Recycling Your Gently Read and Tattered Magazines – 10 Smart Ideas – You may subscribe to several magazines, or like a friend of mine, subscribe to dozens. Magazines pile up quickly and, after spending so much money on them, you do not want to throw them away. Used magazines can provide hours of pleasure and here are some “green’ ideas to try.
1. Decoupage frame. Cut out pictures with a theme (shoes, cars, tools, your favorite color, etc.) and glue them onto an expensive wooden frame. Make sure the cutouts overlap. Paint the frame with a sealer coat of glue.
2. Personality poster. This is an inexpensive and thoughtful gift for anyone. Cut out pictures that represent the person — a bike, golf club, whisk, book — and glue them onto poster board. Then cut out words that describe that friend and glue them in between the pictures. Put the poster in a frame, tie a ribbon around it, and give it to a relative or friend.
3. Special magazines, special donations. Do you subscribe to a history magazine? Give back issues to your local history center. Back issues of sports magazines may be donated to the library or sports clubs.
4. Jazzy envelopes. Kelly Leahy tells how she uses old periodicals in her Green Daily website article, “5 Ways to Reuse Magazines.” She traces the outline of a real envelope onto a magazine page, cuts it out, and glues it together. Leahy uses these envelopes to store or mail things.
5. School days. Put magazines into a cardboard tote box (the kind with handle cutouts that you buy at the grocery store) and deliver them to a local elementary school. Call first and arrange a date, time and place of delivery.
6. Paper beads. Many websites tell how to make paper beads by cutting pages into triangles, rolling the triangles, starting from the big side and working to the point, and gluing the point down. These beads may be strung into necklaces, or bracelets. Tightly rolled pages may be coiled into baskets or glued on frames. I have made paper beads and, while it is fn, it also requires lots of patience.
7. Books for baby. Magazines are ideal for making books for babies and toddlers. You can make “What Color?” books by cutting out pictures of the same color and gluing them onto oak tag, one per page. Punch holes in the top of the pages and fasten the book together with a notebook ring. “Things With Wheels” is another fun book idea
8. Problem pages.The BBC Teaching English website suggests using teen magazines for problem-solving. Teens scan magazines for the problem pages. After cutting out problem words and solutions, teens “walk around the room reading their sentence to other pairs until they find the corresponding problem or advice.”
9. Your horoscope. Many magazines contain horoscopes and, whether they admit it or not, most people enjoy them. Buy a small notebook. Cut out horoscopes for your friend’s sign and glue one per page. Give him or her a month of horoscopes as a gift.
10. Design board. Thinking about redecorating? Magazines are an endless source of ideas. Cut out pictures of furniture, fabric, paint colors, decorating themes, and accessories. Glue the photos onto oak tag to determine how your decorating scheme might look. Design boards can save you money and mistakes.
Copyright 2010 by Harriet Hodgson
Harriet Hodgson has been an independent journalist for decades. Before she became a health and wellness writer she was a food writer for a local magazine. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of Health Care Journalists, and Association for Death Education and Counseling. Her 24th book, “Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief,” written with Lois Kran, MD is available from Amazon.
Centering Corporation has published her 26th book, “Writing to Recover: The Journey from Loss and Grief to a New Life” and a companion journal with 100 writing prompts. Hodgson is a monthly columnist for “Caregiving in America” magazine. Please visit her website and learn more about this busy author and grandmother.