5 Smart Ways to Upcycle Old Magazines and Declutter Your Space

Storing magazines you love has never looked better.

As someone who loves reading the print editions of magazines, I'm all too familiar with various subscriptions piling up, leaving copies scattered throughout my home. The issue is that I don't like throwing magazines away after I'm done reading.

So what do I do with all those old magazines? I reinvent how they show up in my home. Upcycling magazines (or storing them in a less cluttered way) is a better alternative than simply tossing them in the trash or recycle bin.

If you have trouble parting with magazines you love, 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 crafty ideas for repurposing your favorite publications.

01 of 05

Craft a Custom Cookbook

Upcycling magazines ideas - cookbook
Melanie Whyte

This hack is an ode to the grannies that have been sharing recipes and hosting cookie swaps since before the age of social media how-to 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.

02 of 05

Frame Illustrations to Create Wall Art

Upcycling magazines ideas - frames
Melanie Whyte

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 create a magazine-inspired gallery wall. It will be easier to recycle old magazines if you know you can enjoy your favorite images every day.

03 of 05

Design a Mood Board

Upcycling magazines ideas - collage
Melanie Whyte

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.

Want to take a much-needed vacation? You can use the law of attraction to visualize being on the beach. Hang the collage in your office space to stay motivated while working from home.

04 of 05

Create a Reading Nook

Upcycling magazines ideas - reading nook
Melanie Whyte

When your coffee table is cluttered with unread magazines, it can feel overwhelming. Create a space in your home where you want to read your magazines. Adding a simple wicker basket next to your go-to reading chair 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 gives them a new purpose: decoration.

05 of 05

Craft a Vignette

Upcycling magazines ideas - vignette
Melanie Whyte

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 glossy furniture catalog.

Focus on the decluttering side of your mission here: If you run out of space in your little vignette, it's time to recycle some magazines.

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