Here is What to Do With Your Old Magazines

Every time you check the mail, you probably look forward to seeing beautiful, glossy magazines. Especially in a digital world, these can feel downright decadent. Each moment you spend browsing the pages can feel like an adventure or a step back in time - but what happens when you're finished reading?

You may be surprised to discover that old magazines are incredibly versatile. On the hunt for ideas that will help you use them creatively and in an eco-friendly manner? We've highlighted a few things you can do with old magazines below:


You might be done reading your favorite magazines, but that doesn't mean that other people should miss out. Before you get rid of anything, check if friends or family members are interested in reading your favorite ones. If not, feel free to donate to an organization in need of reading material.

Examples of donation opportunities include:

  • Nursing homes or assisted living facilities
  • Homeless shelters
  • Libraries
  • Classrooms
  • Art clubs

Another great option?, which distributes publications for the purpose of improving literacy in underserved communities. What you think of as leftover magazines could actually be a key tool in teaching children how to read. This is a great option for many publications but is especially worth considering for magazines targeted at children and teens.


The photos found in many magazines are downright stunning. If you'd like to continue gazing at them after you've finished reading the stories they accompany, consider preserving them within frames and turning them into wall decor.

To transform magazines into decor, you'll need to measure each issue and carefully select frames that fit. With some publications, you can frame the entire magazine. In other cases, it may be necessary to cut off the cover. You can also use paper craft tools to cut out the portion of a magazine picture you like - and use it in a smaller frame.


If you're feeling creative or want to keep young ones entertained, you can use old magazines for crafts or other special projects. For example, children may enjoy forming collages with pictures or headings cut out from favorite magazines. Likewise, you can use such images for scrapbooking projects. Images from a magazine published or purchased on a special day, for example, could capture an important moment in time.

If you're especially crafty, you could use magazines to create the following:

  • Bookmarks
  • Card holders
  • Placemats
  • Coasters

Magazine covers and pages are incredibly versatile. With a bit of trial and error, you can come up with many unique and fun ways to repurpose old magazines. Think of them as an affordable source of both entertainment and decor.

Gift Wrap

As birthdays or holidays approach, you may find yourself once again spending exorbitant amounts of money on wrapping materials. Why purchase gift paper that will ultimately be torn up and thrown away? Instead, use pages from magazines to wrap gifts. This approach is easiest for small presents; large items may require newspapers instead.

Another option: upcycling magazines to form gift bags. This takes a little more work, but the gift bags could potentially be reused on several occasions.


If you have no more use for your magazines and are eager to avoid clutter, recycling may be your best bet. While it's worth your while first to determine whether you can donate old magazines, this may be less of a prudent option for time-sensitive publications.

Recycling is an eco-friendly option, as many magazines are sourced, in part, from recycled materials. Additionally, this approach can prevent magazines from ending up in landfills.

Best of all, it's easy to recycle old magazines. There's no need to worry about removing the binding or any staples. Check that each magazine is in acceptable condition ? damp materials, unfortunately, cannot be recycled and should be thrown away instead. To that end, it's important to keep magazines dry as they await recycling.

Whether you choose to reuse, donate, or recycle old magazines, you should have no trouble finding a way to make the most of your favorite publications. A small amount of effort can give your magazines new life, so think twice before you throw these wonderfully useful publications away.