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Utilise your Magazines in an Upbeat Way

Updated on January 26, 2014

Upcycle them into a Coffee Table!

I love magazines on Interior Decorating, and they lie around because I love browsing through them for inspiration, but you tend to run out of space pretty soon, especially if you're living in a small space.

The perfect way to keep them handy, is to stack them and turn them into something functional. I love the idea of upcycling, recycling and re-utilising, so I'm always making plans to utilise what I already have in some other way.

We used to go to auctions a lot when I stayed on a small holding and there was usually a variety of goodies lying around that were begging for some sort of upcycling That's how my first glass topped table came about!

All photos taken by me (Copyrighted) unless otherwise credited.

You Need

Your Magazines


A Pane of Thick Glass

Stack your Magazines

You can stack them any way you want! In a single pile, double pile, four just depends on how many you have, what space you have and the size of your piece of glass.

Mine is not very neat, and they consist of all types and sizes. You can sort them into similar sizes and make them neat if you have enough of every type. You can also use the back spines to make a design pattern facing where you can see them.

If you have four stacks you can make a checkerboard pattern by stacking them with the binding sides facing in the four different directions.

Put your Glass on Top

Choose glass that is thick enough to not break easily when you put something on top of it and ensure that the edges are not sharp. You can edge it with several layers of tape and paint it or stick some rope or twine on, even some mosaic tiles will look quite pretty if you're crafty! If not, and you're buying a piece of glass, ask your supplier to dull the edges for you.

If the glass is larger than the stack of magazines, just make sure that it is not too big so that it will tip if you put something on the side, like a cup full of hot coffee or tea!

You can also make a long table with two stacks of magazines at the ends and empty space in between with a long rectangle of glass, I think this will actually look quite cool!

My original idea

used an old railway pane of glass

I originally used this idea for my magazines with a pane of security glass from an old railway carriage of the South African Railways. It had a very prominent Springbok Emblem emblazoned on the very thick, shatterproof glass that made it very distinctive.

I've since mislaid my piece of glass...would have liked to use it like this again, it was very safe and sturdy - brilliant for this purpose!

Photo Credit: - Danie van der Merwe (cc Creative Commons)

This Heritage Steam Train still runs - between Cape Town and Simon's Town in South Africa

It uses the old carriages that had these panes of glass in. I loved these old steam locomotive trains and still remember going on one through South Africa as a child when we travelled from the north all the way down to the Cape to go and visit family. The rails were not welded together and the train made a very distinctive cluck-cluck sound as the metal wheels went over the gaps between the rails. Miss that.

It was a very memorable trip, especially as I will never forget my eyes streaming from getting soot in them when I hung out the window! And my mom's rainbow sandwiches...those were great times!

Photo Credit: - Danie van der Merwe

Heritage Railways in South Africa - ...just in case you want to book a trip!

...or meander through memory lane. South Africa has narrow gauge rails, so the trains are not as wide as in the USA. We still have a number of Heritage Steam Trains running regular trips. Awesome sound, those whistles!

Ah! My pane of glass HAVE hauled up some memories!

Inspiration for Upcycling on Amazon - ReCraft, ReCycle, ReDesign

Eco Craft: Recycle Recraft Restyle
Eco Craft: Recycle Recraft Restyle

Love this title...Re-Everything!

Trash to Treasure: A Kid's Upcycling Guide to Crafts
Trash to Treasure: A Kid's Upcycling Guide to Crafts

Teach your little ones this valuable lesson. The next generation will have it in them not to waste!


Are you a Recycler? - Part of the Green Generation?

There are so many options about nowadays to recycle, and we really need to make an effort to do this. Do you recycle yet or are you planning to? This needs to be a part of life for us, our planet is being covered in things we chuck. Until we get to the phase where we do not need to wrap anything in unnecessary junk, we need to make recycling a lifestyle choice.

Do you Recycle?

What do you think of the idea of Upcycling? Have you come across or done anything like this?

Please let us know or leave a link, would love to go see!

Upcyclers, Yo! - Leave me a footprint please

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    • MarleMac profile image

      MarleMac 4 years ago from South Africa

      @flycatcherrr: Thanks, Flycatcher! It would have been...can't think for the life of me what I did with it...

