How To Make An Origami Trash Can Out Of Newspaper!

newspaper binEver since I set up my new home office a little over a week ago, it’s been bugging me that I don’t have a trash can yet!  It’s on the list…I still have several things I need to pick up for my new digs….I just haven’t been able to get to it.

Yesterday I just happened to come across this idea for an Origami Garbage Bin made from newspaper and I immediately went in search of the Sunday paper!

This was exactly what I needed, at least until I can pick up a traditional wastebasket. But who knows…I might just like this better!  I love the unexpected…and how unexpected is making a trash can out of TRASH? :-)

newspaper bin

It was pretty easy as far as origami projects go. I’ve definitely done more difficult paper-folding (which really isn’t saying much because I tend to stick with the simple stuff!) And like all of the crafts I’ve done like this…the first one is the hardest and after that your competency increases exponentially!

newspaper bin

The FIRST box I made I followed the directions that said to use one 2-page newspaper spread. The box turned out SMALL! I think they must have MUCH larger newspapers in Japan!

The SECOND box I made I tried adding one page to the 2-page spread (or 1/2 of a 2-page spread). I just taped the seam together with scotch tape.) That box was a LITTLE bigger, but all out of proportion. It was quite a bit TALLER than it was WIDE. (I actually think I missed a fold in there somewhere, which might have had something to do with it.)

Turns out the THIRD box was a charm! I taped two 2-page spreads together and it ended up making a box that is approximately 8 inches x 8 inches x 8 inches. Just the ticket for the small amount of trash I want to corral in my office. (We’re talking tissues and used post-it notes, not leftover pizza boxes and kitchen waste!)

newspaper bin

If it gets a little beat up over time…it would actually be a pleasure to make another one. I love this stuff. :-)  I’m even thinking there has to be some way to make it a little more sturdy. I have no doubt one of YOU will have an idea for me! :-)

So here is the link to the instructions I found on how to make the origami garbage bin.  You can choose to print out a one-page instruction sheet with diagrams, or you can watch a nifty little animation of the process. I did both.

I’m also including the photos I took of each step of the process which hopefully will ALSO be helpful.

Go ahead, give it a try!  Save a newspaper from some other less attractive future. :-)

 newspaper bin


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  1. says

    And I was just going to visit the thrift store for a couple old baskets to use as garbage cans for my kids’ rooms. This is a much better idea!

  2. CTY says

    Jillee– love the box. So many uses. I like the toss when full idea & the theme page gift box.
    After making a few from ad papers (I don’t get the newspaper), I was thinking about seed starter boxes. Just plant the whole thing. Many ads are printed with soy inks (noted on the ad, obscurely, but there) and those would be better yet. What about with small pages (say Trader Joe’s flyers) for fire starter gifts. Seen lots of fire starter “recipes” on line. Some dryer lint, sm pinecone, parafin, even saw one with a cinnamon stick or two. Tie a strike anywhere matchstick with a raffia and call it done.

  3. Gayle says

    Why not use them as gift boxes? Maybe a comic box for a child, sports box for the sports fan, ads for the retail therapists, etc?

  4. april yedinak says

    This is so cute! I am going to see if I can get my daughter to make them for our bathroom and we will just toss the bin and all when it gets full!

  5. Kathy Anderson says

    I was thinking if I made one I might make it a little sturdier by cutting a piece of cardboard (from a pizza box maybe?) to fit the bottom and just laying it in there. Also, I might experiment with making it out of a double thickness of paper (use 4 two-page spreads – two taped together and stacked on top of two more taped together to give a double thickness). Cute idea! Thanks :)

  6. Linda Powell says

    I was going to suggest the same as Sarah, but like the ideas of the other gals also. How about a box and mod podge your favorite fabric to match the decor?
    I don’t comment much, but love this site – thanks for the many great ideas I’ve tried from here!!

  7. Sarah Wisner says

    Hi Jillee! One idea might be to use mod-podge to coat the newspaper. It would make it a bit more waterproof and one piece. Very cute project either way!

  8. Sherry says

    What a cute idea! Now I can just pop the whole works in the recycle bin when it gets tattered!

  9. Beth Coburn-Cook says

    How about wrapping up a cardboard box with the newspaper? I used to wrap up birthday presents with the comics and the kids loved it!