Five Uses For That Old Magazine

So you’ve got an old magazine and you’re ready to toss it. Hold on, it may already have a second life with you. See if you can use any of these tips.

1. Impromptu Portfolio/Carrying Case

If you’ve loose papers to tote somewhere stuff them in the pages of a magazine. It looks much neater. If you’ve got some loose items, i.e. ink pens, rulers, other small lightweight objects, you can tape them inside a magazine then tape it closed. Or if you really want a secure tote staple the magazine shut.

2. Hideaway

If you’ve got something you want to keep out of sight put it in or under a magazine. Or tape it inside.

3. Collages, paper dolls

Give them to your children who can cut out images and make collages or paper dolls. (Or do it yourself. Its fun!) This has several advantages for kids. It increases their hand-eye coordination. It teaches them to re-use things. And of course it encourages creativity. Plus they can be thrown away since you were going to anyway.

4. Box Covers

My sister would take ordinary cardboard boxes and paste designer paper onto the outside for a very nice effect. You can do the same with magazines. Cut out patterns, images and covers to use as box decor. The New Yorker covers are often pithy cartoons which would work very well. Other magazines have sports figures and other celebrities on the front who would work.

5. Scrapbooks and Gifts

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Your magazines contain images and stories that many of your friends and family would value. Obviously I’m not suggesting you devote your life to hunching over stacks of literature with scissors and glue.(Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) But those magazines could contain the answer to your nagging search for the perfect Christmas present.

Smaller photos can be laminated to create “trading cards.” Larger pages can be pasted to portfolios. The library system gave out Lord of the Ring themed bookmarks one year. My sister laminated them and ran a ribbon through the top. It was several years before I realized what they were. Even then I considered them special. Not just because I like LOTR, but also because she cared enough to consider what I enjoyed and took the time to make it.(FYI, she gave me store-bought presents that year too!)

Finally magazines can be used as presents themselves. Fifty cents is a good investment when its spent on a newspaper from the day a child was born. This will make a wonderful present later in life.

As always I hope these will inspire your own creativity. These suggestions could easily apply to travel brochures you pick up on the road. The only limit to what you can do is your own creativity.

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