Sunday, October 11, 2015

Recycled Newspaper Tubes Tray/Basket

I love to create things out of recycle materials!  And right now, I'm into newspapers.  It's a great way for me to use those stacks of newspapers I throw out each week. Besides, it's cheap and oh so versatile! So I hope you don't get too bored with some of the tutorials I'll be doing using newspapers.

First off, I decided to make a tray/basket.  I first saw something like this on Etsy.  I enjoy looking at handcrafted items on Etsy for inspiration. Did you know that Amazon now offers handcrafted items, too? Anyway, the pictured item is called a newspaper potholder/basket - it can actually hold a flowerpot.     
Etsy Source

Mine didn't quite turn out like this one, which is kind of wonky - I guess if I had used shorter newspaper tubes, maybe.  But anyway, here's how I put the one I made together.
  • Newspaper pages
  • White glue/tacky glue
  • Skewer stick
  • Cardboard, pick, pencil/pen
  • Clamps
  • Mod podge
  • Paint - primer, acrylic, sealant
  • Paint brush
The first thing to do is to make a lot of newspaper tubes - around 25 to be exact.
Here's a pictorial of how to:

1.  Start with a full newspaper page - the weekend section actually opens to full pages.
2.  Fold in half and
3.  Cut into two pieces.
4.  Take a skewer stick and place on the corner edge, at an angle, as pictured.  I believe that's called an obtuse triangle where the angle is more than 90 degrees.
5.  Take the end tip of the paper over the skewer and start rolling the paper with hands pressed down on table.
6.  Continue rolling the paper on the stick until you get three fourths of the way.  You might have to lift the paper up to tighten the roll by twirling the stick.
7.  Add glue to the edges and roll until reaching the end.
8.  The tube is done, about 22 inches long, and you need to make at least 24 more.
Next, get ready for a tutorial picture overload with directions!
Draw a half circle on a rectangular piece of cardboard.

Mark seven places on the half circle, as pictured. It's easier to place them at left, right, center, and then, two equally between.

 Punch holes through the marks using a pick.

Enlarge holes with a pen.

Insert seven newspaper tubes midway into holes.

Add glue to end of another tube and secure to first inserted tube.

Clamp glued end of tube.  Flatten tube with fingers to make the paper more pliable to weave.

Once secure, begin weaving over and under inserted tubes.
 Continue weaving over and under until reaching last tube, wrapping around, weaving over and under back to the other side.

Add glue to end of new tube and insert  to lengthen weaving tube and continue over and under.

Tighten tubes and adjust as you continue weaving toward the narrow ends.

 Wrap around the ends with the paper tube and glue to secure. Clamp until dry.

Begin weaving the other side the same as before.

Straighten and tighten all of the tubes before finally securing together.

Carefully remove cardboard.

Coat tray with mod podge.
I used a hard surface coating to help make it firm and stiff.
 Spray with white primer.


  For a distressed look, I added brown and copper acrylic paint, wiping it off with a cloth and finally adding a matte finish sealant.

My tray/basket looks a bit wonky, too .  .  .
and is for decorative purposes only!
But I love how it ends up being quite functional and very ornamental!
And to know that it's made of newspaper!
How cool!
 Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!



  1. Wow! That took a bit more patience on your part than I can spare right now, but it looks lovely, and I'd like to try it sometime. I like that it's lightweight to store, and that it can be used year-round just by changing the decorative items it holds. Yours looks more versatile than the Etsy inspiration piece.

    1. Thanks, Charade! It is a bit tedious looking at all the photos but sometimes that's what I like about crafting. It keeps me busy and I love the results! I did work on it in spurts so it didn't seem like too much.

    2. I LOVE this basket!! So clever and such a pretty outcome! I have chosen this DIY as one of my 3 favorites! Come over on Thursday at 7pm EST to see the feature and to link up your latest posts! Can't wait!

  2. Whoaaa! As cute as cute can be this is...tedious..patience I don't have those skillz! Really cute project Gail.

  3. That is pretty cool. You would never guess it was newspaper.

  4. Pretty cool!!! Thank you for sharing step-by-step instructions! I may give this a try...eventually!!!

  5. I love tedious sometimes. I hope mine is as good as yours. Now I know what to do with the community papers when I'm done with them :)

    Question: do you take the skewer out at some point? If not, I guess I need to buy a pack first.

    1. Never mind, if I don't take the skewer out I won't be able to weave it. Doh! :)

  6. What a fun idea. Thanks for sharing the details and directions.

  7. Okay, here you go again! You are amazing....I love it, especially in the plain white for me....I'll take one, please! LOL!

  8. Looks easy going to make one for my mother-in-law for Thanksgiving. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Oh wow. That is Fabulous. Seriously who have thunk! Love it.
    Thanks for sharing this at The Fabulous Fall party!

  10. Wow you make it look so easy! I love the white one which would look great in our apartment by the ocean. I also love your purple website - I love the header pictures especially. Thanks for sharing with us at #AnythingGoes.

  11. Such a pretty and fun craft! Hard to believe it is newspaper. You are amazing, Gail! xxx Maria

  12. Absolutely BRILLIANT and beautiful. Can't wait to try this.

  13. Seriously Gail, your crafts are always so impressive! Great job!!!

  14. That is amazing. Only you could create this from newspaper!!!

  15. Wow. I never saw anything like that. It looks really nice with the pumpkins in it. The brown and copper paint really helps it look like a real basket. Best wishes!

  16. Oh how fun! I'm going to share this on Pinterest ( for readers AND for my grandkids next time they ask me for things to do where they live as well as where I live in Roseville. :) Thank you!


  17. What aa clever idea! Love it. Thanks for sharing your ingenuity!

  18. You are always so creative! This tray is great and your tutorial is so clear. Pinned and Tweeted. Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle. I hope to see you there today!

  19. woow. that is a really great job :)
    You are welcome to join my BlogParty
    Hugs from Håkan in Sweden

  20. Gail, I have been wanting to know how to make one of these! I saw one back in the summer in an art gallery for major bucks. Love it!

  21. What a cool project. I love that you took the time and it looks beautiful. Nice job :) Thanks for linking up to the Home Matters Party with you! #HomeMattersParty Hope to see you next week.

  22. You are amazing. You do stuff I would never attempt. Way to go!! Pinned and shared. Your friend, Linda @Crafts a la mode

  23. That is the neatest thing! I've made baskets with reeds before, but this is more affordable, aka Free from friends!! And probably easier since I'm thinking the tubes are more pliable than reeds.
    Thanks!!Oh yeah, I came to your tube flower from Purfylle's Earth DAy.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...