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Newspaper is so cheap that it’s virtually free. If you don’t already have some lying around, you can obtain it easily, rendering it an ideal resource for creative decorations. Whether you’re really strapped for cash, hoping to impress friends with your kitsch style, or just feeling creative, you can decorate your apartment with old newspaper. From window shades to wallw art to makeshift tables, newspaper is utterly indispensable. Use these five creative decoration ideas, and leave your imprint with newsprint!
Newspaper Window Shades.
To fashion a makeshift window shade out of old newspaper, tape the edge of a long piece of newspaper securely to a thin wooden dowel about as long as your window is wide. You may need to use more than one piece of newspaper depending on your window’s width. Be sure to leave an inch or two of exposed wood on each end of the dowel. Tape the other end of the newspaper to another lightweight wooden dowel, leaving a similar two-inch bare space at the ends. The result should resemble a wide scroll when fully unfurled. To hang this creation up like a shade, simply affix two cheap hooks (like the 3-M adhesive kind) to the window frame and use the bare spaces on each end of one dowel to hang the shade, with the other dowel serving as a free-hanging stabilizer for the bottom. In other words, your newspaper shade will look like a fully unfurled scroll hanging from the top of your window frame.
You can change the length of the shade throughout the day by doing one of two things: either lift up the bottom dowel and place it in the hooks to double the newspaper over itself, or pick up the top dowel and roll up the newspaper like a scroll until it reaches the desired length. One benefit to newspaper shades is that they’re opaque enough to give some privacy but still translucent enough to allow some natural light. Also, remember that newspaper can be a fire hazard, so be careful before constructing window decorations out of it. Don’t leave any candles nearby.
Looking for some extra table space? Saving some money to decorate with a “real” coffee table? You can make lightweight tables out of newspaper and sturdy boxes. Use strong boxes, the kind in which TVs, computers, small fridges, or other appliances are packed. Crumple lots of old newspaper and keep shoving it into the box under you reach the very top. You should just barely be able to close the top of the box. The bunched-up newspaper will add a little extra stability and some weight. Once you seal the newspaper-stuffed box, wrap it neatly in newspaper, and flip it over so that the box bottom (which is probably the flattest surface) is now the top of your table.
You’ll have a cube or a rectangular solid, depending on the box you select. This kind of table is obviously not designed for heavy objects, but it can function as a makeshift coffee table, nightstand, or random accent table to fill up space. You may even want to arrange a collection of newspaper-wrapped boxes in a corner as a cheap installation piece. Go crazy, since newspaper, boxes, and tape are inexpensive. If you happen to have a piece of glass or a flat piece of plywood that you can spraypaint, you can use it as a tabletop and turn the newspaper-wrapped box into a base.
Old Newspaper as Art?
Conventional posters, prints, photos, and paintings are not the only items worth framing. You can make an offbeat statement by framing random sections of newspaper as creative wall art. Start with some cheap frames from a dollar store. Simple black plastic frames or clip-glass frames will suffice, as the look should be understated and minimalist. After all, we’re decorating with newspaper! I’d avoid any poster-sized frames larger than 16″ x 20″. Often, simple 8″ x 10″ frames can be found for as little as $1 at discount stores. For under $10, you can arrange a square, three frames by three frames, with a small even spaces in between them. Or arrange the frames in a long straight line.
I’m not suggesting that you neatly frame clippings of your favourite articles; rather, I am declaring that framed newspaper bits are more interesting when they have a haphazard quality. Allow articles to be off-center, let pictures get cut cropped, and consider using odd angles to create original composition. Consider treating each frame as though someone randomly zoomed in on the page without discretion. The simplicity of the black-and-white and the repetition of the same frame over and over again will give a sense of unity to a collection of small frames, each housing an odd bit of old newspaper. Be sure to fill each frame completely with newspaper for a sharp, robust look – no blank spaces.
For something really funky, spend a few extra dollars and buy a newspaper in a different language. If you locate something in Russian or another language that uses the Cyrillic alphabet, you’ll have more curious clippings for your wall art.
Cut newspaper into rectangles, circle, ovals, or trapezoids. Using clear contact paper or large laminating sheets (11×17), cover both sides of the newspaper and trim up the edges to make it neat. You’ll have some fun, cheap placemats to decorate your funky kitchen table. One benefit of newspaper is that it’s almost always black and white, so anything colorful placed on top of it should provide a pleasing contrast. Imagine a gaily colored vase, even the thrift store type, sitting on the table in between two homemade placemats. How splendidly spartan!
Plate of Paper Footballs
Remember the paper triangles that kids (and some adults) flick into the “goalposts” created by thumbs and fingers? If you’re not familiar with how to make them, just take a piece of newspaper and fold it lengthwise a few times until it’s basically a strip about 1.5 inches wide and at least a foot long. Then fold the strip in the middle at an angle to create a perfect L-shape. Continue bringing one “arm” of the strip over the other arm until you end up with a square divided into two visible triangle shapes, one of which is like a pouch. Fold and tuck the non-pouch triangle down into the pouch triangle and you should end up with a tightly packed, triangular “football” for flicking. If my instructions don’t make sense, just ask someone knowledgeable in the art of paper football to demonstrate.
