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How to Upcycle a Chair with Newspaper?

Man sitting on a chair refurbished with recycled newspaper.
Man sitting on a chair refurbished with recycled newspaper.

When furniture gets old or loses color, the first thing that comes to my mind is « What new furniture will I buy ? ».

Recently, I asked myself this question when I saw my pair of chairs which were losing their orange color.

But what if there is an alternative to buying new?

When I was a kid, I used to cover objects with newspaper as a craft activity. So I thought, let’s do the same to give a second life to my chairs!


Old chair with tools to make a craft.


  • An old chair
  • Reused Newspaper
  • PVA glue
  • Water 


  • Brush
  • Floor protection
  • A cucumber? Let’s see how I will use it!

Process step-by-step

1. Clean the surface of the chair with a humid rag. Make sure to remove the dust.

Hands cleaning the chair with a rag.

2. Rip out several strips of newspaper. Thin stripes are easier to flatten but it takes more time to apply. I chose a width of around 5 cm.

Strips of a reused newspaper.

3. Prepare the glue. Mix half a cup of PVA glue with half a cup of water. Stir until the mix is homogenous.

Hand mixing PVA paste and water in a bowl.

4. Dip delicately one newspaper stripe in the glue and stick it on the chair. Make sure to remove the wrinkles with the brush. For the first layer, don’t worry about the pattern and the finitions. It will be covered by the next layer anyway.

Men brushing the newspaper strip on the chair.

5. Once the chair is fully covered, let it dry for a minimum of 4 hours. After, start the next layer. The more layer you apply, the longer the cover lasts. I applied 3 layers of newspaper. And I made sure to alternate the direction between each layer: One vertical, one horizontal, and I finish with one vertical.

Chair freshly covered of newspaper strips with glue.

6. This step is optional. Before covering the last layer, I selected and placed the strips that looked the best for me. I alternated with texts and images to fit with the style of my apartment. But I didn’t think too much! Even if I randomize, the newspaper pattern looks good!

Selection a newspaper pattern on the chair.

7. My chair is now fully covered. If I’m happy with the pattern I’ll go to the next step. If not, I can add a layer again to have a better pattern.

Craft chair drying on the floor.

8. The newspaper layer is quite fragile so I want to make it last longer with a varnish. I added 3 layers to make it last.

Boy varnishing the chair with a brush.

9. Et voilà!

Chair upcycled with newspaper.

Last words

I was about to buy new chairs to replace my old chairs which only had the color fading away. Instead, I extended their lives with reused newspapers. Now, I have a unique model that looks super stylish! All the craft took me around 3 days but it was a lot of fun. I was feeling like a real artist even if I didn’t have much experience.

What other techniques did you find to extend your furniture’s lives?

PS: About the cucumber, I didn’t find any use of it… If you find one, let me know in the comment!

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