When we bought our home, there were way more home improvement projects than we had money in the budget for. So, we lived with things until, little by little we could fix them. I hated our dining room. Gross carpet. Searching the internet one day I came across a post about paper bag floors. Thinking it couldn't be any worse than what we had, we went for it. It turned out amazing. Over 2 years later it still looks great.
Looking at the photo, you would never know it was just paper, glue and stain. It has a rich leather look and is super durable.
We used two rolls of plain brown wrapping paper, and elmer's glue. Our biggest expense was the poly since we wanted to make sure that it stayed durable.
After prepping our floor, we tore brown paper into chunks, wadded it up to break the paper fibers and the soaked it in our glue mixture. A little messy, but so worth it in the end.
Then came the creative part. We squeezed out the excess glue and smoothed the paper onto the prepared floor like a big patchwork quilt. The wrinkles in the paper and the slight finish difference between the sides of paper added to the interest.