5 Smart Ways to Upcycle Old Magazines—and Declutter Your Space at the Same Time
Multi-tasking has never had better results.
As someone who loves reading the print editions of magazines, I’m all too familiar with my various magazine subscriptions piling up, leaving copies scattered throughout my home. The issue is that, beyond finding it hard to part with the glossy covers, I don’t like the idea of throwing magazines away after I’m done reading. I know recycling isn’t always effective, and I’ve found that finding ways to reuse or upcycle items is a more sustainable alternative. The trick here is in getting creative with upcycling magazines.
For starters, flip through the pages to find what stands out to you—quotable phrases, beautiful photographs, easy weeknight recipes, pretty poems or anything else that jumps off the page—or bookmark favorite articles as you’re reading. Once you’ve flagged what you like, try these five ideas for upcycling magazines to reuse your favorite publications and ultimately declutter your space. (Fewer magazines on the coffee table or kitchen counter is sure to make your space look tidier.)
Ideas for upcycling magazines
This hack is an ode to the grannies out there that have been sharing recipes and hosting cookie swaps since before the age of Buzzfeed Tasty videos. If you have a lot of food magazines, it’s hard to part ways with these handy recipes, kitchen tips, and more. Instead of keeping a stack of magazines, grab a simple binder and some sheet protectors. It’s much less messy than scrapbooking but will leave you with a customized cookbook for flipping back through your favorites, from recipes to restaurant reviews. Upgrade to a faux leather binder to give it a vintage look worthy of sitting on your shelf.
One of the best parts of subscribing to magazines is enjoying the artwork and beautiful fonts. Save your favorite illustrations, graphics, and poems and buy some frames to elevate them from college posters chic to cultured prints. It will be easier to part ways with old magazines if you know you can enjoy your favorite images every day.
When your coffee table is cluttered with unread magazines, it can start to feel overwhelming. Create a space in your home where you want to read your magazines. By adding a simple wicker basket next to your go-to reading chair, you can create a cute reading nook where the latest weekly is at your fingertips. When the basket is full, you know it’s time to toss the oldest magazine in the stack. This upcycling idea doesn’t necessarily reuse the magazines, but it does give them a new purpose: decoration.
Scattered magazines don’t sound cozy, but organizing them in a stack creates an aesthetic that’s very Rory Gilmore (i.e. artsy intellectual). Use them as decor on your bookshelf alongside a record player and nice bookends and you’re on your way to being in a Crate & Barrel catalog. Focus on the decluttering side of your mission here: If you run out of space in your little vignette, it’s time to toss (or upcycle!) some magazines.
Who said arts and crafts couldn’t be for adults, too? Create a classic vision board by clipping out key phrases and motivational images for a collage of affirmations. We may not be able to travel right now, but you can use the law of attraction to visualize being on the beach. Hang your collage in your office space so you can stay inspired while you work from home.