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Top Ten Things to Make With Old Magazines

written by: Atula Gupta•edited by: Tania Cowling•updated: 5/25/2011

Here is a quick to-do list for all those who want to keep old magazines from being dumped into the garbage bin and instead make something useful and eco-friendly out of them. Read on for the ten best things you can make with old magazines.

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    New Ideas with Old Magazines

    While it feels great to flip through the pages of a brand new magazine and read all that is in-store, the same magazine after a week, month or a year just becomes part of an ever growing pile, ready to be disposed in a garage sale, donated to a library or simply thrown away.orphanjones 

    But if the stack is already there, it is in fact a very good idea to create something unique and handy around the home with those thick, glossy, colorful pages. From wrappers to dollhouses, the choices are unlimited for an eco-conscious citizen of the world.

    Here are the top ten things you can make with old magazines:

    1. Book Holders – To keep your books from toppling down repeatedly when kept on the study table, just pick around ten or more of old magazines and stick them together with a hardy PVA glue binding all the pages. The hardened magazines become book holders you can keep on both ends of a row of books and prevent them from falling. You can even color the hardened old magazine book holder to make it look more attractive. When making this project use as many magazines as you desire - the number makes no difference.
    2. Scrapbook Cook Book - Many women’s magazines have a regular section of cool recipes that you can try at home. But what usually happens is that by the time you feel like trying out a particular recipe, the magazine in which it was featured is lost in the pile. To keep the recipes handy, just tear out the favorite recipe pages from old magazines, insert them in plastic page protectors and place them in notebooks. You can have separate notebooks for separate categories like desserts, cakes, soups, starters etc. You will have your personal cookbook, without spending big money on store-bought expensive cookbooks that have recipes you may not even try and make.
    3. Gift wrappers – Flip through the pages of a magazine and you will find many pages that would make a perfect gift wrapper for various occasions. Like a colorful page full of balloon images can make a wrapper for a small birthday gift. A glossy image of a person at work can be used to wrap a gift for an office colleague. These personalized wrappers will add more value to the gift and look different too.
    4. Magazine Reed Photo Frame –Once you understand the trick of making reeds out of magazine pages, there are a number of items you can create from these sturdy paper sticks. To start, tear pages from a magazine and use a thin bamboo skewer to roll the page on it. Glue the end and let it dry; use the same method to create a number of sticks. Now revamp an old wooden photo frame by simply gluing the magazine reeds onto the frame. It looks colorful, strong, and made from a recycled item.
    5. Magazine Beads – This is a simple variation to the reeds. Tear out magazine pages and cut them first into the shape of a triangle. Now choose which side will be the front and keep it facing down. Spread glue on the other side and start rolling it on a straw till you reach the point of the triangle. This bead-like shape is then allowed to dry and later can be used to create bracelets, drop earrings and other type jewelry.
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    6. Boot Trees – To maintain the shape of damp boots, place rolled up old magazines inside them as they dry. This effort helps the boot dry faster and remain wrinkle free

    7. Collage – Give the kids full freedom to shred a magazine to pieces and they will spend hours doing this untidy, but fun activity. What you can also teach them is to make a wonderful collage out of the cut pieces by sticking them on a blank sheet of paper to create a picture. It is a great way to give wings to the creativity of a child and also a wonderful method of using old magazines. Younger kids can also join in by trying to recognize cut out alphabets, animals, vegetables, vehicles, etc.

    8. Doll House – Old magazines can be saved for a rainy day literally for this fun craft. Get cardboard sheets and cut slots halfway through the long side of two sheets. These can be joined together to make a plus-like shape. Now tear an attractive looking interior picture of a home from any old magazine or catalogue and glue the pages onto the cardboard walls. You can have kitchen interiors, bedroom, living room, etc. The doll house looks attractive and costs nothing compared to store-bought doll houses.

    9. Book Cover – Magazine pages can be used to keep books safe from spillage or tearing especially if they have been borrowed from a friend or a library by covering them with magazines pages. Once you have finished reading the book, just remove the homemade magazine cover and return the untarnished book.

    10. Seed Sprouting Pots – when you need a small pot to plant your seeds till they sprout and are shifted to the garden, magazine pages can be modeled into cute little pots using your origami skills. Once the seed germinates, it is easier to tear off the paper pot and sow the young plant into the garden.


    As you see the things to make with old magazines, you will realize that there is no limit to what you can create with these unused and forgotten so-called junk lying around your home. And if kids participate in this activity too, apart from teaching them a fun craft, you will also be sowing the seeds of recycling, green living and loving the planet earth into those little hearts.

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    Reader’s Digest Practical Problem Solver, 1991 edition

    Photo by orphanjones (cc/Flickr)

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