• Mike

    How flammable is it once it’s spun like this?

    • Gloria

      It would be flammable, but remember natural fibers burn less readily than man-made ones. In a tightly twisted yarn it seems to me that it would be relatively hard to light. It will, however, burn more readily than cotton or linen.

  • http://livepaths.com livepaths

    Very interesting.

    If the economics don’t work, recycling and sustainable efforts won’t either.
    Check http://LivePaths.com a blog about innovative entrepreneurs that make money selling recycled items, provide green services or help us reduce our dependency on non renewable resources. These include some very cool Green online ventures, great new technologies, startups and investments opportunities.

  • http://www.aesoxfabled.com Amy

    Thanks for the tutorial! It was great to see pics of it being done! I had seen the results on the Internet but wondered if it had to be wet or was coated wtih a binder of any kind. So, thanks for the clear instructions!

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  • nancy

    Where did you get the spindles?

  • Doug


    You can buy them at quite a few sites online:

    heres one.


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  • http://www.askwoollym.typepad.com Woolly M.

    Beautiful. I can’t wait to try this and make it for a friend who knits. Thanks for the lesson! Woolly M.

  • http://distractedbydesign.blogspot.com Carmen

    How neat!

  • Pat

    Very innovative!

  • Kris

    Intriguing, to say the least.
    I weave, dye and paint, but don’t spin which means this will never happen in my world.
    However, something to consider for those who do…………. I see a tremendous palette of possibilities. One could paint this surface in myriad ways, wild colors to soft & quiet, even photo transfers, which would probably strengthen it somewhat especially for foot traffic. I’ve done this to old, soiled sisal rugs and they are instantly transformed and changeable, as well. They’re also infinitely easier to clean forevermore.

    So, with the paper wovens – bags, wall art, rugs……. possibilities abound!

  • http://www.dyepot.com Christina

    I wonder about the dye coming off on your hands and possibly on anything else it might come into contact with. I think it’s a really cool idea!


  • http://auntjanetsfibermill.com janet

    I haven’t spun newspaper, but I have spun used wrapping paper. There is a Japanese tradition of weaving with spun paper. They use strong, long fibered papers for their spun and woven kimonos. I think that newsprint is weak, though the photos of woven items are impressive in this article.

  • Laurie

    Could you do this on a spinning wheel? I might try it.

  • http://www.myrecycledbags.com RecycleCindy

    Absolutely the coolest idea I’ve seen lately. Creating paper yarn definitely will be on my to-do list. I love crafting with recycled materials. Thank you for sharing and providing a wonderful tutorial.

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  • http://www.knitnicoleknit.blogspot.com Nicole

    I’m not much of a spinner, myself, but that’s really neat!

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  • http://www.CreativeSomething.net Tanner (is creative)

    Now that’s cool! I feel like spinning some right now, even though I don’t have any real use for the yarn. Though the idea of having newspaper furniture/rugs/whatever seems pretty chic to me. I like it.

    Makes me wonder what else you can do with newspaper that would be useful.

  • http://www.riotyarn.wordpress.com Bodil

    Great idea!

  • http://blondechicken.blogspot.com Tara

    I tried this myself a few months ago (posted it here), but didn’t really have great luck. It kept breaking as I spun it and it just went SO slow. JesSprkle sells some newspaper yarn and she coats her fingers with wax before spinning, which makes a very even, easy to knit with yarn!

  • http://turrean.wordpress.com Turrean

    This would make a cool looking rug for the porch, but what happens when it gets wet?

  • curegirl0421

    I’m thinking that spun wrapping paper (great idea) or newspaper would probably not do well outside, but it would make a great crocheted baskets for indoor use, no? Square baskets perhaps? I would think that once you’ve created something you would want to Modge Podge the bottom at least, if not the sides, to keep the newsprint from staining whatever you’ve stuck it on, but I think it might be a tad time consuming to coat the paper before spinning, and would also probably make it tough to spin. My 2 cents.

  • http://www.decadencedesigns.etsy.com Heather

    How would you dye the finished yarn? :)

  • Alan

    Isnt newspaper poisonous? Or toxic?

    • Jet Tenley

      I don’t think that it would be too toxic. Newspaper’s not printed with anything but soy based inks now. I’m sure if you used the colored inserts, especially the reds, oranges and yellows, you might run into some cadmiums (painters have the same problems Cadmium reds, Cad yellows and Cad oranges), but if you use safety precautions and no children are crawling or playing on the rugs, it should be fine. But the comics are printed with soy also. The stuff that makes the inserts shiny is Kaolin which is nothing more than the stuff they put in Kaopectate…and that would do the same thing…so don’t let your kids lick the yarn if you use the shiny inserts to spin. ;D

  • http://www.nikkishell.com Nichola

    Damn! Why did i sell my spindle?? i want to make newspaper yarn!

    • Jet Tenley

      You can make your own spindles from a dowel, CD/DVDs and a grommet from the hardware store (Home Dept, ACE, etc.). They’re not hard to make and if you need a heavier one, just add a second CD/DVD. I assume you’d need a heavier Spindle for newspaper, but I’ve never spun it before…but I’ll give it a whirl (pun intended).

      I’ve spun strips cut from plastic bags and have created quite beautiful yarn, especially from those recycled Barnes & Nobles bags at Christmas time. It’s easier to knit plastic bags if you cut the strips about 1/2″ and spin it into yarn than it is to just knit or crochet it from the strips. I like the look of it better spun first. Plastic bags you get around the holidays make exceptional yarn. Just cut the plastic into the size strips you want and spin away. Join the same way as you’d join wool, alpaca, dog hair, cat hair, guinea pig hair, or any natural/un-natural fibers. Even human hair or horse hair. It all depends on what the idea is for your project.