Take a funky bowl or plate (once again, try the dollar store or a thrift store), and simply toss a bunch of these paper footballs into it. Leave it out on a coffee table and your guests will have something to fiddle with. You’ll be surprised how folks (especially men) seem to revert to high-school antics when playing with paper footballs. And when they’re not in use, these folded geometric shapes just look cool sitting in a vessel, especially if you place said vessel on a box table already fashioned with newspaper wrapping. For extra kicks, why not use the sports section so that scores, stats, and action photos are all on the footballs themselves?
For my next post, please find out how I made a nice investment on these wooden dinnerware and check out why I totally dig them.
Shoes are so much more critical to the travelling experience than most of us assume. Often, we only learn this when we’ve already begun to experience the worst side effects of choosing the wrong shoes for the wrong journey. For this reason, we decided it was a worthwhile endeavour to compile a resource for travellers curious about how to treat their feet. Whether it’s your first trip or your fiftieth, it’s worth reminding yourself to invest in proper footwear!
Look, it’s part of the process. Shoes are so often an afterthought. We take them for granted– unless, of course, you’ve got the wrong ones. Then, you’re cursing the heavens. And, typically, this is what happens with most of us, most of the time. Your usual shoes, which you’ve been wearing for casual, everyday life for the last few months, should work just fine, right? Wrong.
These are the dangerous assumptions that make this article necessary!
We’ve decided to design a guide which highlights both the popular and the obscure, with the goal of helping you find shoes that are going to make your journey the best it can be. We’ve got all sorts of suggestions, and one, in particular, we’d like to recommend.
But we’ll get there when we get there. First…
Finding the Perfect Shoes to Travel and Walk In (Comfortably!)
When we think back on our favourite trips, how often do we fondly reflect on the exact shoes we were wearing? How often do we remember the sour spots of that particular sojourn, in which our feet felt like they’d rather whither up and die than take the steps required to get back to shelter? It’s hard enough to wear uncomfortable shoes to a party or to work. Let alone on a 25,000-step walk through London or Amsterdam or Bangkok.
With this in mind, let’s look at shoes for what they really are… a big deal!
And here are the qualities that make for a great pair.
- Comfort, comfort, comfort.
Prioritize comfort. Seriously, do it. You won’t regret choosing comfort over something that looks great but inflicts pain. However, it’s not always one or the other. Lots of great shoes manage to be both comfortable and stylish, and this is the best. But, if you do have to choose for whatever reason… Choose comfort!
- Good shoes are basically wasted with bad socks.
Look, if you invest in a great pair of shoes, that’s awesome. But if you wear your cheap old socks, it really diminishes your returns. Bad socks can work to ruin good shoes, and they also cause a lot more bad scents and such. Stay away. Invest in socks, too.
- Don’t forget about insoles.
Great shoes don’t cancel the benefits of insoles. In fact, the better the shoes, the better insoles can help you feel. That’s how it works, and that’s why a great pair of insoles is a very worthwhile investment if you’re going to take your feet seriously.
- Plan for where you’re headed to.
The truth of the matter is that different geographical areas call for very different shoes. Just because on pair treated you well while you were hiking in Peru doesn’t mean that they’re what you’ll be needing for your backpacking trip through Nepal. Take a look a climate, conditions, and other such factors and make your choice accordingly!
- Break your shoes in.
Sometimes, it’s the simple things we forget. Nobody likes wearing brand new shoes, especially when you’ve got to walk for several hours a day. Purchase your shoes early and take some time to wear them in.
Without further delay, here are our top choices, for the top shoes for travel:
We believe in rankings, but only when there is a clear winner. As far as we are concerned, Vessi takes the cake. These waterproof shoes are definitely unique, stylish, and super comfortable. Nobody wants wet socks. These shoes offer the protection to make the possibility of such a thing go away. They are knit sneakers which are waterproof, lightweight, breathable, and as is important to a growing number of folks concerned with ethics, 100% vegan. The “male” and “female” versions of these shoes allow for a model which is built specifically for the foot of each gender, but they stay harmonious in what makes Vessi what it is: stylish, comfortable, and unbelievably practical.
ECCO combines style and comfort to provide a really solid shoe. Pretty fabulous.
No matter what your taste is, ADIDAS probably has a shoe for you. Who combines fashion and athleticism as well as iconic ADIDAS? They’re not waterproof, but they check most of the boxes for a great shoe.
Speaking of ADIDAS, why not Nike? A different style, but just as iconic. Nike has found all sorts of ways to stay topical and cool through so many years, and very few people won’t recognize the brand. A solid choice, if a somewhat typical one.
Wherever you travel, you’ll see people wearing Converse. Is it because they’re made for extensive walking? Absolutely not. Converse is all style, and, in terms of travel, hardly any comfort. They’re about as inconvenient as they come, but a pair of Chucks is undeniably cool… We don’t recommend it, but we can’t dismiss Converse either.
Those are our top five picks. One stands out from the rest, however, and it’s the least well known of the group. Everyone knows the big brands, and to be fair, they won’t necessarily be a bad choice, should you choose them. But Vessi does something so unique and remarkable we could not help but rank them as the top shoe for travellers, basically wherever you’re going. If you’re looking for boots or sandals, we’ve got other lists for you. But, in terms of sneakers, Vessi takes home the gold medal by our standards.