By Marina Hanes on November 04, 2010

The magazines you've read through can be turned into extra storage space for the home in a few easy steps.

Magazines can be thick, but individually, the floppy, thin pages seem like the last material you would use to build a sturdy bookshelf. To everyone’s surprise, Sean Miller did the unthinkable and crafted a bookshelf from 80 National Geographic magazines and was named one of 23 finalists in Inhabitat’s Spring Greening Contest.

When magazines start piling up, it’s hard to part with them. So, the next option is to display them on a rack, but once you run out of storage space, you have to make a choice to reuse or recycle. Reusing a collection of magazines and creating a bookshelf is an eco-friendly and stylish way to make room for more books and magazines. Although you might not want to say goodbye to such an iconic magazine like National Geographic, you can always reuse a collection that isn’t as close to your heart. Follow in Miller’s footsteps and create a magazine bookshelf of your very own.

  • Gather all of the magazines you’re willing to reuse. You can make a longer bookshelf using 80 like Miller did, or create smaller, cube-like shelves using fewer. Judge your wall space first and then decide how long you want your shelf to be.
  • Thoroughly coat the magazines in a water/starch mixture and neatly stack them together. Create a homemade starch by boiling 3¾ cups water. Then add 1 tablespoon of powered cornstarch and ¼ cup cold water to the hot water in a separate bowl.
  • Place a brick or other heavy item on top of the outside of the stack and allow the magazines to dry for a week. During this time, the paper should harden, and the set of magazines will become one unit.
  • Carefully use a band saw to carve out a rectangular shelf. Leave a few magazines in their entirety on both sides to give the shelf stability.
  • Install several picture-hanging hooks that will hold the weight of the shelf.

Give this DIY magazine bookshelf a try and increase your home’s vertical storage space. In addition, this accessory is a green conversation piece that can enhance your walls with iconic reading material.

About the author

Marina Hanes is a writer and editor based in Youngstown, OH. In addition to website content writing experience, she acquired researching and interviewing skills while working in a law office and a trauma research department.

Marina's grandfather, who was a forester, sparked her interest in sustainability. In 2008, she received a degree in professional writing and editing from Youngstown State University. In her spare time, she dabbles in fiction and children’s book writing, and her hobbies include yoga, skiing, kayaking and reading. Living with three cats and three dogs only makes life more fulfilling.

Marina owns Cat’s Eye Editing, LLC, and a listing of her published works can be found at CatsEyeEditing.com.


Learn more about Marina Hanes

Comments

There are no comments for this post yet


Articles by Marina Hanes

Best Buy’s Recycling Program

By Marina Hanes on December 8, 2011

The company's electronics recycling program is one of the most extensive offered by any retail outlet in the U.S.

Eco-Friendly Fireplace Roundup

By Marina Hanes on September 26, 2011

Stunning modern designs made from recycled and recyclable materials burn clean with biofueled flames.

How to Recycle Calculators

By Marina Hanes on September 21, 2011

Though often overlooked when considering recyclable electronics, calculator recycling programs and locations are sprouting up nationwide.

Reuse Articles

Ten Ways to Repurpose Worn-Out Shoes

By Falesha Wojitysiak on October 21, 2014

Got the old shoe blues? These 10 reuse ideas will keep your feet eco-stylish and eye-catching.

Halloween Reuse Idea: Egg Carton Pumpkins

By Maggie Wehri on October 20, 2014

These fun recycled Halloween decorations are the perfect way to reduce and reuse without compromising the festivities.

Twelve Amazing Repurposed Planters

By Falesha Wojitysiak on October 2, 2014

In the home or in the garden, make the most eye-catching planters using these simple reuse ideas.

Current News

Recycling Profile: Dover, DE

By 1-800-RECYCLING on October 31, 2014

The Capital of the First State takes advantage of Delaware's universal recycling guidelines.

1800Recycling.com Profiles Recycling Efforts in Austin, St. Petersburg, Knoxville, Champaign, Cambridge, and Other North American Cities

By 1-800-RECYCLING on October 30, 2014

“Recycling laws, policies and practices can vary substantially from city to city”

Recycling Profile: Thunder Bay, ON, Canada

By 1-800-RECYCLING on October 24, 2014

One of Canada's most strikingly beautiful cities has a robust sustainability plan in place over the next five-plus years.

Loading