Recycle Craft: Magazine Rods Make Unique Art!

Recycle vintage magazines and turn them into works of art!

This project shows you how to create unique paper “rods” using colorful pages from magazines, and then how to use these rods to decorate storage boxes, tin cans (to be used as vases or pencil holders), or plastic bottles (to be used as vases). You can even use the rods to make trivets and coasters!

This project is easy to do and is a great way to recycle and reuse those vintage magazines you have stored in your basement (hint, hint).

What You Need:

  • Magazines to Recycle
  • Small Bamboo Skewer
  • Glue Stick
  • Scissors
  • Small Boxes, Cardboard, Tin Cans, or Glass Vases
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint Brush

What You Do To Make The Rods:

  1. Carefully remove a page from a magazine that has the colors you like. You may want to choose pages that don’t have a lot of text on them, so you will have more colors.
  2. Fold the magazine page in half lengthwise, as shown in Figure 2.
  3. Cut the folded page in half along the fold line, as shown in Figure 3.
  4. Place the cut page on a table with the side you want to see facing down.
  5. Position the skewer on one of the corners of the page that you want rolled first. Make sure to position the skewer at slightly more than a 45 degree angle, as shown in Figure 4.
  6. Roll the corner of the magazine page around the skewer, then continue rolling tightly until the last inch of the page remains unrolled.
  7. Use a glue stick to apply glue all along the top edge of the page, as shown in Figure 4, then continue rolling the page around the skewer, pressing the glued edge down as you roll.
  8. Carefully remove the skewer from the rolled rod. You might have to wiggle the skewer slightly to remove it from the roll.
  9. Set the rod aside, and repeat these steps until you have an assortment of rods completed.

What You Do To Finish The Project:

  1. Once you have the number of rods you need for your project, you can begin laying them out to form the color pattern you like.
  2. Use a glue stick or tacky glue to apply a layer of glue onto the object that you want to attach the rods to. For example, if you are covering a tin can, apply a layer of glue in a strip from the top of the can to the bottom of the can, then place the first rod into position. Continue adding glue as necessary and add one rod at a time to form your pattern.
  3. When all the rods are in place, allow the glue to dry before trimming the rods to fit the object.
  4. If desired, apply a coat of Mod Podge over your complete project to seal the rods in place.


  • Use your magazine rods to cover old picture frames – a fun way to make the frames more colorful!
  • Cover a square of recycled cardboard to form a coaster, placemat, or trivet.
  • The rods can easily be bent to form unique patterns when covering boxes, coasters, or vases. Be creative!
  • Make paper rods of various sizes by rolling paper around a pencil or large knitting needle.

JayDee /

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