Tagged Newspapers

How To Make a Newspaper Pot Holder

Hot Dish! The Newspaper Makes a Great Trivet

Once the paper is hot off the presses, use it to cool down your pots.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Christy Harmon

  • Feb. 20, 2021, 10:00 p.m. ET

Most people are doing a lot of cooking at home right now. These short cold days are the ideal time to enjoy steaming soup, warm roasted veggies and toasty bowls of comforting pasta. Newspaper is a good insulator, so why not turn it into a useful item that will protect your table from scorching dishes? (The reader Rhonda Fadum from Boulder, Colo., suggested this idea for a newspaper craft activity.)

Making these easy trivets is not only a fun activity for the afternoon, but it will also provide a tablescape conversation starter for months to come. Try the square version shown below, or get creative and make your own design.

Materials

  • Nine single pages of newspaper

  • Scissors

  • Bamboo skewer

  • White glue

  • Thin kitchen twine

  • Sewing needle with a large eye

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 1

Roll a full page of newspaper diagonally around a bamboo skewer from one corner to the other creating a long tube.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 2

When almost finished rolling the tube, line the remaining paper with white glue and continue rolling until there is no excess paper. Wipe off any extra glue and remove the bamboo skewer. Repeat 8 more times so you have nine tubes.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 3

Working with one tube at a time, roll one end tightly until it’s about the size of a dime. Keep rolling the tube, but begin forming 90-degree angles at the corners to create a rectangle.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 4

Continue wrapping the tube tightly, squeezing into a rectangle as you go. Place glue on the end of the tube and wrap the rest of the way around, holding for a few seconds until it’s secure. Set aside to dry.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 5

Repeat with the other tubes, creating nine rectangular newspaper pods.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 6

Cut off approximately 18 inches of twine and thread your needle. Start with two pods; beginning underneath one pod and leaving an eight inch tail of twine, bring your needle up between the second and third rows from the outside.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 7

Bring the needle down through the same spot in the second pod. Gently pull the thread to tighten and repeat the stitch a second time to secure.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 8

With the bottom of the pods facing up, twist the thread once and turn it perpendicular to your previous stitch.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 9

Wrap both strings around the front and then to the back again, much like you’d wrap a present with a ribbon. Tie a double knot and trim any excess string.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 10

Use the same process to attach a third pod. This is one row of the trivet.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 11

Repeat until you have three rows with three pods each.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 12

Secure the three rows together with the same stitch and wrap technique. Now you’re ready for a hot pot.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Make a Finger Trap From Newspaper

Your Fingers Go In and They Can’t Get Out, Homemade Version

Weave a classic gag from newspaper, then find someone to fool.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Christy Harmon

  • Jan. 23, 2021

If you’re not familiar with a finger trap, it’s traditionally a tube woven from bamboo that “traps” the fingers of an unsuspecting person who places them inside. While the origins of the finger trap are debatable, the simplicity and joy of one never gets old.

Weaving strips of newspaper in a circular shape creates this classic gag puzzle. The basic over-under pattern is the same one used to weave a basket or a place mat, but you will be weaving in the round.

Creating this simple practical joke will test your dexterity, and maybe bring some giggles to your weekend. For an extra challenge, find different colors in the paper to weave with.

Materials:

  • Two pages of newsprint: one mostly color, one mostly text

  • Ruler

  • Scissors

  • Tape

  • Two paper clips

  • White glue

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 1

Start with two pages of newsprint and fold each in half along the horizontal fold. Weaving the finger trap will be much easier if one of the sheets of paper is a solid color and the other one is mostly text.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 2

Using a ruler, measure and cut one 1.5-centimeter-wide strip off each page. Make sure to keep the strips even in width for their entire length.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 3

Cut both strips you just made in half at the fold. You should now have four strips, two mostly newsprint and two solid color. Moving forward these will be your “text” and “color” strips.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 4

Make two “v” shapes with the text strips on the left, and the color strips on the right and glue the ends together to form a clean point with the edges. On one “v” the color strip should be on top, and on the other the text strip should be. Set aside to dry.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 5

Use the leftover newsprint from one of the pages to roll a small tube. The tube needs to be a bit smaller than your index finger for the finger trap to work. Tape each end and the seam to secure the tube.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 6

Paper clip one of the “v’s” to the end of the tube with the point facing up, then do the same with the second “v” on the opposite side.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 7

To make the finger trap, you’ll weave your four strips together in a circular pattern. Start by crossing the color strip over the text strip on one side.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 8

Turn the tube slightly clockwise and wrap the text strip on the right under the color strip to its left, and over the lower color strip. Continue working around the tube with the over-under pattern, being careful to keep the strips flat against the tube and pulled tight.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 9

If you’re doing it right, a diamond pattern will emerge, without space between the strips. Keep turning the tube and weaving around it. Continue the over-under pattern until you get to the bottom of the strips.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 10

Glue the ends together where they meet in the same “v” shape as the top and let them dry. The ends should be woven as tightly as the barrel of the finger trap or it won’t work.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 11

Remove the paper clips and gently pull out the tube. Trim the excess paper at the bottom of the finger trap, leaving a “v” at each end.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Step 12

To use the finger trap, place your pointer fingers as far into the tube as possible on each side and carefully pull apart (or better yet, have an unsuspecting friend or family member do that). If the trap doesn’t work, it may be because the strips are not tight enough or because the ends are looser than the barrel of the trap. Try again. For an extra challenge, find different colors in the paper to weave with.

How to Build a Geodesic Dome

Don’t Just Read the News, Build With It

Roll up your Sunday paper and create your own geodesic dome.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times
Christy Harmon

  • Dec. 19, 2020, 10:41 p.m. ET

You’re barreling toward cold, dark days filled with nothing to do, which means now is the perfect time to spend those hours building your own geodesic dome to hide — um, play — in.

