5 things to do with old magazines

Magazines are a great way of enjoying some lighthearted entertainment and keeping you mentally sharp all at once. They help you stay up to date with what's going on in the world, and can be the perfect activity for when you're relaxing at the end of a long day. Chances are, you have a heaping stack of old magazines somewhere in your home, and you need to get rid of them before they pile up. Before you toss them in the recycle bin, here's what you can do with them.

1. Create your own journal
When you want to jot down reminders, create a to-do list or just write creatively, why stick to a store-bought notepad? Designing your very own journal can help you use up your old magazines, and it can also encourage you to be inspired and write in it more frequently. Arts and crafts blog A Beautiful Mess suggested taking some of your favorite pages or advertisements from a magazine and cutting them to fit a small stack of plain stationery. Fold the paper and cover in half, and string a thick thread through a needle. Stitch through the center of the pages and tie in a knot when you get to the top. Cover the thread on both sides with a strip of tape to create a spine, and your journal is complete! Attach a ribbon to the spine and decorate with a bead at the end to create a nice, built-in book mark.

2. Make an accent wall
If you're looking to change up your room with minimal effort, why not take pages out of a magazine and cover a small wall? This is especially useful for those who have recently moved to an assisted living community and want to personalize their room without painting. You can also do this with old newspapers for a more streamlined look that's easier to accomplish. Simply line up pages accordingly, tape together in the back and hang up on a wall. It's a simple, quick fix for ridding your place of old publications and decorating in a new, hip way.

3. Turn them into banners
The perfect way to decorate for a book club or other small gathering, artistic banners hung strategically throughout your entertainment area can add a unique flair. Creative blog Design Shimmer suggested choosing your favorite pages and cutting them into equally sized triangles. Arrange them with the long point of the triangle pointing down in an order that you like, and prepare a needle and long line of thread. Weave through each piece, connecting them together, and hang to the ceiling. 

4. Swap them with your friends'
Chances are, your friends have some magazines that they're looking to get rid of. Approach some of your neighbors who have similar interests, and see if they want to do a swap. Many magazines cover evergreen subjects that remain relevant for a long period of time, so you're sure to learn a thing or two from their older magazines that were about to get thrown away. 

5. Donate them
Many people can benefit from some light reading. Try donating your magazines to local charities, libraries, and doctors and dentists offices that might be in need of material for their waiting areas. They could likely benefit from what you have to offer, so check with them before tossing them in the recycle bin. However, it's important to consider the audience before giving them away. For example, lifestyle magazines that may have inappropriate content for children shouldn't be given to an institution where kids are able to get their hands on them.