How can I reuse or recycle worn out sandpaper?

sandpaper.jpgWe’ve had an email from Jack:

Probably a long shot but i was wondering if anybody could think of any uses for old bits of worn-out sandpaper (i.e. once that have passed their optimum sanding potential). I’m a carpenter and go through loads of the stuff!

A good question and for once I’m completely stumped – I can’t think of anything. Recycling is probably a troublesome too.

Any suggestions?

(Photo by Simon Eugster)

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16 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle worn out sandpaper?”

  1. Denyerec says:

    If the edge has gone off it but it’s not down to the paper backing, it might be useful for finish sanding?

  2. Ever thought of printing on it to make labels with a rustic feel. Could make wooden block and ink them up.

  3. tina says:

    you can wrap them around two pieces of scrap wood and make sandpaper blocks–they are rubbed together to make a children’s rhythm instrument.

    Also for the kids–sandpaper letters are used in Montessori classrooms. They are just what they sound like–letters cut out of sandpaper and mounted on cards. The kids trace them with their fingers as a step toward writing them:

    You could also cut out shapes from used sandpaper and put them under a sheet of paper for kids to do crayon rubbings on.

  4. Peg says:

    I have cut the edges off (that were once clipped onto the sander). I cut the edges 3/8″ wide and folded in half, length wise. Then used an old worn out scroll saw blade and glued that to the back of the sandpaper. Think of bread folded over into a half-sandwich. (I think you could use popcicle sticks cut in half lengthwise.) I made sure the cutting edge of the saw blade was facing the fold. The next day, I found my DH using them to get into tiny places that needed sanding. When I was doing some scroll saw work, I would put this sandpaper covered blade into my scroll saw, turned it on, and had an “electric sander.” All I had to do was guide my wood pieces where they need to be sanded.

  5. Karmae says:

    They make a wonderful canvas for painting on. The texture really works in your favour!

  6. Timecop says:

    Print out your company/personal info and cut into business cards.

  7. Jimbo says:

    Sharpen scissors by chopping the sandpaper. Fine sandpaper works best on small scissors and course on large. This is not a joke! Try it on your “worst” pair in the second drawer.

  8. Ryan says:

    Glue them down on slippery walkways or steps. Seal it if it is going to be outdoors.

  9. Andrew Walker says:

    Stick it on the bottom of your shoes for X-TRA Traction!

    You can also collect the grains of sand for use in a childs sand pit.

    If you have some matches of the non-safety variety you can use the paper for lighting them.

  10. joan schliker says:

    get the hard skin off your heels

  11. adrian says:

    compost them

  12. Ashleigh says:

    You can take a large rubber eraser and rub it on the grit of the sandpaper, and it actually cleans the gunk out of it, so you can reuse the sandpaper for its intended purpose!

  13. Galina says:

    Glue pieces of used sand paper on a papie mache sculpture and paint. It will look as if made of sand.

  14. Suzanne Siegel says:

    please send old and well worn sandpaper to me! i use it in collage – will pay for usable pieces, and reimburse for postage. email me if you are interested. I especially want reds, blacks, and other colors – thanks!!

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