Recycling Magazines

Posted on June 28, 2015 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

I've blogged about recycling magazines before and this week I ran a magazine upcycling workshop recently at a local shop and the turnout was way better than I expected. I had no time to advertise or even post my workshop as it was almost all word-of-mouth advertising. Anyway, each participant got one magazine and it is safe to say even though we made a bunch of stuff, they still had loads of pages left over to do more recycling at home.

We made bags, tags, cards, and envelopes. The materials required are all stuff we all have around the house or are easily accessible: scissors, pencils, rulers, glue stick and, of course, magazines.

I surprised everyone by showing them how to make gift boxes from magazine covers. What fun!

There are, of course, dozens of other ways to recycle (or I should say upcycle) magazines from beads to Christmas trees. All how-tos can be found online, so go search!

Did I mention that any leftover magazine bits and bobs can be shredded and used as filler in mailing parcels? A workshop participant even suggested turning what's left over into confetti. By the way, if you have no magazines, junk mail, old maps, even paper bags work just as well.

Stay tuned as I'm planning a series of Saturday morning craft reupcycling sessions? This time I hope to be a bit more organized.

Ciao for now.

Recycling Plastic Bread Tabs into Gift Tags

Posted on February 20, 2015 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Having to stay home and in bed most of the time because of my back injury, I'm finding that I'm limited by what I can do. No more dashing down to my storage unit to rummage through boxes for something I need; no more reaching up in the closet to bring down a few items; no more bending down to grab something that's fallen. My little guy's birthday is in March and I had already assembled his gifts - I normally send a box full of wrapped gifts to be opened over a period of days (although my daughter, his mom, tells me they never wait that long). All I needed to do was wrap up the gifts and get a kind neighbour to post the box. The gift wrap wasn't a problem as it was already close at hand but finding gift tags for each of the gifts needed some creative thinking.

Enter the lowly plastic bread tab. I found a dozen of so in the bottom of my bread box. To turn these into gift tags, I cut out small pieces of gift wrap and bits of cardboard recycled from a tea package box and trimmed these trimmed to the same width as a bread tab. Then I glued each one to the bread tab. A little note on the back of each - something witty like "Don't Open Yet!" - and I was done. Cost? Zero! (And they can be reused over and over - just peel off the cardboard paper bit and replace with a new one!) 

50 ways to recycle plastic grocery bags

Posted on October 26, 2010 at 10:24 AM Comments comments (0)

Here I thought I was a super duper recycling queen when it came to recycling plastic grocery bags. Let's see, I make bangles from plastic bags, wreathsplarn (plastic yarn) line my bins with them, use them to protect my cashmere sweaters in the freezer (summers only), and clean them up to reuse over and over again. I've also highlighted Heal the Bay's short film The Majestic Plastic Bag that traces the life of the ubiquitous plastic bag.

The clever folks at Web Design Schools Guide site have me beat with their 50 ways to recycle bags.

More Halloween workshop ideas

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (3)

Here's what happens if you leave cardboard food boxes in close proximity to Halloween magazines. They merge to become cheap and dreadfully clever loot bags. Give them away to all the creepy, crawly critters that visit you on the NIGHT! No magazines, what about wrapping paper, or even newspapers you can embellish with cutouts of bats, witches, and horrifying goblins and ghosties?

Black pipe cleaners would look better but I only had these gray ones leftover from last year's Halloween.

Play Dough Christmas Tags

Posted on December 5, 2009 at 5:07 PM Comments comments (0)

Kids love working with play dough and you can take advantage of this by having them create lovely smelling gift tags with this dough.



Once you've prepared the play dough (I added a tablespoon of cocoa and a teaspoon of cinnamon for brown colour and a nice scent to the recipe), just roll it out and hand the kids some cookie cutters Bake the cut-outs. For the 'icing', add white powder paint (or use rice flour) to craft glue, mix well, and pour this into baggies. Close the opening and cut off one corner of the baggie so the kids can squeeze out the decorative icing. Don't forget to put a hole at the top of the 'tags' before baking so you can insert a ribbon.


Recycle Magazines into Festive Gift Bags and Tags

Posted on November 24, 2009 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)


For the life of me I can never understand why you would go out and buy gift tags or bags when you probably have everything you need to make these in your own home. it's something that's fast, easy, and fun to do. Your kids will love making the gift tags and older ones can easily master how to make the bags. 



This activity also keeps the kids busy while you're preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas. You can even rope any adult visitors you've got  into helping out. Some of the best times I have ever had with family and friends is when we challenge each other to find a new way to recycle magazines and other scrap paper. I confess to being a magazine junkie and although I often give away my mags once I've done with them, there are some that I find hard to get rid.


That's how making cards and envelopes from magazines started for me. I went on to start using pages to wrap small gifts and from there my gift tags and bags came about. I now even make tabletop trees from my magazines. It's loads of fun, it's green, and it's frugal. So why not do it? Let me know how it worked for you.


And when you're done making your tags and bags, shred what's left of the magazine to use in your bags instead of tissue paper. You can also use the shredded paper to protect gifts inside boxes you are sending out by post. That way you won't need to use those pesky Styrofoam chips. And tell your recipients to compost the bag and shredded paper!