Another Alternative to Recycling: Upcycling

Magazines by theseanster93 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Are you looking for a way to clean out those stacks of old newspapers in your garage? Are you tired of throwing out old magazines a week after you’ve read them?

It’s hard to part with a groundbreaking article or photo shoot, so instead of recycling, upcycle! Upcycling is basically using waste and unwanted items to make new useful things. Decorate your new home! Unpack your things and use the newspaper to create new items. Craftstylish is one of my favorite websites to visit for information about everything crafty. They have great ideas for upcycling newspaper and magazines, and it got me so excited I researched it some more and found an explosion of creativity in many blogs and websites showing that there is more that one way to weave paper:

Weaved Newspaper Basket: Need somewhere to store your new magazines and newspapers, why not use old newspapers? This newspaper basket not only looks great, but it’s fun to make. Take your basket to the next level by creating patterns with your strips. Full color ads and memorable headlines make great accents. Give it a try by following these step-by-step directions from Craftstylish.

image: paper bag boxes by denise carbonell

image: woven box with lucky stars by josey4628

image: newspaper woven basket

image: newspaper yarn by Kristin Roach

image: basket weaving by The Advocacy Project

image: newspaper woven basket by myadlan

Magazine Gift Bows: Why pay for gift bows when you can make your own? With the wide variety of color you find in a magazine, they are perfect for bows. Try using different magazine pages to color-coordinate for the holiday. Use seasonal colors or your gift recipient’s favorites. Start making your own bows now.

Recycled Newspaper Bow
image: Recycled magazine bows by cuttlefish

Magazine Jewlery: Wearing a magazine around your neck is not something you think of doing every day. You might want to reconsider that. Magazines actually can be beautiful jewelry. Try making these necklaces or use the pattern to make some smaller earrings or a brooch. Also, check out these magazine dangly earrings. Paper in not the only material that can be upcycled into imaginative creations. Some of my favorite upcycled jewelry are made of aluminum cans.

image: I actually made this one all by myself from a page of an old Wizard magazine. Making these can become addictive!

Craftstylish is full of other great ideas like using magazines to decorate memory boxes and photo frames, make wall ornaments, and other creative things. Still don’t want to cut up your newspaper and magazines? Call or email your local schools and libraries to see if they would like them as donations, our use them as packing material for the next move or storage need.

Find more fun & green ideas in our Go Green section.