Paper Bag Floor

4 Materials
15 Hours

I always wanted to do a paper bag floor so I did! In this case I did it with brown craft paper. There are so many craft papers to choose from you could do anything!

paper bag floor

10 x 10 spare bedroom. Old packed-down carpet. I cut the carpet with a utility knife into 3 ft wide strips, rolled it up and packed it out. Removing the carpet tack strips took a while. I then filled the nail holes with Quick Crete Concrete Patch. Once dried I gave it a light sand. Quick Crete Concrete Patch was $7.20 and I used about 1/2 of the 2 lb bag

paper bag floor

Time to crumple paper! I bought 2 rolls of craft paper from Michael's. They had various weights so I choose a middle weight one. My thoughts were the paper being a bit heavier would cover imperfections in the concrete and it did that well. Each roll was 85 sq ft. With over lapping as you glue down I had just enough for my 10 x 10 room(100 sq ft). I crumpled in the evening watching TV. I highly recommend you separate the straight edge pieces from the rest as these work well along the baseboards. Each piece of torn paper was approx 1 foot square. If the pieces were bigger, I found it hard to smooth out when wet with glue. Each roll was $6.99

paper bag floor

White school glue. 1 gallon did my 10 x 10 room. Mix it 1 to 1 with water. 1 gallon was $29.00

paper bag floor

Time to start gluing! Make sure you vacuum well then vacuum again. Any little bumps will show. I did sand a couple of rough spots. I let each piece of crumpled paper soak in the 1 to 1 glue/water mix for 2-3 minutes. I would toss in 3-4 pieces at once. I mix 4 c water to 4 c glue each time. I worked on this for a couple of hours each night - total of about 10 - 12 hrs. I tried wearing gloves but they only filled with glue lol. If you let the paper soak too long, it is like trying to un-crumple a wet tissue - not good. Smooth the wet paper down thoroughly. Makes sure you get out any air bubbles and wrinkles.

paper bag floor

This is the floor done. The pattern looks like suede almost. You can see the different shades in the crinkled parts nicely. This picture does not do it justice!

paper bag floor

Here is the finished floor! I used a high gloss polyurethane - 5 coats out of one gallon. I just rolled it on with a paint roller on a broom stick. The big spot is the sun shining on it and shows how shiny it is!

I love it!!

paper bag floor

One gallon was $19.50 and did 5 coats

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 16 questions
  • Ven1286183
    on Aug 3, 2018

    Can this flooring be steamed mopped without getting tacky/ sticky? I am gonna do this project for sure.

    is there a different polyurethane I should use for the bathroom n kitchen?

    • I have mopped mine a few times and it's been fine. I have not steamed it though so can't say for sure. I would ask at the store when you buy the polyurethane if one is better for a bathroom / kitchen. Maybe an outdoor one might be better but again I would ask an expert

  • Sylvia
    on Sep 2, 2018

    How resilient is this floor? Can you drag furniture on it? What if you spill coffee?

    What do you mop it with?

    • Hi Sylvia

      The floor has stood up to the dog and normal traffic very well. I have not dragged furniture over it but is standing up well to furniture sitting on it. I thought that if it started to show wear in the doorway I would be able to add another coat of polyurethane at a later date

  • Jill
    on Dec 6, 2018

    On Amazon there are Elmer's glues with different numbers, which one did you use and do you know what the numbers represent? I have looked online with no luck.

    Thank you for this great idea!!! We are going to pull the carpet from our living room and need something affordable and durable. We raise English Springer Spaniel pups and they spend the first 8 weeks solely in our livingroom and kitchen.

    Then they can go outside for potty breaks. But at this point our carpet is worn out.

    Thank you again for this brilliant idea.

    • Hi Jill

      I can't find a number on the Elmer's School Glue that I have so I am not sure what they mean. The gallon ones that I have for my next room have only the ounces on them as well as litres. You will love it. It has been 5 months since I did mine, still love it and I can't wait to do another room! This time I am going to incorporate some real dried leaves and see what happens. I collected lots this fall and have left them to dry in books.

Join the conversation

2 of 32 comments
  • Jean C Andrews
    on Aug 7, 2018

    I am going to try this project! Will save a lot of money doing the floor myself! I had a floor put down in my kitchen and it cost over $5oo!

  • Rob12794098
    on Aug 21, 2018

    Oh my soul! I LOVE this look and am going to do this to my basement floor! (We ripped out the tile on the concrete floor 20 years ago and have never gotten around to doing anything else! Can't wait!) Thank you for sharing!

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