Fun with old magazines and catalogs

If you have a giant stack of catalogs and magazines that you don’t want to store but feel guilty about tossing, try these ideas to get more mileage from your paper before you recycle it.

  • Make silly faces. Cut out facial features out of different ads and the put them together in funny ways.
  • Make paper beads. Then use them for necklaces, bookmarks and all sorts of gifts.
  • Cut into strips and weave together for a colorful placemat.
  • Cut out words and phrases to make crazy poetry.
  • Use pictures to make an alphabet book for a baby. Or colors. Or shapes.
  • Use articles for word recognition or cut and paste spelling lists.
  • Use an article for a “word mine” game. Call a word sound or letter and have them highlight words that match your request.
  • Use the magazine pages as scrap paper when doing other crafts. The slick paper won’t bleed onto your other projects and you can grab a new sheet each time one gets yucky.
  • Cut out adjectives from ads to increase writing vocabulary.
  • Use pictures to copy in art class. Choose a medium and use the picture as a model.
  • Make cool envelopes with pages. Use pages that coordinate with your letter or recipient. For example, if grandma loves gardening, send her a note in a gardening catalog envelope. Make sure you put a white sticker on the front for the address so it’s easy to find.

For older kids:

  • Have them rewrite an article, or offer another angle.
  • Use a layout as a sample and cut out things to create your own magazine layout.
  • Cut and paste your own magazine by cobbling together things from several other mags.
  • Look trough magazines to notice trends and themes. Write something based on that research.
  • Rewrite a product slogan.


  1. GREAT ideas! I was just looking at a stack of magazines yesterday and wondering what to do with them!

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