How to Organize Magazines {+ Creative Uses for Old Magazines}

With all of the great Magazine Freebies & Deals we’ve been scoring, it doesn’t take long for our magazine stacks to start piling up!!

Frugal friend Maegan needs YOUR help, and is on the hunt for tips to organizer her magazines!

After I’ve read my magazines… I love to use them to make Fun Marble Magnets, pass them on to friends, and I even just found a used bookstore nearby that will buy them for 25 cents each!  {which will more than pay for some of these subscriptions!} 😉

{how to make marble magnets}

How do YOU organize your magazines or creatively put them to use after you’ve read them??

Leave a comment & share!


  1. Janalee says

    I was just trying to figure out how to organize all the recipes and exercise information in my plethora of magazines!! Ideas?

    • Linda says

      I bought a binder at Office Depot with one of my gift cards from all the awesome rebates there, and then bought an A-Z set of dividers for the binder. I then went through all of my collected recipes from online or in magazines, and sorted them by main ingredient, while pitching a bunch of them. Hope this helps!

    • says

      I love my family circle and vogue. I have so many.I also have 5 kids who are constantly wareing out binders and throwing them away but the clamps are still good inside.So i cleaned up the outsides and organized my mag.s by date used a hole punch and put my mags inside. I can fit up to 5 in a small binder.So now when i want a recipe or an article i just look them up.They stay neat compact and organised and in good condition.

  2. says

    *I heard that there is an organization that will take old magazines and ship them to troops overseas.

    *I tear out parenting articles that I want to keep for reference. Then I put them in a page protector and into a folder. I have a the articles separated by topic: Behavior, Craft / Party Ideas, Health, etc.

    *I also tear our pictures I want to use to add t0 my scrapbook or to create a collage of some sort.

  3. Jennifer says

    I Tear out articles I want to save and put them in plastic sleeve protectors and store them in 3-ring binders. I buy bigger binders and use dividers to categorize. For smaller articles and recipes that just take up half a page or less – I cut them out and glue them on a piece of printer paper. I then hole punch and again put in binders by category. This saves on having to buy plastic sleeves which can be expensive. A package of those little round reinforcers is a lot cheaper!

  4. Trisha says

    I work at a Preschool, so I take all my magazines to work for the kids to use for crafts. Before I do that though I tear out my favorite ideas and keep them in my “idea book”.

    • Cheryl says

      I think that is a great way to use them. As a kid we used rolled magazine pages to paste to a coffee can or a larger or smaller can. We would paste the pages longside around the can and made waste baskets, pencil holders. They actually could be very feminine or masculine depending on colours used. I still remember how proud I was to give to Mom. Just a thought.

  5. says

    I like to cut things I dream about or would like in the future and recipes (I am a young wife) and put it in a “dream book”. This way I don’t have to keep the magazines forever.

  6. Cherie Carr says

    I take them to work for my students to use to make crafts and things! If they are not to old I also donate to the local nursing home, those poor folks never get anything “new” to read!

  7. says

    My sister-in-law used to be the activity director at a local nursing home. She was always asking me for my magazines after I’d read them – even the Cosmopolitans! The residents didn’t really care what they had; they just wanted something – anything! – to read.

  8. Erica says

    I take them to half price bookstore and sell them.. What doesnt sell, they take to the local veterans hospital.. Also pass down to my family friends and coworkers..

  9. Donna Early says

    I volunteer for an organization called “Books for Soldiers” and as soon as I’ve finished with a magazine, I put it in a collection bin to send to soldiers overseas. A lot of my old magazines appeal to the female soldiers who are deployed right now.

  10. June Black says

    I really am a frugal girl. After reading, my magazines go to Half Price Books where I take the cash or my kids get a new book each, just love it !

  11. alicia says

    i give the kids a pair of scissors, glue sticks, and let them make collages. they love to decorate their rooms with their “art”

  12. Stephanie Sanchez says

    I have a serious magazine addiction. I currently hold 20 subscriptions just for myself and my daughter has her own kid ones. I have certain ones I keep no matter what, ie: Food Network, Cosmo, Taste of Home… The rest I tear out articles I want to keep and then I bring them up to work and leave them in an empty shelf. Any time things are slow or someone needs a distraction at lunch or break they know where to find them.

  13. Leanna Morris says

    If it’s a cooking magazine, I tear out the recipes I want to try. Then, all my magazines are passed on to family members, who pass them on to others, or I take them to our local food and clothing bank where they are in a bin for free!

  14. Stacey Patterson says

    I donate mine to the local high school. With all the education cuts they are only getting 2 subscriptions this year! So, they LOVE that I donate all my magazines to them.

  15. says

    Cut out interesting/ colorful pics & decoupage them onto a wooden chair that you’d like to refinish anyway. Pick glossy, beautiful colors. Match it to what’s already in your sun room, extra/bonus room, etc. or create a “theme” chair. You can always put the finished product (decoupaged chair) into a silent auction with proceeds going to your favorite charity.

  16. says

    Ever sit in your doctors’ or dentists’ office thumbing through old, worn out, out of date mags? Most of the mags in their waiting rooms have come from their employees … so … next time you are in a waiting room, leave your mags – just make sure your name/address and any other personal info that might be on the mag is removed first!

