FARGO – Every Thanksgiving my girls and I have a tradition – we turn on the television to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and go through page after page of Black Friday ads from The Forum. Each girl takes a notepad and writes down potential presents for people on our list (and of course, themselves.)
The next day, we grab the ads and head out for a little shopping. But what do you do with all of those pages if you don’t go shopping? Turns out it’s one of those kill-two-birds-with-one-stone type things.
Instead of using the paper to help you buy gifts, you can actually turn the paper into gifts.
I found all kinds of tutorials for making necklaces from newspapers, but I have to tell you I think some of the Pinterest queens and kings are making it way harder than it has to be. (Shocking, I know.) After watching some of the complicated tutorials, I found myself saying, “Good heavens, just go buy a necklace at the mall.” But that would have defeated the purpose of doing this story. So I started tinkering around with methods from a few tutorials and came up with a simplified way to make a pinwheel newspaper necklace.
The first key to making the perfect necklace is to find the right raw materials – a newspaper page with a lot of color. I ended up using a page of the comics and two ads for my three necklaces.
If you’d like to make the necklace more of a keepsake, consider using a special article for the pinwheel. For example, if your loved one was featured in the paper for winning an award or starting a business, get an extra copy of the article and make a necklace out of that paper for them.
To start, spread out the newspaper sheet you want to use, then roll it up ¼ inch at a time…
When you have a long strip, glue to secure the loose end.
Then simply roll the paper from one end to the other in a pinwheel design. Use a strong glue to bond the end of the strip to the pinwheel.
Cover the pinwheel in Mod Podge. Let dry for several hours.
This is where it gets fun. Go to a craft store like Michael’s and buy beads, baubles and crystals to adorn the necklace. I also bought necklace cord and clasps that didn’t require special tools.
After stringing the beads onto the cord, glue the bottom of one bead with very strong glue (I used Gorilla Glue) to attach the newspaper pendant. Again, let dry for a few hours.
To give the pendant more bling, I spread a little glitter nail polish on the front and let it dry.
I was pretty happy with the results. Watch the video tutorial for more information.
Pinterest is full of ideas for turning recycled newspaper into functional household items. Many of them utilized the same pinwheel technique I used with the necklace to make baskets, napkin holders or lamps. I found a really cool mirror using old magazine pages that would also work with newspaper pages. Pictures frames and placemats also looked relatively easy to make.
We’ve probably all used newspapers at one time or another to wrap presents, but newspapers can go a little further in celebrating the holidays. I found a tutorial from Martha Stewart on how to do a stacked Christmas tree using tiny sheets of paper and a lot of glitter. Plain old ornaments can be decoupaged with newspaper for a vintage look and you can make recycled newspapers into envelopes for your Christmas cards.
A ‘stop the presses’ manicure
There’s one other thing you can do with your newspaper this Thanksgiving day that’s more or less a gift to yourself. Newspaper nails look complicated but they’re not. Start by painting your nails a light color, then soak in alcohol for 2 to 3 seconds. Immediately place tiny sheets of newspaper on the nails, press down and let sit for 10 seconds. When you carefully peel the newspaper off your nails, the words from the page will be on the nails. Make sure to use a top coat to lock in the letters. (Full disclosure: I tried the newspaper manicure and it didn’t look as nice as the photos here. But I believe in you.)