Question: What to do with old stationary?

Y’all, I could sure use some help on this one…
As mentioned earlier, my office is moving. This leaves me with access to hundreds of pounds of old letterhead, envelopes, business cards, brochures, etc. When I say old, I don’t mean vintage, I mean it’s no longer current. It’s not cool and weathered looking what-so-ever. Some of it will be used, but most of it will end up as scratch paper or in the recycle bin. This annoys me to no end! I was positive google would lead me to something to do with all this wonderful paper, but after hours of research, Iā€™m coming up empty handed. Surprising, right? I even called a couple local children’s charities to see if they would want the letterhead for doodle paper (apparently not). Anyone out there have any good ideas that would capitalize on large quantities of paper?   Most of the items are printed with blue/green/brown colors on decent quality white paper.  Sometimes card stock, sometimes not. It varies.
This really shouldn’t be that hard, but man, I am coming up flat! Any ideas out there? Would really love to hear what you think.
Many thanks in advance!


  1. says

    I wish I had a solution. I brought a bunch home for my kids to use for their drawings. They love it. My husband and I also use the wrong side to print out documents at home–like directions or plane tickets, etc.

    Hope people come up with something interesting. I have a ton at my office too.

  2. says

    This idea really doesn’t help inspire your art (sorry!), but you should check out Goods 4 Good ( They specialize in taking excess office supplies from companies (often pens and papers with old addresses or logos) and send them to schools and community centers that struggle to afford classroom supplies in the developing world. Its a great organization and it would be a good way to share your excess letterhead.

    Also, I love your blog and am so excited to try out the coffee filter bouquet this weekend! Thanks!

  3. Anonymous says

    What about shredding the paper and mixing into resin or concrete for countertops and floors and such? Or there is always paper mache!

  4. says

    I know you checked with children’s charities, but have you checked with teachers? As a first grade teacher I often recycle such items by placing them in my writing center. The kids love it when there is a variety of paper to choose from!

  5. says

    You could take some to a mom & pop print shop and ask them to cut off the printed areas (with the guillotine) and then glue the rest with padding glue to create pads of paper! Or buy some padding glue yourself, create some awesome covers, and when you glue everything use a ribbon or fabric to create a “spine” and make blank books.

  6. says

    THANK YOU for all these fantastic ideas! I will look into other ways to use the letterhead for scratch paper/books pads. And TaraNova –I love that envelope link from How About Orange (love the whole site!)
    Also, thanks Allison for the info! I will look into seeing if we have extra supplies, I know it comes up through out the year, and I love the concept.
    And thanks to everyone for helping! I will be sure to let you know how things come out šŸ™‚

  7. says

    Does it have correct informatio at the top or bottom?– when I lived in England, people would always include a ‘With regards’ or some other nicety slip of paper. It was generally as wide as the rest of the packet of paper, but was only about 1/3 of a sheet of paper — they could paper clip it to the front of other papers…it is just enough to write a nice little one line msg to include with other information (brochures, samples, etc.)

    Also — I send mailings that are 8 x 8 – the size of my brochure — maybe you can cut it down and still use it creatively on a different (and more interestingly arty) mailing. the funky mailing size cost more to mail, but is certainly more eye catching and memorable.

  8. says

    oh — or maybe one more idea….itake the part that has the wrong address…maybe you can cut it down — and print the new address on it….and say something like ‘old address…new address’…then you get rid of some of it as a change of address card…

  9. says

    I second the notion of a school( or after/day care) as a teacher I NEVER turn down paper, as an artist I always take cardstock. A few calls & you should be able to find someone to use it.

  10. says

    Oh, this reminds me so much of when my kiddos were 5 and under… you should have seen the drawings that came home with them from Montessori — where recycling is King! lol. Old blue prints, topographical maps, the green-and-white computer print out sheets, other kids’ drawings, newspaper, etc. and ad infinitum! Good memories, thank you! Hope all your paper finds a home.

  11. says

    My son gets allergy shots once a week and he loves to draw on scrap paper there. They run out quickly!

    I have another son in preschool. He loves to draw pictures and then put them in envelopes and bring them home.

    You could turn your business cards over and use them for scrap paper when you need to jot down a note at work.

    Good luck finding a home for all the paper!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *