Upcycled magazines as a fun picture frame

Magazines, the sort that enter your house via the letter box. Whether you subscribe or not. Even if you politely ask for no junk mail. Whatever we do to be zero waste, these glossy unrecyclable missives enter our lives!

Check out your local recycling here, but it is highly unlikely to be possible to recycle glossy type of magazines. So what do you do?

Here is one way to repurpose them.

For this craft I have used, one Wetherspoons circular, one random clothes leaflet and one seed magazine. The last one came in a delivery I had ordered, so I inadvertently allowed it into my home! We can but aim for perfection! I also am using a tub of PVA Craft Glue .

I would also have loved to have used my new Glue Gun but sadly I bought it after I had finished this project!

I was also given a pretty basic photo frame for my birthday and told to make it my own!

Start my cutting all of the evil glossy magazines up

old magazines
Be as casual as like about sizing.

You can see that there is quite a bit of colour here. I then fold them down the central line to reduce the width in half. It also produces a smooth edge.

Keep going, and then keep going some more..

Trust me when I say you will need many more of these than you can ever imagine! This is a real sitting around the kitchen table whilst the younger ones revise and do homework, kind of a craft. It just keeps me out of mischief whilst this happens and creates a calm space. I could write some drivel about mindfulness but actually it is very calming. Also it has proven to be quite a good distraction from GCSE stress. So not a bad thing all around!

Once the magazines are folded

Start to make spirals with them. Nice and tight in the middle. When you want to add another strip, just fold it into the spiral.

magazine spirals

You will see I have not been too fussed with perfection. If some are thicker when you cut the magazine up it just means that you have a mixture of heights later on. No the end of the world. If anything the imperfections look better. That is more or less my motto I am sure you will see.

A small amount of glue will go a long way and I just gently let a small blob on the end. Then you hold in place for a count of ten or so. You get quite gluey doing this, so rest it on a pad of paper whilst it sets. When the PVA glue has ‘gone off’ it kind of hardens them up a bit. So get used to storing them as you will not stay happy if you aim to have this completed in one sitting!

Personally I am making these whilst the six nations rugby is on. Less mindfulness and more mindlessness. Either way it keeps me busy when it is snowing outside.

The good bit

magazines upcycled

By this point you will be looking at all of your imperfect spirals. Some made with twenty strips and therefore quite large and some in between. You may be thinking you are seeing spirals in your sleep. But then the good bit. Start to arrange them on your photo frame. Giving a good dollop of PVA glue to the bottom unfolded side. Hold them in place for several seconds. Leave to dry overnight. Some people use a
Craft Glue Gun and there is nothing wrong with this. In fact it gives you a more stable frame.

I guess I could have left it like that but I still had these left.

so many magazines

So I kept going! Until I go this…



So it is up to you as it is a very little cost project and will keep the kids busy one Snowy/wet/windy day.


I have a romantic idea that we will be able to look at some of our digital images and add them in here. So I am adding it to my
‘Alternative Valentine’s Day Presents’ list.


Pro Tip

I always like to leave a little lesson’s learnt type piece at the end of each craft. For this one my husband has learnt not to say ‘I think I prefer the one with only a few spirals in the corners’. This is because of the sheer dedication and gluey mess that all of those spirals created. The worst part is his name is indeed Paddy. So the joke, or epitaph could start with Paddy walked up to his wife and said……

I will leave it for you to decide;

Fully covered

magazine zero waste

or corners only

magazines upcycled


The worst thing I don’t think I have a favourite! So if you have plenty of time and don’t mind getting gluey give it a try and show off to us all!

Why not share to the Facebook Group?

Thanks and it really is zero waste and zero skill!