Years ago, I saw a technique on a television show in which a homeowner used ripped paper bags as a floor covering. I remember looking for examples on-line but couldn't find any, until now. Gwynne and Michael used such a technique to cover
a drafty pine-plank floor in a back room of their 1793 "honeymoon" Cape.
They opted to use contractor's paper, which is heavier than paper bags to create 'stones' that they glued into place using a 50/50 mixture of water and Elmer's white glue. A few coats of Rust-Oleum's Verathane Diamond Floor Finish over the paper stones finished it up. To get a 'mottled' effect, I'm thinking you could even stain the paper.
In all, the project cost about $100 bucks. Evidently, caring for the floor couldn't be easier and, according to Gwynne, it feels lovely to walk upon. Soft against bare tootsies! Read more about the project after this jump.
If a floor seems a bit ambitious, how about trying something smaller first? A stool seat, perhaps? Here's a tutorial that explains how to do it, using the very same techniques it will take to do a floor.