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.
1. Spikey Mirror Frame
This awesome idea from DIY Gadgets is a quick way to create a modern and funky looking mirror without spending a lot of cash. This will be a welcome prospect for anyone who has gone to look at the prices of new mirrors, which can actually be in the hundreds for nothing but a standard shape of glass. Keep in mind that this can be done for any shape, not just the circular example they gave.
All you have to do is create a base or find a way to secure the pieces to the mirror itself. I would recommend something like cardboard that can be easily punctured, or even attached pieces of paper. Then, you roll up the pages of the magazine into tight spikes and attach them all around. The effect is really cool, like a multi-colored sun.
Another cool mirror idea, this one works by taking various magazine pages and folding them into strips. Then, those are attached to make the appropriate side while reinforcing it. That is then placed in layers around a mirror and secured, to make an interesting looking piece that is less out there than the last design. There is also an additional bonus in the fact that it uses so many pages, so you can get rid of a lot this way.
3. Photo Frame
Using a similar style as the last, this photo frame is really cool and a quick and easy way to spice up a picture. What is so impressive about this frame is that it isn’t attached to anything; the actual frame itself is made from the magazine pages. They have just been thickly rolled and folded over and over, getting smaller until the size of the photo is met. A paper backing would keep the photo in place.
This is one of the more creative things I have seen on upcycling forums. This table was made by taking various rolled up magazines and using them to create a reinforced structure. This meant combining, securing and stacking them. Then, a piece of glass (though I would recommend clear plastic or plexiglass) was set on top to make a table.
The only downside to this is you would have to take care to make it an actually useable table. Obviously, magazines are not study. But you could easy harden them using various chemical agents found at your hardware or craft store, or even using plaster.
No joke, someone actually made a magazine rack out of magazines. Which has a kind of circular logic to it. It is also a great decoration idea for people who like a touch of irony in their furniture. Plus, it is easy enough to make, based on the picture.
All you have to do is make two foam or rubber settings that can be attached to the wall. Place them close enough to be able to hold magazines on top, and set two rolled editions inside. Then stack the rest on top. Simple.
6. Magazine Hot Pad
I know what you are thinking: heat and paper don’t mix. Well, in this case you can get away with it, just don’t set them on fire. This Hot pad is made by tightly spiraling magazine rolled pages and pasting them together. The effect is cool looking, but it also really works for holding hot pans and dishes. Just be careful not to put it on the stove.
For some other awesome designs for hot pads, check these out.
Anyone who has ever made papier mache will know ways to make a bowl out of a magazine, probably with the help of an inflated balloon. But there is another way, and that is just through folding and pasting. While you won’t be able to use it for a whole lot, such as something wet (cereal would be a bad idea, for example), you can come up with some other uses.
8. Magazine Bag
This is an interesting fashion statement that seems to say, “I am crafty and I recycle.” It takes folded pages and makes them into strips, then interweaves them. You could probably do multiple layers to make it stronger, and then line it on the inside with pasted pages. Then attach a ribbon to turn it into a useable and trendy handbag. It is very pop art chic.
What I love about using magazine pages in art is that they are colorful, but they can look so neat. This piece rolls up 175 rows of glossy pages and stacks them so perfectly. It is colorful and interesting, but so very simple. It is only one way that you can get creative.
Have more? Share them in the comments…we would love to see your ideas!