Paper Bag Floors

4 Materials
1 Week

If you are in need of new flooring but don't have much money to spend (or even if you do) then this fits the bill! I created this floor out of brown paper, Elmers glue, stain, and polyurethane. It was easy to do (albeit time-consuming) and is very durable. This room is 10 X 12 and cost about $80, but future rooms will cost about $30 since I have plenty of leftover supplies. Click through to read the tutorial:

A close up of the finished floor, it almost looks like old leather.
I did the whole 10 X 12 room for about $80, but any future room will cost about $30. That's cheap flooring!
Gluing the paper down using a 50% Elmers glue %50 water mixture. This part took forever.
Here is the paper going on, this is about 10 hours in (spread over multiple days).
Mopping on the stain.
After 12 coats of poly! I know people say this all the time, but it honestly look much better in real life. It just looks shiny in the pictures.

DIY home decor using recycled paper

Check out more ideas for DIY projects using paper here.

Suggested materials:
  • Brown Paper
  • Elmers Glue
  • Stain
See all materials
Ashley @ Wildfire Interiors
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 44 questions
  • Jamie Jamie on Feb 16, 2020

    What kind of glue, stain, poly do you use?

  • Sandra Hernandez Sandra Hernandez on May 15, 2020

    Was wondering if you could paint the brown paper, once dry glue it and poly coat. Wanted light gray look.

  • Tina Nalipinski Tina Nalipinski on Aug 18, 2020

    Could you use colored construction paper instead of paper bags

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2 of 898 comments
  • 34124293 34124293 on Sep 30, 2018

    Did this on walls once at an old residence. Didn't need but 2-3 coats of poly. Held up very well and was even washable. One note though - be absolutely sure that you get any air bubbles out when laying down your brown bag bits and make sure every tiny bit of the paper has the white glue/water mix on it. I used a large plastic spatula followed by a wood roller while it was still wet. Once this finish goes on - it's not coming off so be sure it's something you want. I've also done this on small wood box projects where I wanted a weathered leather look. Super easy to do on such small projects.

  • Junk~junkie Junk~junkie on Apr 05, 2020

    How in the world did u think of this, lol ! Way kool. I'd love to try it, I'm going to try it, just have to figure on wat.