Living glossy magazines

Published on August 8th, 2011 | by Tom Chu


9 Ways to Upcycle Glossy Magazines into Awesome Interior Design Art

a stack of glossy magazines

You have probably been hearing a lot lately about upcycling, especially on DIY websites or places such as Etsy that specialize in homemade and craft items. But what is it? Upcycling is simply reusing one old object to spice up or change another.

You can do this with any item, from clothing to lamps. But what about using glossy magazines? If you are a fan of magazine subscriptions but those issues are stacking up, save yourself a trip to the recycling center and try these tips to reuse.

Project #1: The Spikey Mirror Frame

Image credit: bravenewtraveler at Flickr under a Creative Commons license

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About the Author

Tom Chu is the SEO manager at PsPrint, an online printing company specializing in brochure and poster printing among other popular services. Follow PsPrint on Twitter and Facebook

  • T. Caine


    The opportunities you are talking about are actually recycling, not upcycling. Upcycling is refining a product’s materials without any degradation of quality or resource value. Upcycling paper is turning paper back into pulp–sending resources back “up” the supply chain to be used again from scratch.

    Conversely, recycling refers to taking material components and extending their life by re-incorporating them into a cycle of use. Recycling laundry detergent bottles doesn’t make more laundry detergent bottles–it makes carpets, or fleeces or floor tiles.

    This is a common mistake, but upcycling is the superior practice to recycling (how we treat aluminum cans is an upcycling process, as they can be turned back into cans.)I think there were a few commenters trying to correct the confusion on the last upcycling article that you link to as well.

    • Jeff McIntire-Strasburg


      I know you’re right on in terms of technical definitions here. Within the crafting community (so it seems… not a member myself), “upcycling” has come to refer to recycling materials into something more aesthetically pleasing. As an environmentalist, I understand the possibilities for confusion; as someone who used to devote myself to the study and teaching of English,I’d say that’s how language works… but I appreciate your making this distinction.

      • http://Web Charlene

        Yes, Sonia, I agree that the crafting community uses “upcycle” just as you have described. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jenkins

      I believe that upcycling is taking something and making something that maintains or improves upon the quality of the material being used. So taking old magazines and turning them into functional pieces would be upcycling and not just recycling.


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  • Jacqui MacNeill (Escents Aromatherapy Essential Oils)

    Awesome ideas! They make such lovely frames, and I just LOVE that table idea! Great for a rec room! Thanks for sharing these great ways to upcycle so we can reduce our trash creatively.

  • Rachel Sue

    These ideas are absolutely fabulous. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  • http://9waystoupcyclcleusingmagazines Doni

    Where are the instructions for these projects

    • Sonia Mansfield

      These are not exactly “projects” but rather the “ideas” to use for inspiration. Most of these things can be done by simply rolling and gluing – so they won’t be hard to create once you start!

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  • Joey

    when i look at this page it says “9 ways…” but there isn’t any more info other than the comments. When I click on the only link for project #1 it loops me back to this first page… i’m new to this blog site, what am i doing wrong? i would like to see all 9 projects and if there is a how-to article that would be cool too… thanks in advance for any suggestions.

    • Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

      Thanks for letting me know about the problem, Joey – I’ve got it fixed. No how-to plans here; just ideas/inspiration for reuse.

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