Magazine Frames

Recycled catalog/magazine frames are super simple to make. With a little practice, they can take less than an hour to construct.

What you’ll need:

  • • Magazine pages
  • • Two bamboo skewers (the narrowest ones you can find)
  • • Glue stick
  • • Ruler
  • • Pencil
  • • Elmer’s Glue
  • • Moist towel
  • • Sharp, strong scissors
  • • Picture Frame
  • Mod Podge and brush

Part 1: Make a Magazine Reed
First, tear out a pile of magazine pages. You don’t have to worry about the torn edges being too clean—they’ll be hidden when you roll up the reeds. If you have a particular color scheme in mind for your project, then make sure the pages you tear out contain large amounts of these colors. You can use ad pages, article pages—all that matters is the predominant colors.
Cut the page in half along your fold line. Take the first half, and place it face down. By this I mean that the side of the page you want to have showing on the finished reed should be facing down.
Place a bamboo skewer on the bottom right corner of the paper. It should be a little more than a 45-degree angle to the corner.
As you roll, you’ll want to pay attention to the left-hand end of the skewer. The magazine paper will roll up around it and quickly cover it. Don’t let this happen! Take a moment every so often as you’re rolling to pull the end of the skewer out of the reed a little so you can still see the end as you continue rolling. (Hold your roll-in-progress down with your right hand and pull the skewer out with your left.)
The reason you’re doing this is so that you can still grab and remove the skewer once you’ve finished the reed.
Once you’ve rolled the paper to this point, spread some glue from the glue stick along the top edge of the paper, about halfway across from the right-hand corner. Then continue rolling the reed over this glue.
When you’ve rolled to this point, apply glue to the rest of that top edge of the paper and also to the left-hand edge. Finish rolling up the reed, making sure that the last tip of paper is securely glued down. Pull the skewer out of the reed and it’s done. If you have trouble pulling that skewer out, you can take a second skewer and poke it through the center of the reed to help push it out.
Make a pile of reeds to get ready for the next part of the project. Once you’ve rolled a few reeds, you’ll find a rhythm and each one will only take a few seconds to make.

Reed-Making Tips:
The reason we apply so much glue to the edges of the paper is so that you can cut your finished reeds into various lengths. If you only glue the end of the paper down, then when you cut the reed, it springs open and is difficult to reroll.

Part 2: Cover a Frame
Begin gluing the reeds onto the frame using Elmer’s Glue. Be consistent and glue the vertical sides first or the horizontal sides first also, make sure your reeds are the correct length by trimming them if necessary.

Reed-Gluing Tip:
The reeds should sit as close together as possible. Press the reeds together as you work. If glue oozes out between then, just wipe it away with your fingers.

Part 3- Finish
Once the glue is dry, use a pair of sharp, long-bladed scissors to trim away the ends of the reeds so they are flush with the edge of the frame.
Apply two coats of Mod Podge over the finished frame, allowing it to dry between coats.

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  1. I used some all magazines and now I have a perfect gift for Mother’s Day. Thanks.

  2. I agree that it seems more difficult than it really is.

  3. I made it with my kid and it was easier than I expected.

  4. I was looking for a craft for gift. This is it. Thank you.

  5. Rodolfo Glickson says

    It was messy, but it wass fun

  6. Excellent post however I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. What else can be done with the old magazines? I have tons of them at home.Thanks!

  7. Normand Hisel says

    Thanks for sharing this article. Discovered your site through another blog very informative and entertaining.

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