For a few recent household projects, I’ve needed sandpaper but have been loath to go out and buy such a specialized item. I had planned to borrow some, but then I thought, could I make recycled homemade sandpaper?

I started with sand from my dad’s art project – in this case colored purple, and fine grained

(I have different colors so I could make a whole series of these! but all the same grain…)

For the paper, I used the inside of a unneeded paperboard medicine carton

Next, I used elmer’s glue (in the future, I could try with the wheat paste I made – more on that later).

I made two versions – sparse (on the left) and dense.

Here are the instructions:

But it’s simple – cover your work surface first unless you want sand everywhere:

  • brush glue over the paper (go to the edges for full coverage)
  • sprinkle sand on top to cover at the density you like
  • shake off any excess to reuse
  • let dry and cut edges stright

Also, those cut off edges where sand and glue got on are useful in small spaces.

It works! I tried on a sticky door as well as a cabinet corner we are always scraping elbows against.

I will store in this a clear sleeve (from some old papers i finally recycled) to contain any loosened sand.

The link above has some great info. For example, further down are various alternatives to sandpaper, which are surprising! They include pumice stone, emery boards, steel wool, knife sharpeners (wonder if a knife steel would work?), even scrub pads…

It also has some interesting facts about what sandpaper is made of (not sand!)

Also on the page: how to reuse laminated paper – as a dry erase board! or to cover a table when painting etc. (I have some preschool placemats I might use for some of these purposes!)

It’s fun to see what can be made, again, with what we already have.

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