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 4 years ago

      Clever way to deal with your magazines! But I'm very sorry to hear you misplaced your old railway carriage window glass. That would be quite a treasure!

    • MarleMac profile image

      MarleMac 4 years ago from South Africa

      @sha-ron: Thanks, yes I agree, so older ones at the bottom, definitely! Great observation! Thanks for stopping by.

    • sha-ron profile image

      sha-ron 4 years ago

      Great idea. The only downfall I can see is if on hard floor they would get wet when washing the floor.

    • MarleMac profile image

      MarleMac 4 years ago from South Africa

      @Sylvestermouse: Thank you! Oh, the pulling out thing happened frequently! Glass off, several magazines out, restack, glass back...

      My thanks to Coletta to find her...

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 4 years ago from United States

      This is a really neat idea and also a great way to "store" you magazines. Do you ever feel tempted to just pull one out of the center and read through it again? This really is a pretty cool idea. I will have to thank Coletta again for sharing this lens on Review This!

    • MarleMac profile image

      MarleMac 4 years ago from South Africa

      @evawrites1: Thanks Eva!

    • evawrites1 profile image

      evawrites1 4 years ago

      I think it's great! A very interesting use of old magazines by the way.

    • MarleMac profile image

      MarleMac 4 years ago from South Africa

      @anonymous: Thanks Charli!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Creative use for your interior design magazines!

    • MarleMac profile image

      MarleMac 4 years ago from South Africa

      @sierradawn lm: Thanks SierraDawn!

    • MarleMac profile image

      MarleMac 4 years ago from South Africa

      @Lynn Klobuchar: Yes, pretty cool! Thanks for stopping by!

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 4 years ago

      Nice idea! Pity about the Springbok glass... perhaps you'll find something similar in the future

    • MarleMac profile image

      MarleMac 4 years ago from South Africa

      @savateuse: I'm still hoping it will pop up somewhere, but I do know where to find some more if I REALLY want to! Thanks for popping in!

    • MarleMac profile image

      MarleMac 4 years ago from South Africa

      @TerriCarr: I agree - I'm VERY fussy as well! Things need to look great, and I don't always have time to spend to get it to look that way. This was an easy one though! Thanks for popping in!

    • MarleMac profile image

      MarleMac 4 years ago from South Africa

      @Zeross4: Thanks Daisy! I didn't have children at the time, but I did have big dogs with long tails, so everything needed to be sturdy!

    • sierradawn lm profile image

      sierradawn lm 4 years ago

      I love the idea of your magazine stack tables!

    • profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 4 years ago

      This is a great idea. It is a simple solution that can adapt as your possessions and needs change!

    • TerriCarr profile image

      TerriCarr 4 years ago

      I am not very creative with physical things. And I don't like when stuff looks shabby. So it would be a challenge for me to find ways to upcycle that I really like. Your table looks pretty good.

    • Zeross4 profile image

      Renee Dixon 4 years ago from Kentucky

      I love the idea, and your magazine table looks really cool for maybe an office or some place the kids aren't going to be. Great article, well done!

    • MarleMac profile image

      MarleMac 4 years ago from South Africa

      @Elsie Hagley: Children around...definitely two...and THICK glass with rounded edges! Thanks for stopping by!

    • MarleMac profile image

      MarleMac 4 years ago from South Africa

      @ColettaTeske: Oh awesome, Pringle cans! Thanks for hopping on my table express!

    • MarleMac profile image

      MarleMac 4 years ago from South Africa

      @SusanDeppner: Thanks Susan! I did this with two stacks originally as the glass was quite large and it looked great and was very stable as well. Very true - the different magazines gives it a distinctive look for each pile which is awesome! Truly individual!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      I like your idea. I would have two stacks of magazines to balance it, I would be afraid when children are around as there maybe a accident, as the coffee could get knock off and yes, a disaster like burnt child, carpet stained. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      ColettaTeske 4 years ago

      In the early 70s, I made a table from painted Pringles cans that were glued together into a round base. It was really cool. I like your idea!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Clever idea! I think I'd feel it was safer with two stacks, one on each end, but I'm thinking if 20 people did the project they would have 20 very different tables when all was said and done - which is very, very cool!


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