How can I reuse or recycle old laminated posters?

laminated postersWe’ve had a message on our Suggestions page from Ruti (who, incidentallty, have left hundreds of useful ideas all over the site over the last few days – thanks Ruti!):

What to do with laminated signs? I work in a 6th form College and various signs etc. are produced as A3 or A4 and laminated. However, eventually some details become out of date.

What could I do with these? there are only so many placemats / craft messy mats anyone could need!

For some reason, I can’t think of anything other than using white ones to make snowflake decorations – but the end of January is possibly a bit late for that type of thing.

So any other suggestions?

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16 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle old laminated posters?”

  1. Lynsey says:

    How about bending them (possibly with an iron with a tea towel underneath) to make envelope shapes and then sew up the sides – instant folders!! Or you could use them as envelopes? I make them from normal recyclable paper like old books and think that they would be great!

  2. jenn says:

    Try making your own notebooks/journals using these as the covers and backs. These would also make great tabbed dividers for binders. Also try drawer liners, cut in strips and weave to make placemats or coasters, bookmarks, and totes. Endless possibilities.

  3. Rebekah says:

    The ones with a white back can just be flipped over to make a good markerboard-just use dry erase markets to leave notes, reminders, draw a calendar, etc. It could even be framed if you wanted to make it look really nice.

    • Ruti says:

      We tried the whiteboard thing today, but these are matt, not glossy laminated. I am sure it would work with glossy.

  4. Crissy says:

    Cut them into strips and use as bookmarks. I do this with children’s plastic school folders too. If you have too many, give them to your local school library; they always need bookmarks.

  5. Katep says:

    Some well known household “solution” stores sell “drawer tidies” which are basically pieces of stiffened card or plastic stuck together to make pockets to keep socks etc. separate. You could cut up and staple together your laminated sheets and make yourself some drawer tidies – also useful maybe in the garden in seed trays – diy – nails and screws and thingamy bobs!!

  6. ecomonster says:

    i used old posters as gift wrapping paper:

    i guess it’ll be harder to crease since yours are laminated…

  7. Jan Barker says:

    You could turn them into reusable envelopes or wallets using an (opened up) envelope as a template.

    Trace around the envelope.
    Cut out.
    Fold at the seams.
    Use Velcro to fasten (if you are making a purse/wallet) or double-sided sticky tape if you are using a waterproof-reusable envelope.

  8. Jan Barker says:


    Cut into triangle, pennant shapes. Punch holes in the top and thread with string or florists ribbon if you want it to be bright and waterproof.

    Mix up your pennants so the patterns are random for a shabby chic look. Beautiful!

  9. Ruti says:

    We have figured we could re-use them in the office to send out certificates with (so they don’t bend), but I’m feeling a bit more creative. Can anyone think of some weaving or anything?

    love Ruti

  10. Vickie says:

    I bet a few teachers would love them to help brighten up their classrooms. I’m a teacher and sometimes use beautiful pictures as writing cues to give my students ideas for writing. For children who haven’t had the pleasure of traveling, this lets them see that there are other places in the world to explore and dream about.

    • Dan says:

      I think she means that the posters have details and information on them. Hence the ‘However, eventually some details become out of date.’ I doubt you can have an out-of-date Grand Canyon ;]

      My suggestion is cut them in to strips and get weaving

  11. Ruti says:

    lol !
    – had an idea of using them for various templates – they work much better than card ones. I’m very upfor the weaving – just not sure how to make something desireable out of it. : )

  12. As with projector transparencies, I would make these into trays and lidded boxes by measuring and folding up the sides, stapling the corners together (glue may not work for slick surfaces like this) and putting a strip of masking tape over the open/sharp ends of the staples. To make a lid, make the sides 2-3 mm narrower, so the inside surface will be wider and longer than the tray that is intended as the bottom half.
    Uses for the trays/boxes:
    1. As storage solutions
    2. To hold keys and pens on tables and desks
    3. As drawer dividers and sorting trays.
    4. To hold nutshells in before transporting them out to the compost heap. Works better than a sheet of paper because a tray would keep the lighter bits from getting airborne.
    5. As pantry trays: Place a mug or saucerless cup on one end and pile your biscuits on the other end. No crumbs, no mess, just wipe clean when you are done.

  13. Uluska says:

    Spray paint them and devise a curtain out of several posters, connecting with ribbons or rings.

  14. Derek Gooch says:

    This an issue for me on regard to our church information posters.

    What I am experimenting with is producing an A3 laminated sheet as a template with an (approx) A4 sized cut on the middle that when it has gone through the laminator is clear plastic.

    A4 sheets can the me attached behind the view hole with (say) Velcro. This can the be renewed s as required. Seems to work – now to try it in a frame outside.

    Not a perfect solution but might help.

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