Political advertisements from a mailbox in Bangor.  Credit: Sam Schipani / BDN

Election day is fast approaching, and even if you have already voted early, your mailbox is likely still stuffed with glossy political advertisements trying to win your vote. Instead of throwing out all those flyers, you can find ways to use them around the house — or, even turn them into your next creative craft project.

Most political mail advertisements are made with glossy, colored paper, so you are not going to be able to reuse them in all the ways that you might repurpose, say, newspapers around the house. But there are other options for repurposing them.

First, though, you should know that glossy paper should not be used as pet litter or mulch, and you probably want to avoid reusing anything too colorful as makeshift toilet paper in a pinch (despite how tempting it may be at times). Though some composting experts say that a small amount of glossy paper with colored ink won’t adversely affect a compost pile, you probably want to avoid dumping all your political mail into your compost, lest the inks contain toxic materials.

However, that doesn’t mean that hope is lost when it comes to reusing paper like election mail. Glossy colored paper can be stitched (or rather, taped) together and repurposed as wrapping paper — the holiday season is coming up, after all. You can also turn glossy paper into a festive bow to top your politically-wrapped present by following this tutorial from YouTube user Joanne Victorio.

Speaking of the holidays, one of the many ways you can reduce the carbon footprint of your upcoming holiday celebrations is by upcycling decorations instead of buying new ones every year that you will throw away. Chop up all those political advertisements to use as confetti for your upcoming New Year’s Eve celebration at home (the catharsis of doing so is an added bonus). Or, if you’re feeling extra crafty, turn those using this tutorial from YouTube user Mark Montano (you can easily swap out magazine pages for political advertisements).

Your election mail can also be in a variety of crafts, like making paper beads or a glossy paper basket. Check out this DIY from Think Crafts about turning paper scraps into a decorative bowl (what a way to commemorate a crazy year). Follow this tutorial from YouTube user Green DIY 101 to turn your glossy political advertisements into cute woven coasters.

You can also try to incorporate glossy paper in plantable paper, though, trust us — that craft is trickier than it looks. Instead, perhaps turn those political advertisements into “flowers” themselves that will brighten up your house using this tutorial from YouTube user Rini Sikder.

You can even turn those political advertisements into new cards and envelopes as a fun crafts project to keep in touch with friends. Here is how to make an envelope and card from upcycled materials that you can successfully send through the mail (we know, because we tried it — though prepare for some delays).

Finding a way to repurpose the deluge of political mail you have been receiving in the past few months is a great way to celebrate the nearing of the end of this year’s election cycle. And, of course, don’t forget to vote.

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