Mother Earth Living

Try This: Upcycled Paper Bowl

Upcycle an old magazine into a clever catchall.
By Derek Fagerstrom and Lauren Smith
July/August 2011
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Photo By Seth and Kendra Smoot

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With a little glue and a bit of gumption, you can transform a discarded magazine into stylish storage. Make one of these bowls for your entryway to store keys and loose change and another for your coffee table to corral remote controls. Don’t stop there! Get creative with shapes and sizes, and see what unfolds. 

Reader’s Digest 

Once you’ve devoured every word, turn articles into artful accents. 

Tools and Materials 

X-Acto knife
1 magazine
Bone folder tool
40 small butterfly clips (optional)
Crafter’s glue
Paper cutter or scissors

How To 

1. Use the X-Acto knife to cut out about 20 magazine pages. Cut pages in half lengthwise.

2. Once you have about 40 strips, take one piece and fold a long edge over about 1 inch.

3. Use the bone folder to crease the fold and continue folding over and over until you reach the end, creating a long strip. Use the bone folder every few folds.

4. Secure the ends of each piece with a butterfly clip, or place the folded strips inside a heavy book to keep them intact.

5. Make 40 folded pieces. You can make more later if needed.

6. To create a base for the bowl, take one folded magazine strip with the open fold facing down, and roll it into a tight coil. Place dots of glue between each part of the coil as you wind it together. You’ll end up with a round disk.

7. Take a second folded piece with the open fold facing down, and glue the end to the outside of the first disk. Roll this second piece around the disk, again placing dots of glue periodically between coils.

8. Continue adding pieces until you have an 8-inch-wide flat disk.

9. Now begin to vertically build the sides of the bowl. Place the next piece with the open fold facing up and away from the center disk, and coil it around your 8-inch disk, using glue to keep it in place.

10. Take another piece with the open fold up and facing away from the center piece, and stick it inside the last piece you attached. Use dots of glue to keep it in place, and be sure to leave about half of it sticking up and out of the piece it is going into.

11. Take the next piece and do the same thing, placing it into the piece that is sticking up. As you will see, this creates the gradual rise of the bowl.

12. Continue to place each new piece, sculpting the bowl piece by piece. Use the glue to hold each new piece in place.

13. To make the final piece, which will be the rim of the bowl, place it in the last piece with the folded part down.

Green Magazine 

The magazine industry may be behind in environmental conscientiousness (less than 5 percent of magazine paper has any recycled content), but many organizations and publications are striving to reduce their planetary impact. The Association of Magazine Media’s Please Recycle This Magazine campaign is an industry-wide initiative aimed at improving magazine recycling rates. At Natural Home & Garden, we’re doing our part before the magazine even reaches you. Printed on 100 percent de-inked, post-consumer fiber paper and processed without chlorine, every issue preserves about 200 trees and 13,000 gallons of water.

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