      You can make things quite indestructible as you want. Coat it with Bees wax or glue. Paper can get soggy if it gets soaked (paper mache?) and if you dry it, it’s gets quite hard and stiff so depending on what you want it for, it might work.

      People even knit with wire, so paper doesn’t surprise me at all. The Japanese have a really nice steel wire yarn that they make all kinds of interesting sculptural things with…just use your imagination. Some knit jewelry from gold wire or silver wire and it looks quite chic.

      There used to be a company in Seattle (can’t remember their name) who used to make furniture from recycled cardboard…head boards, dressers, etc. They were quite nice and almost as heavy as wood. The made them plain or with burnt edges (like when people used spools as coffee tables and burnt all around the round edges then put urethane on it–not totally green cuz of the urethane, but it did save money on furniture and they did recycle the wire spools).

      So, open your mind to your surroundings…you’d be amazed at what you can create.

  • http://www.hellesbelles86.wordpress.com Melissa

    Oh now that sounds like a whole bunch of fun! I may have to try that

  • http://nyxcreations.wordpress.com Nyx

    So I had been trying to figure out how to turn magazines into yarn for various knitting/crochet/basketry techniques and what do I see this morning! Thank you for the tutorial I finally got around to making a CD drop spindle and tried this out.. it works really well with crepe paper too :D

  • http://visualinfluence.blogspot.com sarahelizabeth

    This is awesome! I will now be saving up my newspaper!!

  • strawbird

    I did this with recycled plastic bags in India. We cut up strips of colored bags and twisted them into clear bags- was kind of metalic. Thanks for sharing the paper!

  • shewolf

    Newspaper isn’t poisonous. The ink is soy based, and paper itself, while not very nutritious, isn’t unsafe to eat. At least, the standard black-and-white paper. No clue about the sales circulars.

    I think something great would be to ply a thick yarn, and use it to hold firewood. :D Or a place for newspapers and magazines.

  • http://www.juleedunekacke.com/blog julee

    Thanks for posting this! I tried it and posted it to my blog!

    I had some problems getting the yarn to be as small as it is in the picture above. I also had some problems with the yarn tearing. It never tore on the current row, but always the previous row that was being knit into. Any tips on that?


  • lennyb

    try those printer ribbons from the kodak instant kiosks like they have at walmart.
    spin it up into yarn and then from there you can put it on a homemade rope machine to make very strong rope.

  • http://valeriek.tumblr.com Valerie

    Has anyone tried making a hybrid recycled yarn? Perhaps newspaper spun with plastic bags? Or with cassette tape? Seems like there’s got to be a way to make the newspaper yarn thinner without sacrificing strength. I love the look of the twisted newsprint, but I would want it to be thin enough to make something more delicate!

  • Erica

    I had a hat I loved made of paper from China. It was brownish paper, not newprint. I wonder if it was waxed or oiled, but it didn’t feel oily. My Chinese-made hat held up pretty well in occasional light rain. It was the sort of bell-shape that dropped its brim down around my face and neck. It had little wooden beads worked into lacy holes along about an inch from the brim. Very charming, and made of paper! but flexible and strong.

    I bet you could do something similar with newsprint, maybe colored ads would be pretty (though slightly more toxic with copper in the inks).

    If you want waterproof, you could wax it (but it will be very flammable). If you want it less flammable, maybe use something like latex paint or ask at the hardware store for a good water-seal. Most liquids will soak all the way into newsprint, and when they set it’s like they’re part of the whole piece.

    This paper yarn could also be handy for ultralight paper-mache projects. Or as a base for clay – you could dip it in clay slip, fire it, and have a “crocheted” clay sculpture.

  • http://www.craftivism.com betsy

    How wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial!

  • http://lil-moony.deviantart.com Purple

    Awesome idea. I’m spinning some right now. :) I don’t have a spindle, so I’m wrapping it around a chopstick withe rubber bands on the ends so the yarn doesn’t slip off. Seems alright so far. Once I get a good amount of yarn, I’m going to try and knit it – not sure what into, though!

  • http://none Patricia R Cramer

    What is the practical application for this spum paper?

    Surely you could not knit a sweater in case you were caught in the rain.

    Also, as a knitter, I am much interested in the feel of my yarn.

    Harsh or stiff is out for me.

    Sorry for the negativity. Perhaps you can enlighten me.

    Pat C.

  • Andreia

    Parabens e obrigado por dividir conosco essa ideia.

  • Luba

    Wow, what a fantastic idea!!! I’ll try making some tonight.
    Thanks for sharing and the great pics too.

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  • justin

    this is school

  • http://www.meredithcutler.com/blog/studiodebris Meredith

    As in anything fiber arts related, patience and the joy of making is key. Spinning is time consuming but if you are into it you just are…

    I am looking forward to adapting this idea and recycling papers (maybe junk mail/catalogs) wound with other materials. I made yarn out of saran wrap a long time ago for weaving and the durability and effects were gorgeous! http://tinyurl.com/saranwrap

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  • http://www.sonntag.etsy.com FoggySonntag

    Coolest ever. I’ve become overwhelmed with my stash of paper -magazines, shreds, tissue paper, wrapping, and newspaper-all of it! This is something I can’t wait to experiment with.

  • Lexi

    How easily do they break? I was thinking of making that string with newspaper beads and giving them away as gifts for Christmas to my friends.