8 Unexpected Ways You Should Be Using Paper Plates Around Your Home

Paper plates are a welcome addition to almost any home. In fact, you probably have some in your cabinets right now. They help make clearing the table after a long night of cooking not feel like the worst thing in the world. However, paper plates can do much more than serve your favorite meals and save you dishwashing time.

These simple disposable plates also have some other cool uses around the house that you may have never even thought about, such as helping to keep your microwave clean. From the living room to your home office, your paper plates are about to get a whole lot more useful. Not only can these hacks make things more convenient for you, but they'll also give you a great way to ensure that none of your paper plates ever go to waste. Whether you're looking for creative tricks or cleaning hacks, check out some of the most unexpected ways you can use paper plates all around your home.

Turn your paper plate into the gift that keeps on giving

The stress of scrambling to find the perfect gift bag before a birthday or other important event can be overwhelming. There's nothing worse than fumbling through a closet trying to find a bag from a previous gift that you can repurpose — and finding nothing. However, you're about to learn a very cool trick that will spare you some of that anxiety while giving your present a unique flair that your loved ones won't forget.

With just a pair of scissors, a paper plate, tape, and a piece of ribbon, you can create an incredibly cute gift basket that is perfect for treats like cookies, muffins, candy, or other small items. Depending on the size and style of your plate, you'll be able to experiment with different shapes for your container. If you want to take things to another level, you can get extra creative and decorate your gift basket with string, stickers, and markers.

No dustpan? No problem!

Have you ever accidentally made a mess on the floor and grabbed a broom to sweep it up, only to realize that you can't even remember the last time you saw your dustpan? If the answer is yes, you are certainly in good company. Hopefully, however, this is something you'll never have to experience again after learning about this quick and easy paper plate hack.

All you have to do is cut a paper plate in half. You can then use the inner edge as a makeshift dustpan by sweeping debris onto it and dumping it in the trash. This is the perfect solution for small spills and quick cleanups. One of the cool things about this trick is that one plate will give you two DIY dustpans, so you'll automatically have another one for the next time you're in need. While this option is awesome in a pinch, it may not be a great long-term replacement for a traditional dustpan.

Say goodbye to hand-mixer messes

Hand mixers have certainly revolutionized the baking game. Long gone are the days of having to dig deep into your elbow grease reserves in order to whip up your favorite cake and cookie batters. But while hand mixers have made work in the kitchen much easier and faster, they can also create a lot of splatter during the mixing process. Luckily, this is yet another time when paper plates can save the day.

By cutting a hole in the center of a paper plate, you can make a splatter guard. Place the beaters in the bowl, stick the legs through the hole in the plate, and attach your hand mixer. Put the plate on top of your mixing bowl to prevent the contents from flying all over the place. In addition to helping you save on cleanup time, this method will save you some money since commercial splatter guards can cost upwards of $20.

Keep a desk clutter-free

Are you part of the majority of Americans who work a desk job? Or, do you have kids who use a desk for homework, crafts, and games? If so, you know all about the importance of keeping a desk clean and organized. What you may not know, however, is that a paper plate could be the perfect tool to help you do exactly that — and this is a great craft for children to do.

If you have two paper plates, some staples, and string, you can make a simple desk organizer that you can hang on the wall in your office. Simply cut one of your paper plates in half. Then, you'll want to line up the plates so that the insides are facing each other, which creates a pocket. Staple the plates together and attach string to the top so that you can hang your new organizer. This can be a fun project to do with your kids, and they can add their own creative touches by drawing on the plates or gluing things to them.

Protect your floors from paint

Just because you're painting the walls in your home doesn't mean that you want to do the same thing to the floors. No matter what kind of floors you have, removing paint from them can be annoying — and sometimes difficult. Fortunately, a paper plate can help ensure your next paint project doesn't end with you scrubbing on your hands and knees.

Once you open up your next can of paint, place it on top of a paper plate. This allows the plate to catch any paint that drips down the side of the container. When you're done painting, all you have to do is throw the plate out, and you're good to go. The usefulness of paper plates when it comes to paint doesn't end here, though. You can also use a paper plate as a place to put your paintbrush when you're taking breaks so that you don't accidentally get paint on anything.

Pack for your next move with a little more confidence

If you've ever moved, there's a good chance you experienced the pain of breaking a dish in the process. In fact, glassware is among the most commonly broken items during household moves. With the help of this hack, you can go through your next move with a little more peace of mind as you pack up your beloved dishes. On top of that, you won't even have to break the bank to do it. That's because paper plates can be an excellent way to give your dishes a little extra padding during a move.

When packing, place small stacks of paper plates between your plates and/or bowls. This will keep your dishes from clanking together and will hopefully reduce the chances of your items being damaged. Please note that you might still want to consider using bubble wrap or packing paper to give your belongings an even stronger layer of protection.

Get the accent wall you've been wanting

Accent walls are a popular interior design choice. However, transforming one of your walls can be an expensive process. That said, if you've been wanting an accent wall but your budget won't allow it, paper plates could be the key to finally getting the look you desire.

Measure your wall to get an idea of how many paper plates you'll need and the way you want your space to look. Get your plates together and paint them in your chosen color and pattern. Apply some glue to the inner edge of your plates and stick them to your wall. Some people may choose to apply a second layer of plates to give the accent wall an even more textured look. While gluing is fine for homeowners, those who rent may want to apply some contact paper to the wall before sticking the plates to ensure that you can remove them without causing any damage. This is a creative way to decorate your walls without using framed art.

Never run out of index cards again

Whether you're studying for a big exam, preparing for a presentation, or trying to learn a new language, index cards can come in handy in a variety of situations. At the same time, however, index cards are one of those things many people can never seem to find when they need them. However, as long as you have some paper plates at home, you will never have to worry about this problem again.

You can transform a paper plate into an index card by cutting out the center of the plate and cutting it into rectangles. The size of your plate will determine how many index cards you can make. The only downside to this method is that your index cards won't have lines on either side. If that's something you need, you can use a pen and a ruler to add lines to each of your cards by hand.