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DIY: 17 Projects to Recycle Old Magazines

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Sit down with a cup of coffee, read an article, scan through beautiful photos; even in the digital age, there’s nothing better than flipping through a magazine. Unfortunately, the magazine obsession comes with one major setback: old issues. Even with one or two subscriptions, old magazines stack up quickly. Fortunately, those colorful pages are good for more than the recycling bin, and there are plenty of creative upcycling projects that give you a chance to try out your DIY skills and put those magazines to good use.

From stools to coasters here are 16 DIY projects to bring new life to the old pages of your favorite magazines. 

1. End tables

A table out of magazines? Yes, this project sounds complicated but is actually very simple. Use the end tables for placing next to your couch, your bed, or anywhere else in your space that needs an additional pop of color. 

2. Coasters

Recycle magazines into something for your morning cup of coffee or tea to sit on. Depending on your style, you can craft woven or coiled coasters, good for not only a hot drink but even a beer bottle. Wrap up a stack of them and bring along to your next dinner party as a hostess gift. 

3. Bookshelf

If you have enough magazines, you can actually use them to create a sturdy structure like a bookshelf

4. Earrings

Need a statement piece? Recycle your own pair of magazine earrings

5. Vase

With just some magazines and a cardboard box, you can make a beautiful vase to house your favorite plants. 

6. Envelopes

Perhaps the simplest of upcycling projects for old magazine pages, handmade envelopes add flair to any letter that you are sending. Make one in under five minutes. 

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7. Eco-friendly packing material

If you have a shredder at home - or even just a pair of scissors - shred a few magazine pages and turn it into packing material. Perfect for when you need to send a gift and don't want to deal with those pesky styrofoam peanuts.

8. Gift bows

Need to add a little something to a present? Don't buy bows ever again, make them yourself. 

9. Wrapping Paper

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Buying wrapping paper is expensive and wasteful when you have your own materials at home. Just take your magazine paper and start wrapping the eco-friendly way. 

10. Bowls

While you won't be able to serve soup out of them, these ornamental bowls are perfect for holding fruit, stashing your keys on a table next to the door, or just as a centerpiece on your dinner table. 

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11. Stools

With an old belt and a few magazines you can recycle a simple stool that could easily make its way into any design magazine. Sit on it, use it as a low work table, or even use it as bedside table.

12. Clock

Find an old clock at a garage sale or second hand store and bring it back to life with the colors of a magazine.

13. Typography collages

Create new artwork for your home by making a typography collage.


Cut out a cool shape or person in a magazine and turn it into a bookmark

15. Gift tags

Choose a theme and select images accordingly, then turn them into gift hangtags

16. Beads

Magazine paper beads can be put to use for just about anything: necklaces, earrings, bracelets, etc. Depending on the size of the beads and the color of the paper, you can even get them to look like pearls

17. Stationary Embellishments

Get out a needle and thread and sew these cool looking embellishments that can be added to envelopes and packages. 

Related on Organic Authority:

How to Upcycle Cookware and Dishes

Make Fabric from Upcycled Plastic Grocery Bags

Images: Sean Winters, AllputtogetherWhimzeecal

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