toilet paper bugs

Upcycle Paper Project

It can happen to any of us. We collect items that we *think* will be useful in the future or have some sort of sentimental value

These items can come in many forms, such as VHS tapes, newspapers, or mountains of old notes from that time you were in school. There is a connection between you and whatever is cluttering your home. A kind of love-hate relationship.

You can’t stand to have the clutter around but you just can’t seem to let it go either. 

When working with clients who have this problem, I came up with a solution.


Upcycling is the act of taking an item of lesser value and reusing it in such a way that gives that item more value. 

When a client didn’t want to throw out their piles and piles of old magazines, I had to come up with a solution, and fast!

This client was pretty crafty – so I headed to Pinterest to get some ideas.

I discovered this fun project where you roll-up magazine pages, cut-out shapes from cardboard, and voila! A fun new decorative piece.

My client was able to upcycle their magazines (and declutter) while pursuing a part-time passion. A win-win all around! 

I wanted to share with you all what I discovered and how you can do this project at home.

Since many of us are spending time at home with family I made sure to make this project great for those of all ages. 

Let’s get to it!


For this example, I’ve decided to make a letter cut-out of the first letter of my name – ‘R’! 


Here’s what you need:

  • Old Magazine
  • Glue
  • Piece of Cardboard (I used an old pizza box)
  • Marker
  • Wooden Dowel 
  • Container to Hold Magazine Rolls

Items You Need For Paper Craft Project

Step 1:

With the marker trace your desired shape. Cardboard can be a bit tricky to cut, so I would suggest  to trace our design closer to the edge.

Step 1 Trace Shape Onto Cardboard


Step 2:

Cut-out the design. It’s okay if it’s not exactly on the lines – remember – perfect is the enemy of done!

Step 3 Cut out design


Step 3:

Tear out a sheet of magazine paper and tear or cut it in half. Try and find a page that is not black and white, but has a bit of color to it. Advertisements and recipe pages are the best place to start looking!

Step 4 tear or cut magazine page in half


Step 4:

Take a half of paper, and start rolling it around the wooden dowel. You can also use a pencil or chopstick! About half way through rolling, put a small amount of glue to keep the roll together.

Step 5 roll the page on a wooden dowel - add some glue so the pages stick


Step 5:

At the end of the paper roll, again put a small amount of glue by the edge so that the roll stays closed. You do not want to use too much glue since the magazine paper is thin and you don’t want the pages to warp.

Step 6 glue the edge of the paper

These are what the finished paper rolls will look like! So cool!

Finished Paper rolls


Step 6:

Repeat steps 3-5 until you have many bright and colorful paper rolls!

What finished paper rolls look like!


Step 7:

Glue on the paper rolls to your project. Sometimes I prefer working with hot glue since it moves much more quickly. However, if you are working with small children hot glue should be avoided. I would also suggest to cut the rolls in half to better fit the shape of your project.

Glue or hot glue paper rolls on to design


Step 8:

Turn the project around and cut-off the excess paper. If you are working with tight edges and find the paper difficult to cut, either find sharper scissors or use an exto-knife.

Cutoff excess paper rolls


Final Product!

Paper Roll Letter R Project

Wow – I love how this came out! And I love how I didn’t have to throw away some of these items directly in the trash.


So I want to see your designs or different ways you’ve upcycled items from your home that were originally destined for the curb!


Love this idea, but feel overwhelmed with getting started on clearing out and organizing your home? Click here to get a FREE 30-minute consultation with me. 

Also make sure to follow me on Pinterest for more upcycling. Zero-waste- and organizational inspiration!


As always – happy organizing!