I am so excited about my new magazine rack! It looks great and has a theme that matches my living room decor! No, I didn’t find a great deal on a modernized magazine rack; I made it myself! You can make one, too! If you can fold a piece of cardboard in half you can soon have a brand new magazine rack that really didn’t cost anything. The project is so quick and easy that you can do it in a few minutes while you’re sitting around bored one day. Don’t need a magazine rack? Use the same technique to make a mail holder, a desk organizer or even a new sign for your small business!
If you have a piece of thick cardboard lying around the house you’ve got a new sign, organizer or other item. The cardboard you use can be corrugated or not but should be thick and stiff. To make a magazine rack you’ll need a fairly large piece of cardboard, but for something like a counter top store sign, you can use a much smaller piece. Choose a piece that’s appropriate in size for the new item you want to make. No matter what you’re making you’ll use the same basic technique.
It’s important that you fold the cardboard piece perfectly in half. It can be somewhat challenging to fold really thick cardboard but there are some things you can do to achieve the accuracy you need. One helpful hint is to use a straight edge that exists in your home, like the side of the kitchen table or coffee table. Draw a line to represent exactly half of the cardboard. Position that line on the edge of the table and bend the cardboard. Only have round tables in the house? Use the side of a dresser, aligned bricks or blocks, or something similar to create a straight edge.
You’ll need to make some sort of straps to hold the bent cardboard in position. The straps can be two strips of cardboard, two lengths of ribbon or something else. If you’re using cardboard strips you can simply glue them to the sides of the cardboard. Stand the cardboard up so that the bent edge is facing upwards. Choose an area about halfway down and glue the strip from one side to the other. Do the same to the opposite side. These straps will keep the cardboard from falling flat. If using ribbons they’ll need to be applied before covering that side with fabric or paper. Glue the ribbon ends to the two sides of the upside-down “v” shape that’s created from the bent cardboard. Do the same to the opposite side. When using ribbon straps you can fold the cardboard sign or organizer flat to store it.
After the cardboard is bent in half you have several choices for finishing the sign, organizer or magazine rack. Paint one side and cover the other side with decorative paper or cloth. Or, paint the cardboard on the front and back. Paint both sides the same color or paint each side a different shade. Materials you can use to cover the cardboard include wrapping paper, foil, contact paper or even wallpaper. Cover it with kid-theme fabric to make an arrangement for a child’s room or in elegant foil wrap for a glitzy look in the living room.
How you proceed will depend upon what you’re making. If you’re making a counter top sign you can use stickers, markers or other craft supplies to spell out what you want to on the sign. Stand the sign up on the counter or shelf you want. If you’ve made a large sign you can advertise on both sides. If you’re making a magazine rack you’ll do something totally different. Cut a piece of cloth that’s approximately the width of the cardboard and about half as long as one side of the cardboard. Glue it to the cardboard by starting down one side. After gluing one side in place, glue across the bottom, creating tiny pleats in the fabric as you go along. Now glue up the opposite side but leave the top of the fabric unglued. The pleats across the bottom will help the pocket hold many more magazines than if you glue the fabric flat onto the cardboard. Make a second pocket to go on the opposite side or make two smaller pockets on each side. Stand the magazine rack in any room you want to hold paperbacks, kids’ books and more.
Make a desk organizer by gluing small boxes onto the folded cardboard. If the cardboard faces one wall you can glue the boxes only to one side. Good boxes to choose are ones that will not protrude too far out from the cardboard. Select tall boxes to hold writing instruments and much shorter boxes for paper clips and such. First cover the boxes in decorative cloth or paper then glue one side to the cardboard. Stand the finished organizer on the desk or even on the floor beside the desk.
Make really small versions, push in fancy tacks, and make a jewelry holder. Stand one on a counter and make a mail holder out of it. There are many different ways to use the simple arrangement. Folding cardboard in half is not all that challenging, and when you do, you can make all sorts of new, helpful things for around the house or around the office!