7 Brilliant Craft Ideas Using Old Magazines

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Magazines are something that most people have an abundance of - and it would be a shame to throw them away.

Whether they're gossip magazines you got from the airport or junk mail that comes through the post, you'll be able to find a use for all of them - using one of these ideas. They're so useful for so many crafty things, so you should really be reusing them after reading them! Especially if you've got kids.

Not only are magazine crafts a fun and free way for the kids to get stuck into their own projects, but they are also really quick and easy to set up and pack away (not like paints etc.). You can make some really beautiful things with the colourful and shiny paper clippings - so read on to find one that you will love to display in the house.

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Colourful wall-hung picture:

There are so many ways to personalise your home without it costing the earth - and one is to make artwork yourself! This idea will leave you with a great piece of art for the wall. Get a picture frame or a canvas and grab a bit of paint and some old magazines that you probably already have lying around. Then, let your imagination take over! Flick through the magazines, cutting out shapes of your choice of the colours that you have in your house. Cut different size circles all of different shades of blue and go from one side to the other, gradually getting darker... the possibilities are endless. So, instead of allowing them to take up space in your home or end up in a landfill, use your magazines to create a beautiful piece of colourful art for your home.


Collage an old object:

This idea can also be done in several ways. You could ask the kids to find something that they no longer like - e.g. a box or a chest, and collage it with newspaper clippings. This is a great way to make something beautiful out of something old. Or, if you can't find anything - why not just use a glass bottle such as a glass bottle to cover and turn it into a vase? All you need is a few supplies such as glue and scissors and a bit of imagination - and you're on your way to creating your own masterpiece. This is a perfect way to display meaningful words in your home while helping the environment at the same time.

Toddler looking at magazines


Envelopes and cards:

During lockdown, it's a great idea to send cards to loved ones to let them know that you're thinking of them. So, grab your magazines and search through them to find some appropriate words to cut out, as well as colours and images - to make and send a handmade card in a handmade envelope. Creating and personalising your cards with magazines and just a few household supplies will mean so much more to relatives who are really missing you and the kids.


Wallpaper (eek):

This one is for the parents who are happy to let the kids decorate their own bedrooms. Or, perhaps you'd like a magazine collage as a feature wall in your living room? Whatever your ideas are, unleash your imagination onto the wall and seal with PVA glue over the top to stop it from peeling off. Eighty years ago, people used to do this to hide any visible cracks. However, today you can use the same process as a part of your home décor. This is a simple way to make a significant change to one of your rooms. So, use this idea to show off your personality. And it is also a fun way to upcycle those old magazines. Try to use big pieces of paper for this idea as otherwise, it may take you a long time.


Christmas wreath:

This is such a good idea for when Christmas is coming - who doesn't love to unleash their creative powers during the festive season? After all, decorating is always at the top everyone's to-do lists - but it doesn't have to be expensive or wasteful to change your decorations every year. Simply start by cutting out red, green and white colours from the magazines (or whatever you see as festive colours) and either scrunch them up or roll them up. Then, stick them onto a circle made of cardboard or thick paper and build it up and decorate it as you wish. Make it your own! Christmas can be a very wasteful time of year - with so much (especially paper) ending up in a landfill. However, this idea is very different from the standard wreath, as it is handmade entirely from recycled magazines and cardboard - which will display your love for the earth as well as the festive season. This Christmas wreath is a gorgeous, eco-friendly addition to any household.


Beads for jewellery:

Making magazine beads for kids to put onto jewellery is lots of fun and they are bound to end up being very colourful and unique. However, this idea is quite time consuming - so is best suited for children that have a good attention span and love to engross themselves in art projects.

All you will need to do to start is to cut a page or two of your magazine into thin strips (about 5mm wide). Then, when that's done, cut a straw into small pieces (the same width as the strips) to make the hole for the beads to wrap around. When you're ready, wrap the thin strips around the straw - then secure them down using glue. Repeat this until you have made a few. Then, when you've got enough of them - thread them onto a chain or a piece of string to make colourful and creative jewellery. Who knew you could make a beautiful new necklace out of old recycled paper?


Paper dressing up:

Another really fun thing to do with magazines is to cut the people out of them and dress them up! Challenge the kids to search through the pages to make each of their family members by cutting out people and clothing from the magazines to dress them up with. This is one of those ideas that the kids are bound to make again for an art project at school to show their friends - and it is so creative. When they're done, why not put them all into a frame with everyone's names underneath and hang it on the wall?

Paper dressing up
Disclaimer

Disclaimer

At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents. 

We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.  

Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.

Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong. 

We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.

Annabelle Beaumont
Passionate about recycling

Originally from Bournemouth, Annabelle spent her childhood travelling and exploring. She moved to Bahrain at the age of 13 and then to London at 19 where she attended Chelsea College of Arts, UAL. She loves all things creative - especially if they involve recycling materials, as this is what she is most passionate about. Aside from art, Annabelle also enjoys walking her dogs and cooking for friends and family.