Craft & Design

Dutch designer Mieke Meijer and design firm Vij5 created wood made from compressed newspaper.

Every day, piles of newspapers are discarded and recycled into new paper. Mieke Meijer has come up with a solution to use this surplus of paper into a renewed material. When a NewspaperWood log is cut, the layers of paper appear like lines of a wood grain or the rings of a tree and therefore resembles the asethetic of real wood. The material can be cut, milled and sanded and generally treated like any other type of wood.

[Via Atelier29. Thanks, metis!]

22 thoughts on “NewspaperWood

  1. says:

    Yeah, but what happens if it gets wet?!

  2. RocketGuy says:

    While topically interesting, it’s really frustrating to see what is essentially a marketing blurb with no actual data.

    How are they reconstituting the newspaper? There is no description of the process, so there is no way to evaluate the validity of their claims, or the quality of their statements.

    This is one of those posts where I’m wondering: “slow news day?”

    I mean, look at the recent pseudo-melamine post, that totally rocked. This, not so much.

    Is there some way to evaluate potential posts for a marketing/data ratio that’s too high? Maybe I’m just too journalistically oriented…

    And before I’m sounding totally grumpy, I look at this as a soft spot in an otherwise great blog.

    Keep up the good work guys, I’m just trying to give you useful feedback. Hope some of it is anyway.


    1. Jason says:


      I completely agree with you. The lack of information on some of these articles really annoys me (less so with Make:, but more with the people behind the stories).

      It’s a cool idea, but one that I’m certain is going through the patent process to maximize profits. Sadly, most of the time these start-ups don’t get very far because they’re so profit minded and tight lipped (Nicole Kuepper’s solar cells come to mind). I can’t say for sure (no statistics to quote here), but it seems to me that the opposite attitude would generate more success. Just my opinion.

  3. John Baichtal says:

    So unless all information is revealed, you’re not interested? Maybe instead of waxing negative, why not focus on what’s interesting about the piece?

    1. RocketGuy says:

      I don’t need *everything* revealed, but this has *nothing* revealed. “we’re doing this cool sounding thing, someday, possibly” is basically the sum total information in this post.

      I don’t know why this stuck in my craw, but from time to time there are posts like this which IMHO, don’t measure up to the Make Blog’s worth.

      Maybe it’s the marketing crap, or the overpromise/underdeliver syndrome we see so frequently with online businesses trying to generate buzz.

      I was raised by an editor, so I’m thinking in journalistic terms more about the Make Blog than this specific post, which I’m using as an example of what I would like to see less of.

      Of course I forgot to actually say that. Well, I never said I was a good writer…

      And the counterpoint can be made that if we start filtering on xyz criteria, we can side into not seeing things we should. So I suppose I’ll shut up now, given that there is no good answer other than to just skip over the posts we don’t like.

      If a Make Editor reads this, just take the feedback “posts with no information or substance are beneath your dignity” and have a great day. Seriously, have a good day, this is a nit pick, and I know it.


      1. shing says:

        I think a lot of this sentiment also comes from the fact that the audience of this blog will tend to be curious about HOW things are made beyond just “this is cool”. I don’t really mind if the Make post doesn’t have all that much info as long as the information is linked or otherwise fairly easily found(in this case, there’s not really any info to be found…).

        In this specific instance, I think a bit more detail on the manufacturing process could lead to a fascinating discussion on what “eco friendly” really means.

  4. Steph Walker says:

    The idea is good, but what sort of adhesives keep this together? If they’re focusing on sustainability, certain types of glue are toxic. I would rather have kept this as newspaper and let it decompose, than create something from newspaper that won’t biodegrade.

  5. Alan says:

    Focusing on the positive, this is cool-looking stuff that could be used to build things, and is therefore entirely appropriate for the Make blog. Good job on the posting. Sure, it’s annoying that the manufacturer isn’t offering any details, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth mentioning. Heck, you could consider the lack of information as a challenge. Grab yourself a stack of newspapers and see if you can figure out how to make a similar product, then put the details online and alert the Make staff. I bet they’d give you a link for your efforts.

    On a separate note, I had to chuckle at the idea of newspapers as a “renewable” resource. Has nobody noticed what’s been happening in the print journalism business over the past few years? Newspapers are becoming about as renewable as slide rules.

  6. Tim says:

    Interesting, it might be like a room temperature version of mythbuster pykrete.

  7. Colecoman1982 says:

    It’d be interesting to think up ways to reverse engineer this (or something that produces the same effect). With the right stain, you could, potentially, produce something that looks, exactly, like real wood from a moderate distance (and surprises people when they take a closer look).. I think it would be an awesome effect to use this as, either, a veneer for some furniture or as building material for something that doesn’t need much structural strength (i.e. isn’t going to be supporting your weight). Getting the visual effect shouldn’t be impossible, but getting decent structural strength at the same time might prove to be little harder.

  8. JAGAK says:

    Behold fellow readers of makezine, the power of the interwebs. A couple of knife makin dudes posted something quite similar using denim to make knife handles and they didn’t skimp on the details at all. I reckon using the same process you could use newspaper or whatever material you wanted.

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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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