  17. Patricia says

    Some mags I save so I can cut out picures of family, animals, nature, food etc. for an upcoming 1st grade religious ed. class depending on that week’s subject (e.g. food for Thanksgiving).
    Some mags I pass on to family and neighbors. When they come back to me I bring them to the library.

  18. Wendy says

    I always wait until I have a nice stack of magazines along with some items I have gotten on sale such as Poise, Depends, Tena pads, gum, candy, nasal sprays and other items and donate them to local assisted living homes. They love getting these items along with anything else I get at a great dea.

    • says

      Awesome idea and just know how much you are helping in these hard times! I know we all do what we can to give back but I will incoporate this into my own giving back!

  19. Amy says

    Teachers are always looking for free supplies. School-appropriate magazines (no cosmo!) can be donated to local teachers or schools for kids to use for projects and collages. As an English teacher, I have kids make collages all the time. History teachers might appreciate “up-to-date” magazines like “Newsweek” and “Time.” Again, nothing that talks about sex and orgasms, though!!

  20. says

    When I am finished reading my magazines that I get I take them over to a local hospital to their ICU waiting room for family members to read while they are camped out or waiting to see their loved ones in the ICU. We were there for 3 months once and it was nice to have a variety of reading material to read.

  21. Margaret says

    Our library has a place to “trade” magazines. I bring in the more sensible ones I subscribe to and try to find the more “trashy” entertainment ones that I love reading but won’t justify the expense.

  22. Sandy Pochapin says

    I take them to our town’s transfer station and put them in the Swap Shop (after I remove all the subscription address labels — I have been an identity theft victim twice!) My husband and I both get a TON of magazines on a variety of different subjects, from Entertainment Weekly to Guns & Ammo so I hate to waste them by just having them read once since they are usually in pristine condition afterward…

  23. Belle says

    I get my magazines at the library. I love Better Homes and Gardens even though I have an apartment and no garden. About 3 times a year, I grab all the BH&G at the library, tear out everything I like, put it in a binder and recycle the mags. It doesn’t seem right to donate them after you’ve picked through them. I find it relaxing and it’s free.

  24. Angela says

    I tear them into small pieces and decopauge them onto pots, or metal plant containers. Makes a very pretty flower pot, and a great gift! Also for my teenage daughter we did the same thing, but decopauged the torn pieces onto cut out letters of her name and hung them in her room.

  25. Jenny says

    I decoupage shoe boxes and other cardboard boxes by using white school glue or glue sticks to make themes or color schemes. I then spray the finished and dry boxes with clear acryllic spray paint. I fill them with gifts in tissue paper for weddings, birthdays, and re-use giftwrap as well to do it for Christmas. The boxes are beautiful, and make beautiful storage for reuse.

  26. Amanda says

    I save the articles that I want amd use some for various craft projects. However, the ones I don’t use I take to our local hospital to donate to the chemotherapy center. When my husband was having chemo and radiation I would spend hours reading the same magazines. They appreciate the donations and it gives the patients and their loved ones something new to look at.

  27. Jenny says

    I actually started using an app on my phone (CamScanner) to take a phone scan of the article (this is GREAT when I see an article or a recipe I like in a mag that’s not mine). I take a pic when my phone and it converts it to PDF, then I can e-mail the scan to myself, keep it in my phone, send it to DropBox, whatever, and the magazine stays in tact with the awesome article or recipe available for others to see (and likely tear out :\ themselves). When I’m done with the mag I either give it to my sister or have a magazine swap with my friends. We all get the benefit of various subscriptions without each of us having all of the same magazines.

  28. NC Mommy says

    I cut out the phrases and use them when putting together our photo albums! Everyone loves to look at the photo albums because of all the sayings etc.

  29. Laura says

    A great poetry activity for kids (or you!). Cut out all sorts of the large words in the magazine – and I mean all of them. Then make poetry with it. Tape or glue to paper to see what you can come up with. And it looks neat too.

  30. Lin says

    Take a page from a magazine and fold in half. Then fold to make a fan(the folded side being the top). Wrap & glue ribbon around the “handle”. Trim all edges with the same ribbon and decorate as you please. Use for gift package embellishments, tree ornaments or in wreaths. Sell them at a crafts bazaar. After all the folding, gluing & trimming, they are very durable and quite stunning. Use the covers to fold and glue into cones. Decoupage & embellish them and fill with a dried arrangement. Beautiful.

  31. lynda says

    I donate my magazines to nursing home in my neighborhood they don’t care even if they are months old they love them.

  32. STephanie says

    I cut out the pictures I like and put my address labels on the back, then use them for Id on my laptop, inside my purse,

  33. Brenda E says

    I brought some magazines with me to leave when I visited a friend in the nursing home. My daughter donated some to the therapy office for the kids, as there were no magazines there for kids to read. I also donated some to a business whose magazines were dated 2010. My local library has an area to recycle magazines or get free ones.

  34. debbie says

    I have a ton of magazines so I have recently started tearing out the pages I don’t want to keep, leaving the pages I do want to keep. I have kept torn out pages with lots of color in a file for crafting, decoupage, making paper beads, etc. When I have time, I will make binders of different categories with the pages kept. I used to tear out what I wanted to keep…that would end up being thrown away somewhere down the road because it was such a mess. I am working my way thru the mags, getting faster as I go.

  35. Elita says

    I work at a car dealership and I put them in the waiting areas(minus my address). Some people seem to appreciate the reading material. I also donate them to the local library so they can sell them for them to help the library fund.

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