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Unique Gift Idea: Turn Magazine Pages into a Creative Container

Updated on January 8, 2018
pstraubie48 profile image

Patricia is a mother, a grandmother, a sister, a daughter whose passion is to put into writing things she feels and experiences .

Great Fun Activity for Summer Days when Kids Want something NEW to do

Collect up the old magazines you are ready to toss.

Dedicate an area for creating.

And get set for fun and creative ideas to explode.


Rolling magazine page on a thin dowel


Completely tightly rolled, ready to place on your container


Quick and easy


Recycling is our way of preserving our natural resources. There are many opportunities to recycle each day.

Finding ways that your family can participate in this project is a first step will help establish lifelong patterns in your children. Most towns have central locations where items can be taken.. The containers are provided for: brown, green, and clear glass, aluminum cans, paper, and sometimes other types of metal cans. Some towns also have curbside recycling bins.

The earlier children learn the importance of recycling, the sooner they will begin to take steps to recycle. Children are eager and excited about the prospect of recycling. They will encourage, sometimes nag, family members to collect used cans, plastic bottles, glass bottles, paper, and any other item that they have been informed can be used again.

Finding crafts to turn trash into a treasure gives children one more reason to recycle. Once you begin to reuse items that might be thrown away with no thought, children will learn quickly and they will come up with ideas for uses for these once throw away items too..

No two are identical

Convenient container for pens-- markers-crayons-


Decorative containers made from rolled magazine pages

Even into her late eighties, Auntie Kay as we fondly called her, was still creating. She stopped sewing for socialites about her eighty second year due to failing eyesight. As a young child, she fell onto a basket filled with knitting yarn and knitting needles. Her left eye was punctured and severely injured. The devastating injury resulted in removal of her left eye and for the rest of her life she had a glass eye. It never seemed to hinder her activities in any way but she never spoke of it.

When she was no longer sewing, she did not lose interest in creating new things. The last eighteen years of her life she busied herself recycling. An avid reader of magazines, her bookshelves were filled with many often read magazines of the day. Out of those magazines, she would craft small containers to hold whatever someone would wish to put in them. The first craft shown in this article shows my attempt to replicate one of her little containers.

1.5 Quart Ice Cream Container


Materials needed for recycled magazine containers

  • 1 gallon ice cream container
  • l.5 quart ice cream container
  • quart or gallon-size plastic containers
  • acrylic spray
  • magazines
  • pencil or skinny dowel
  • scissors or paper cutter
  • glue


  • Wash and dry the empty containers. --Ice cream shops often will gladly give you empty ice cream containers.
  • Let dry overnight.
  • Select colorful pages from magazines. If you wish to establish a series of blues, reds, oranges, or other color, select pages with those colors.
  • Measure the page by holding it up next to the container so that the rolled magazine page will be only slightly above the edge of the top of the container.
  • Cut the magazine page in half before you begin to roll it otherwise it will be too thick to roll well.
  • Using a pencil or dowell, roll the magazine page tightly around it until you have all but about 1/4 inch rolled. Stop at that point and apply glue down the length of the roll, then roll the rest of the way so the roll will stay together.
  • Run a little river of glue down the side of the container, press the roll to it and hold for a few seconds.
  • Continue until the whole container is covered.
  • Let dry at least for one full day.

Fill with something your relative or friend will delight in receiving much as you might fill a basket.

The large containers can be used as a trash can but only clean, dry trash should be placed in these containers. They are really designed to be more of a decorative piece to hold special items you may have around your home.


Making a collage is a creative way to use magazine pages once you have finished reading them. It is an activity in which children and adults can create their own art design. There is no wrong way to make one really. The individual brings their own thoughts and ideas to this project.

A collage can be as small as a three by five index card or as large as poster board (or larger if you really want to make a statement). One suggestion is that you do this where it is not windy or that a fan will not be blowing on the work area. Tiny little pictures and words will be seen flying all over if you forget this step.

This is it!!


close up view
close up view | Source


For the collage you will need:

  • magazines
  • scissors
  • glue
  • cardstock

What to do

  • Decide what them you would like to have a theme for your collage: all about me, things I like, places to visit, foods I like.
  • Cut out pictures and words that will be a part of your collage. It is suggested for young children that very small words not be cut out as they are easily misplaced and sometimes tricky to handle.
  • Arrange pictures and words in the way you wish before applying glue.
  • Glue pieces in place.
  • Let dry.

a shot further back to view the entire collage
a shot further back to view the entire collage | Source

Make a frame for your collage

To make a frame:

  • Fold a piece of card stock in half.
  • Cut inside of the folded section all the way around until you have your 'frame.'
  • Glue the frame onto the collage. Ready to display or to give to someone.

Step 1 Fold paper in half


Step 2 Cut about a one inch strip around fold


Step 3 Frame is cut out


Step 4 Glue frame on collage


© 2012 Patricia Scott


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    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Hi Steph, I bet your Mom would love one of them. The colors do brighten them up. and if you are a crafter, this is a fun one that yields great results and is not tedious. You really should give it a try.

    • Steph72 profile image

      Steph72 5 years ago from Sunny Fl

      oh great more crafts for me to do ...I always find all this neat stuff to do this is added to the list .. ty ...i bet if i made my mom one of those containers she would love it , she likes colors and the magazine pages are perfect for a variety of color

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      mechesier...Thank you. My sweet Aunt Kathleen (Auntie Kay to most) really did teach me how to do this. I was saddened when the one she made finally succumbed after 35 years.

      Thank you for stopping by.

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 5 years ago

      Very inventive and creative Hub. A great way to recycle. Thank you for sharing. Voted up for useful

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      thanks, Jackie, for stopping by. It is really a great little craft and the end product lasts a long time. I had one my Auntie Kay made for me until a few years ago when time and travel finally caused it to come apart. Have fun trying it. I will be over to visit soon.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Thanks, is always nice to see familiar faces stop by.. This really is a great craft to do when you want to have a gab fest and be creative. :)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      That is so cute, and I have enough magazines to go in business! Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Really cool ideas and you did a great job of detailing the steps.