Even More Eco-Friendly Flooring!


Previously, Chicago Handyman gave some tips on installing cork flooring, a very eco-friendly option indeed. Ready for an even cheaper, more eco-friendly flooring? Brown Paper Bags!

Sure, it sounds a little bit like a kindergarten art project, but it is actually a great floor and puts those lunch sacks to use.

To start, gather these materials:

  • Brown craft paper/brown paper bags
  • Gallon of Elmer’s Glue
  • Small bucket
  • Paint brush
  • Roller tray
  • Stain
  • Floor Grade Polyurethane
  • 3″ chip brush

While this may seem like a long list, it’s actually pretty affordable at under $100 and can be used for up to two or three rooms.


Following shopping, prepare the floors for the material. Whether this means pulling up ratty carpet or shorty wood, do so. Then sand down any high spots in the subfloor, removing nails and filling in any gaps.

Once the subfloor is prepped, begin tearing up pieces of the brown paper, separating straight edged ones from the more choppy. These pieces should be between 6″-12″ diameter and once torn, balled up and put aside until application.


With the Elmer’s Glue ready, begin to paint the first area on the floor with the glue and then put 5-6 paper balls in the glue mix. Dunk them quickly, squeeze them and set them aside until they reach the floor.

Then start laying the pieces! For a more natural look, overlap the pieces bit by bit. Make sure to watch out for tears or inconsistencies.

Finally, using an extension pole, apply the stain and poly to the new flooring. This will be the longest part of the process because both steps need ample time for drying.

When dry, this green, durable flooring will not only help the environment, but ignite dinner party conversation.


Need more details? Check out Lovely Crafty Home for a step-by-step guide.

Looking for more flooring? Call Chicago Handyman for a quote on floor installation today!