7 Creative Ways to Recycle Magazines

If, like me, you’ve collected mountains of magazines throughout your life, then you know what it’s like to have them overpopulating your bedroom. I understand the significance of keeping collector’s items or magazine issues with sentimental value, but there are those that need to be discarded to give you breathing space.

Instead of sending them all to the recycling center, why not let your creative juices flow with these crafty DIY projects?

1. Mood box

Tear out the pages of old magazines. Cut out words, phrases, and sentences of different font sizes. Pick a wooden or cardboard box you’d like to decorate. Randomly glue on the large-sized words or phrases first, and then fill in the gaps with the smaller-sized words. For a personal touch, pick words that represent your current mood or personality.

2. Quilted paper purse

Using an office paper shredder, shred magazine pages. Carefully quilt the slips of paper until you form a square or rectangular paper quilt. Bind the ends with ½-inch width strips of old office paper and some glue. This process can be tricky, so be patient. Once you’ve bound and dried the ends, fold your quilt into two and bind the left and right sides with ½-inch width strips of old office paper. You may add ribbons and other frills to your mini paper purse.

3. Colorful envelopes

Tear out colorful magazine pages. Download and print envelope templates online or design your own. Trace the template on the magazine page, and then cut, fold, and paste until you’ve formed your envelope.

4. Gift tags

Tear out the thickest pages of magazines, such as covers and special advertorial inserts. Cut them into rectangular cards. Cut smaller rectangles from plain white or colored construction papers. Paste the smaller rectangles on the center of the magazine cutouts and let them dry.

5. Paper bags

Download paper bag templates online or design your own based on shopping bags and lunch bags you have at home. Using the template as a guide and old magazine pages as your material, make your own paper bags that you may use as gift bags, lunch bags, or even loot bags for parties and events.

6. Gift wrappers

Instead of purchasing generic birthday or holiday wrappers, make your present stand out by using colorful magazine pages as gift wrappers. Add paper ribbons for an eco-chic touch and use magazine gift tags (see #4) to label the gift.

7. Notebook or book covers

Decorate a ho-hum notebook cover with collages of photos, stickers, and magazine cutouts. The possibilities are endless!