Recycled Paper Crafts for Vintage Ephemera

Recycled Paper Crafts for Vintage Ephemera

Paper is such a great craft supply, isn’t it? Easy to source with innumerable variations, it’s definitely an unsung hero in the world of DIY, even for upcyclers like me. I especially love vintage ephemera, such as old letters and vintage sewing patterns. And there are plenty of recycled paper crafts that use those and other paper bits, as well.

I don’t do TONS of paper crafts, but I’m certainly no stranger to it, either. I’ve upcycled vintage greeting cards into a paper flower bouquet

Paper flower bouquet from recycled greeting cards

And I’ve used incomplete sewing patterns from the thrift store to make paper flowers.

DIY tissue paper flowers

More recently, however, I upcycled some file folders from our home office to make some DIY greeting cards! And it worked like a charm.

DIY Greeting Cards with File Folders and mulberry paper

But, let’s be honest. I, myself, have only scratched the surface of recycled paper crafts. Newspapers, magazines, wall paper, gift wrap, cardboard…are all there, waiting to be crafted with.

Even old blueprints, like this

upcycling a bamboo tray with blueprint paper

So, I gathered some of my favorite ideas for recycled paper crafts and projects with vintage ephemera (like old sheet music, below) to share with you. The ideas for upcycled paper are truly endless, but perhaps you could use some inspiration?

neutral christmas decor with a receipt spike


Maybe, just maybe, one of these upcycled paper ideas will appeal to you. Hopefully more than just one! But, either way, take a look and see if any of these recycled paper crafts might inspire you to break out the scissors and glue.

Recycled Paper Crafts and Projects for Vintage Ephemera

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Well, I can’t speak for you, but I CAN speak for me. And there are so many paper crafts I want to work on now! In fact, I already have a plan for some old newspaper that I’ll be working on soon. Or maybe I’ll play with some vintage maps again

framing maps in antique oval picture frames

And maybe a project with paper napkins, too. I guess I’ve been unconsciously leaning towards recycled paper crafts for a while now. It just hadn’t dawned on me until now.

Botanical decor

And speaking of which, if you are especially interested in upcycling old books and book pages, I already have a collection of those ideas here.

Ideas and projects for upcycling books

Craft on!


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Recycling crafts for upcycled paper

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. Thanks for including my sewing pattern bookmarks in your round-up Sarah! I’m so glad you liked them 🙂 It’s one of my favorite projects. BTW, I absolutely LOVE your paper flower bouquet–brilliant idea!

  2. I love paper crafting! These are all such great ideas but I really love your paper bouquet!! Pinned!


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