe even more -- stashed in the back of your pantry or junk drawer. Well, now is the time to dig those yellow pages out because we've collected our favorite ways to recycle these big old books.

recycle phonebooksOne brilliant way to recycle a phonebook. Photo: Artessen.

Recycle phonebooks by... Making a gift bow.
No more searching party stores for that perfect topper. Make your own! Cut phonebook pages into strips and twist into loops. Artessen has the step-by-step instructions.

Recycle phonebooks by... Decoupaging a lamp shade.
This DIYer gave her lampshade a unique, vintage look in only a few hours. We love how the light filters through the used-to-be-part-of-a-phonebook shade. Think you could take on this project? Get the materials list and full instructions from The Swell Life.

Recycle phonebooks by... Creating a coffee table base.
What's a lamp without a table to put it on? Unusual use number four is this coffee table base constructed from -- you guessed it -- phonebooks! Our advice here: Make sure you have a few of them lying around before you start this project. Top it off with glass and these pages are more useful than ever! All the details are at inhabitat.

Recycle phonebooks by... Making your own envelopes
We've heard of making your own cards, but now add even more of a personal touch with homemade envelopes. Super unique, and a great project to keep kids busy and entertained. The Improvised Life shows how it's done with magazine clippings, but we like the idea with phonebook pages too.

Recycle phonebooks by... Crafting a pen & pencil holder Get your mod podge ready! This phonebook find is super cute. A few cuts and curls and you have yourself a desk accessory. We love that you can paint and decorate it however you want -- it's like two projects in one! Visit Chica and Jo for helpful instructions and photos of each step.

And those are just our top five favorites. Why not recycle phonebooks to make...

-Wrapping Paper: Phonebook paper as wrapping paper, like in this Crafster post.

-Paper Mache: Newspaper is not the only source of paper mache material. Try phonebook pages!

-Flower Press: No need to buy a flower press, just put those petals in the center of a phonebook.

-Cleaning Tool: Not as fun, but just as useful -- clean your windows with sheets of phonebook paper.

-Clothing: We even admit, this is a shocker. Phonebook paper is the only material listed on this label. Check out pictures of Jolis Paons' paper dress. Creative and chic!

-Baby entertainment: After seeing how much fun ShelterPop editor Brooke Foster's baby had with a newspaper, we're tempted to try the same plan with ripped out phonebook pages.

Two of Alex Queral's projects made from phonebooks. Photos: Projects Gallery.

- 3-D sculptures: Not quite a DIY -- unless you're this guy -- but we had to include this 3-D artwork!

Check out more unusual uses for items around your house, like egg cartons and cornstarch.


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