Friday, September 7, 2012

Create a Storage Bin using Woven Recycled Magazines

My kids subscribe to kid's magazines.  However, they don't keep the issues stowed in proper holders, organized and labeled; neat and tidy.  They find this solution difficult to use - they're kids.  While I am glad they read and enjoy their magazines, I prefer the magazines be put away when not in use.  This may be the reason I am always looking for a storage solutions that are functional, easy for kids to maintain, and (preferably) stylish.

Last summer, I discovered a project that meets these requirements and more.  It's a magazine bin made out of woven recycled magazines.   The inspiration for this zero-cost storage solution came to me while shopping for milk crate-style storage bins.  I just hated spending money on more flimsy plastic storage!  I wondered if folded magazines would hold up as well as Duck Tape fashion accessories do.  I tried it and found out that it does, indeed, hold up.  Within an afternoon, I turned a few old kid's magazines and some packing tape into a cute magazine storage bin.  Keep reading to learn how to make one of your own.

Create a Storage Bin Using Woven Recycled Magazines

  • Three to Four Magazines or Catalogs
  • Scissors
  • Clear Packing Tape
General How-To:
  • Collect colorful magazines
    Note:   This project works with any magazine, catalog, or newspaper insert.  A multi-color bin, made from kid's magazines, is great for kids; an all black and white bin would be cool for someone older.
  • Tear out enough pages for the five sides of the bin.
    Note:  If you need multiple magazines, keep them the same type (LEGO and LEGO or Vogue and Vogue).   I used approximately 18 pages per side (9 x 9 squares).  So, I needed a total of 90 pages.
Remove each magazine page at the fold.
  • Fold one magazine page in half length-wise and crease. 
First fold:  fold page in half length-wise.
  • Open the page and fold half of the first side in to meet the crease.  
Second fold:  meet the center crease.
  • Fold the other half in to meet the crease.
Third Fold:  meet center crease.
Note:  You can stop here and skip the fourth fold - if you want more more of each page to show in the finished product.
  • If you opt to do the fourth fold, fold both sides in half again to meet the crease.
    Note:  I made the fourth fold.
Fourth fold:  Fold each side in half again.
  • Fold in half once more along the original crease.
    Result:  You've created the first slat for your woven bin.  The slats I created from the LEGO magazine measure approximately 10" x 1".   
Final fold: Fold along original crease.
  • Repeat these steps for the remaining magazine pages.
    Note:  Get the kids involved - the folding is not difficult, just time consuming.
    Result:  You completed all the slats.  Time to weave. 
Four down.  Only 86 more to go.
  • Lay the packing tape on a work surface, sticky-side up, and cut a strip of tape that measures the width of your bin, plus a bit extra.  
    Note:   I cut a piece 12 inches long for a 10" x" 10 cubical bin.
The packing tape is 1" wide.
  • Place slats on the tape, leaving one inch of tape at the top.
    Note:  I placed 10 slats vertically on the tape for my bin.
    Note:   To make a smaller bin, just cut the folded magazine slats before you seal with tape.  This technique can be used to create all sorts of items - the sky is the limit.
Extra tape will be folded over the row of slats to secure them.
  • Begin weaving the additional slats in an over-under pattern,
    Note:  I was able to fit about 8 slats into the pattern horizontally. 
The beginning of the weave
  • Tighten and straighten the slats as you continue weaving.
    Result:  You completed one side of the bin.
Weaving on side one complete.
  • Tape the side of the bin completely with the packing tape.
    Note:  This process seals the paper and strengthens the construction.  
All taped up and ready for assembly.
  • Repeat these steps for the next four sides.
    Result:  You completed all five sides of the bin.  Time to put it all together.
  • Choose one of the bin sides to be the bottom.
  • Match the edges of  one side piece and the bottom.  Tape along the edge.
    Note:  Tape both the inside and outside to add strength.  
Match sides and tape together with packing tape.
  • Repeat with the other side pieces and the remaining three sides of the bottom piece.
    Note:   Make sure that the text on all sides are facing the same direction when fully assembled. 
  • Choose which side will be the outside and which will be the inside.  
  • Match up the edges of two sides.  Tape along the edge.
    Note:  Tape both the inside and outside to add strength.
Tape the sides together to form the cube.
  • Repeat with the other sides.
  • Add one last strip of tape along the top edge to add strength.
    Result:  You are done.  Fill up the bin with magazines, catalogs, toys, and other assorted stuff.
Bin created with Ranger Rick magazines
Bin created with LEGO magazines.
Such a great project.  And it cost nothing!  The kids love that we created something ourselves and that it was a 'green' recycling project.  I love that I have somewhere to toss their magazines.   That's definitely a win-win situation.  Try this project with magazines you have hanging around your house!

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