How to Recycle Old Magazines into Matching Bowlcoasters
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How to Recycle Old Magazines into Matching Bowlcoasters

DIY artistic bowl/coasters while being eco-friendly. Recycle your old magazines into decorative and useful bowls/coasters.
 Do you have old magazines piling up and taking up your extra space? Have you been wanting to get rid of them in an Eco-friendly way? With extra magazines and some time, you can turn them into various sized bowls (for fruit, mail, miscellaneous small items), or coasters for your home. These items make aesthetically pleasing and useful decor for your living space. I originally got this idea from another paper craft I found on the Internet; I then modified it to my own taste. I made myself a bowl (which I used for fresh fruit and vegetables) and a set of 4 coasters. 

I mainly used advertisements from the magazines, they're much more colorful than individual articles. If you want a theme throughout the bowl, you can look for similar colors. In most advertisements the model(s) are centered, so if you fold the paper precisely, you can get mainly bodies or faces to show throughout the sides of the bowl. 

What you will need: 

Old magazine pages (use articles for a black and white pattern, or advertisements for a brighter, more colorful pattern)

Hot glue gun

Hard surface

Mod Podge (or other water-based sealant)

Waterproof Sealer (I use a Clear Acrylic High Gloss Sealer for coasters)


Newspapers or other surface to let the bowl/coasters dry on

You will need approximately 1 full magazine depending on how large you want the bowl (less if you're making coasters). Carefully tear the pages you want to use out of the magazine(s). On a hard surface fold each page lengthwise 3-4 times, putting pressure on the creases to make them stay tighter. Once you acquire a stack of folded pages you can begin to glue the bottom of the bowl.

To begin, you take one folded page and place glue along part of one side, and then roll the paper on top of itself; it should be a circle (not necessarily a perfect one, but that gives it more character!). Leave a small end free, so the next strip can be glued underneath it, to continue the circle. 

The circle will slowly get larger and larger, until you've decided that it's large enough for the base of your bowl (or the size of coaster you are looking for). If you're making coasters, you're done when they're large enough to fit under a glass. I recommend placing them under a heavy book to make sure they're flat enough to balance a drink on. If you're continuing on the journey to finishing a bowl, when the base is as large as you want it, you can start gluing the strips 3/4 of the way up the previous strip to begin the wall. Continue the wall until the bowl is as large as you want, this method will work for any size bowl. 

<-- bowls... or coasters -->

To finish up, you'll need the water base sealer (such as Mod Podge) and a paintbrush. Generously cover your bowl/coasters with the Mod Podge, this will make it sturdy and glue all parts of the strips together. I recommend doing the inside first, so it can dry facing upward, and when turned over to continue drying, you can glue the outside of the bowl. The Mod Podge will dry clear, and sometimes requires 2 coats depending on how sturdy you want your bowl. 

The coasters will need to be Mod Podge'd as well, and once they are dry, you can spray them with the other sealer. Once all pieces of art are dry, they are ready for use! You may have to re-spray the waterproof sealer on the coasters after awhile, especially if using them for drinks that sweat a lot. They are made out of paper after all! 

Once you get the hang of it, and become more confident, you can experiment with different shapes as well. For example, one of my friends made a triangle-shaped bowl; the base was more difficult at the beginning to have 3 straight sides instead of going round and round for the circle. If you want the pieces to be certain colors, you can always spray paint them as well.  

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Comments (11)

I love these and always see in stores way overpriced. Thanks for a great guide to making them!

Very Interesting.......

I can not wait to make this! Thanks a bunch for this great article!

Great idea and good illustrations!

Ranked #7 in Paper Crafts

Thanks guys! :) I started a new one so I could take step-by-step pictures just in case my wording was confusing.

I love this idea! I am going to try it real soon. Do you think they would be safe to use as a trivet to place hot dishes or pots on?

Ranked #7 in Paper Crafts

Hmm I actually thought about that the other day (I started a new one) and my guess is that if you coat it with enough stuff it might be usable at a trivet for warm dishes. Probably nothing straight off the stove or oven, but if coated with something other than Mod Podge (it's mainly glue) you might be okay. Good luck, and I'm glad you like it!


I love this idea! I always see the bowls at gift shops/specialty stores, but have never thought of making coasters. I will be making these for me and for gifts for friends and family!

Thank you!

Ranked #7 in Paper Crafts

You're welcome! Enjoy :)

Excellent work

Ranked #7 in Paper Crafts

Thank you all for the comments and compliments! I hope you're enjoying making them :)