Adapted from Nomad Press’s “Amazing Math Projects You Can Build Yourself” by Lazlo C. Bardos, this dome is an elegant structure that lets you channel your inner Walther Bauersfeld, while building with the very newspaper you are reading.

Throw a sheet over the top and you’ve got a perfect hide-out for hours of play or some much needed alone time.

Materials

  • Full double-page sheets of newspaper

  • Bamboo or metal skewer, if you have one

  • Strong tape, preferably duct tape or gaffers tape

  • Scissors

Credit…T.M. Detwiler

Step 1

Roll a double-page sheet of newspaper from corner to corner around a skewer to help get a tight roll. After a few turns, remove the skewer and continue rolling as tightly as possible.

Credit…T.M. Detwiler

Step 2

Once rolled to the end, tape down the remaining flap. This is your first strut. You’ll need to make a total of 65 struts of two lengths: 35 at 21 inches long, and 30 at 18 1/2 inches. Before cutting, your strut will be about 30 inches.

Credit…T.M. Detwiler

Step 3

Once all 65 struts are rolled, trim them to the required lengths. When trimming, cut from each end to ensure you’re using the strongest middle part of the strut.

Credit…T.M. Detwiler

Step 4

Place 10 of the long struts on the floor with the ends touching, to create a decagon.

Credit…T.M. Detwiler

Step 5

Inside the decagon, use two short struts to make a triangle with one of the longer struts in the perimeter as its base.

Credit…T.M. Detwiler

Step 6

Now use two long struts to create a triangle the same way next to that. Repeat the small and large triangle alternating pattern all the way around.

Credit…T.M. Detwiler

Step 7

Tape the ends together where the struts meet, creating joints.

Credit…T.M. Detwiler

Step 8

Tape 10 short struts to the triangle tops, making another decagon. Whenever you add a round of struts, secure them with tape.

As your structure rises, it may be wobbly. Don’t worry, it will be flimsy until the last piece has been added.

Credit…T.M. Detwiler

Step 9

Place a short strut facing inward at every other joint (five total).

Credit…T.M. Detwiler

Step 10

Using long struts, connect the base of the innermost decagon with the tips of the small struts you just added, creating a star pattern.

Credit…T.M. Detwiler

Step 11

Use five long struts to connect the bases of the triangles you have just created and make a smaller pentagon.

Credit…T.M. Detwiler

Step 12

Finish by placing a short strut at each joint pointing inward and securing the ends together in the center. Climb in and enjoy.

Credit…Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

Make a Poem From Newspaper

Imitation is the best kind of flattery. All creative people, whether they be writers, artists, dancers, singers or actors, know that. Think about the performers on a TV show like “The Voice,” who sometimes perform the song of a judge they are targeting. Sometimes, it is imitation that gets them on the team of their dreams. It is the same with poetry.

Once you decide to write a poem, it often feels as if you are on a quest for the perfect word, the perfect image, or the perfect idea. In many ways a poem is a treasure and the writing of a poem is a dangerous treasure hunt. You never know what you might happen upon once you start writing.

Let’s take a look at a kind of poem called the cento. Cento is a 16th-century Latin word, meaning “patchwork.” A cento is crafted from “stolen” or found sources. Each line in a cento is taken from a source and putting these lines together weaves them into a patchwork of lines.

Many people think of the cento as a sort of “collage-poem.” A collage is made by combining images, texts and textures of different mediums and sizes. Similarly, a cento is created by patching together many found lines to create a poem.

Of course, stealing is terrible and every artist must give credit where credit is due, so at the bottom of every cento is a note where the writer lists the names of his or her source texts in the order that they appear in the lines of the poem.

For your cento, you will be using the At Home section to create a poem of five to seven lines. Your lines can be phrases from articles, headlines, quotes or even photo captions. To cut and paste your cento, follow the steps below.

The hunt

Hunt, or skim through the paper for lines that speak to you. Maybe your eye will settle on a sentence that uses interesting language, like a vibrant verb or a compelling adjective; maybe you will find a sentence that includes a description of an image you admire, or maybe you will find a line that refers to something that resonates with you, like a mention of a season, a color or an emotion. Keep hunting for your treasured lines. You may already have a topic in mind, or your topic may come to you once you have your lines cut out and you really examine them.

Keep track

Though this poem will be your own creation, the lines are not. Take out a piece of paper, or you can use a laptop or phone and write each line down and then write down the author of the article that line came from. You will need this later.

Thieve (or Cut)

If you are working from the print newspaper, cut out the lines you have found and place them on a flat surface. Or copy them to a document on your phone.

Connect

Look at your individual lines and start playing around with their order, as you stretch them out like snippets of yarn on a table or floor. Could one line jump off another? If so, put that pair to the side. Keep finding connections. Imagine these stolen lines to be threads you are weaving together in meaning, image or emotion.

Layout

Once you have laid out your lines, think about how to put them together. If you are still deciding what your poem is about, perhaps focus on an emotion, a place or an image. Your topic is up to you. Let these borrowed words spark something creative inside you.

When you’re ready, decide what line you want to start with and what line you want to end with. Laying these lines out as a frame will get you motivated. Then, start laying out your other lines. If something seems wrong, move it around, or cut it. You may even want to look for another line to substitute for it.

Paste

Paste your lines on paper or on a document, and you have your cento. Make sure to carefully write out, or type your sources.

Congratulations. You have now written a cento with the generous help of others!

Sources for Leah Umansky’s cento, drawn from the Nov. 8 issue of At Home: At Home cover, Courtney Rubin, Anna Goldfarb, Tara Parker-Pope, Joseph Burns, Anna Goldfarb, Anna Goldfarb