13 Smart and Surprising Ways to Reuse All Those Paper Grocery Bags You’ve Got

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(Image credit: VISUALSPECTRUM/Stocksy)

If you find yourself with a huge stash of paper grocery bags — either from extra runs to the store, or from ordering a ton of takeout — sure, you could just recycle them, but there are plenty of ways to reuse them.

1. Line your trash can.

This is perhaps the most practical, but by inserting a paper bag into your trash can, you can cut down on plastic use, and give your bag a second chance. Of course, maybe don’t dispose any liquid-y trash to prevent a future mishap on the way to the dumpster …

2. Use as a recycling bin.

Similarly, you can hang on to a bag or two as a receptacle for cardboard, bottles, cans, etc.

(Image credit: Aunt Peaches)

If your bags are in good shape, you can use them for storage and organization in pantries and linen closets. Just paint your favorite color, and roll down to the size of your choice.

See more: Paper Bag Organizers at Aunt Peaches

4. Send guests home with leftovers.

Snag one of your takeout bags so your guests aren’t left awkwardly juggling a handful of food storage containers.

(Image credit: Say Yes)

Thanksgiving is coming! Cut out rectangles from your bags and use them as disposable placemats. If you’re afraid of coming across too derelict, use a paint pen to customize each place setting. Or save your recycled placemats for the kids table, complete with packs of crayons to keep them entertained while you enjoy your much-deserved adult time.

See more: The Thanksgiving Kids Table at Say Yes

Having a paper bag or two on hand will help you rescue your wax stained fabrics and surfaces. Check out this post to learn more.

(Image credit: Grillo Designs)

If you have smaller brown paper bags, make custom planters using paint and/or paint pens. They just might make the perfect hostess gift or party favors.

See more: DIY Kraft Paper Planter Tutorial at Grillo Designs

(Image credit: Enthralling Gumption)

That’s right, you can cut up your bags into strips and weave them together for a hardly-recognizable recycled planter.

See more: DIY Woven Paper Planter at Enthralling Gumption

(Image credit: Happiness is Creating)

Give the gift of fresh flowers and gussy up the presentation by rolling them into a cut paper bag. Tie with a ribbon or string and you’re done!

See more: Trader Joe’s Bag Challenge at Happiness is Creating

(Image credit: hometalk)

Yes, you can make a lamp out of a recycled grocery bag. If you want it to look less crafty, give your bag a coat of metallic paint.

See more: Grocery Bag Pendant Lamp at Hometalk

(Image credit: Chloe Moore Photography)

Turn your ordinary books into a cohesive set by covering them in paper cut to size.

See more: Book Covering DIY at Chloe Moore Photography

Give your kids a place to write their thoughts or sketch with hand-sewn brown paper journals.

See more: 5 Minute Bookbinding at The House That Lars Build

(Image credit: Lovely Crafty Home)

Go big or go home, right? If you’ve been hanging onto more than just a few brown paper bags, boy do I have a project for you … It may not be for everyone, but you have to admit, it’s an epic way to reuse your waste.

See more: Paper Flooring: Red Rosin Remix at Lovely Craft Home

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 14 Reasons You Should Hang On To Those Paper Grocery Bags