How to upcycle your used newspapers through block printing |07 July 2021
Seychelles NATION recently saw an interesting concept being put into practice – a video demonstrating a fun way to create gift wraps at home using upcycled newspapers.
Seeing the benefits of this sustainable practice for our environment, Seychelles NATION contacted the creator of the video, Pooja Gokul, to specially request a tutorial for our newspaper readers and anyone who has stacks of old papers.
Pooja suggests that this could even be a fun, creative and educational activity that can be done in schools and at home with children.
Pooja is a Fine Arts graduate, an Art Educator and founder of Amoha Prints – a Hand Block Printing company based in Bangalore. She has a strong connection to Seychelles as she is married to native Seychellois, Rishabh Jivan.
“It was two months ago that I was requested by a sustainable brand in Bangalore to come up with an idea of upcycling art,” says Pooja.
She explains that to upcycle is to reuse discarded objects or material in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original, like we have tried to do with the block printing newspaper.
Following this request, Pooja had the idea of block printing on newspaper and did an Instagram live with this idea.
“Since then, a number of people have contacted me to order this gift-wrapping paper. We received our first order for a birthday party of a 10-year-old in Mumbai, whose mother had seen my live and wanted me to customise our block printing kits, and wrap them up with block printed newspaper. We have been doing this for a number of parties since then.”
Steps for creating a gift wrap using upcycled newsaper
- Take a double sheet of newspaper which has mostly text and less pictures.
- Paint it with yellow and green acrylic colours (Fig. 1
- After it is completely dry, create ‘criss cross’ lines on it using an ice-cream stick. Use a dark colour like black or brown to print (Fig. 2)
- After it is dry, you can use it as a gift wrap!Pooja tells us that she wrapped a jar of homemade treats using her upcycled newspaper for a friend, and the final product can be seen in the photos labeled Fig. 3..
“My friend was really surprised,” shares Pooja, “and this made her feel so special because when it is handmade, it really shows you care.”
While talking about the benefits of upcyling, Pooja says that some people might ask what is wrong with the old method of gift wrapping.
She explains that for one, we are not doing anything for ourselves or for the environment, but rather adding to the plastic and carbon footprint.
“Upcycling minimises the volume of discarded materials and waste being sent to the landfill every year; it also reduces the need for production using new, raw materials.
“Small and mindful changes like these can make a big difference to our planet. Sustainability is something we have embraced and would like you to try it too.”
For more of such interesting ideas, follow Pooja on Instagram and Facebook: @amohaprints and visit her website: www.amohaprints.com
Photo sources: Pooja Gokul