32 Uses For An Upcycled Magazine Holder


I found a new Thrift Store that I love! It’s one of those mom and pop stores, stores, not a chain. When I was at the check out, the lady asked me “What are you going to use this for?” Boy did that get my wheels spinning…I should write a post on “Uses for an upcycled magazine holder.”

When I enter a new Thrift Store, I have to admit, I get a little nervous. I know it’s silly, but I’m trying to get comfortable with being out of my comfort zone.

Uses for an upcycled magazine holder.

When I walked into this store, it had the smell of old books. There were about 4 aisles of random items, stacked about 9 feet high. Each aisle had just enough room for one person to pass through, carefully. I had to go really slow to take it all in to find that one treasure I was looking for. There were about four furniture pieces I wanted to buy, but I’m on a hiatus from buying furniture right now.

How to upcycle an old magazine holder and repurpose it in your Home.  Use it for home decor, home organization, craft organizing and much more.  Includes tutorial, free cut files. and printables.

I get so inspired in these stores. Vintage pieces have such a story to them and are usually made with fine craftsmanship. This time, I found an old magazine holder. Normally, I would have passed this item up. But, being a beginner woodworker, I noticed the sturdy joinery and I was sold.

Old wood magazine holder.

I’m sure this piece was handcrafted by a hobbyist. It was made with love and it was solidly built. It was however, lacking a feminine touch and needed a new finish. But I could see the potential here.


This is what it looked liked when I found it.

Before picture of an old magazine holder.

Honestly, this is one of the nicest before pictures I’ve ever taken of a Thrift Store item. 🙂

Here it is with some Farmhouse Charm and a little elbow grease.

Refinished magazine holder.

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I gave this magazine holder a light sanding all over with a sanding sponge. Then I vacuumed it and wiped it down with a wet rag.

Next, to neutralize the yellow in the wood, I made a paint wash. This is just a mixture of paint and water. I mix one part paint to one part water. If it’s too thick add a little more water. Always test your paint on a scrap piece of wood and then start on the bottom of your project to test it out.

I brush on the wash and wipe it off with a shop towel. You want to stay in the direction of the grain of the wood. Wood washing works best if the wood has been sanded and there is no protective finish on it. Here is a picture after this step.

Gray washed wood.

Next I used a dry brush technique with three colors. To do this, you dip a dry paint brush into paint and then off load it onto a paper towel until there is almost no paint visible on the brush. Then working in the direction of the grain of the wood you paint light strokes. I used three different colors for my finish. I also used three different size brushes. The paint colors are Fusion Algonquin, Fusion Cathedral Taupe, and Behr Ultra Toasty Grey. I picked colors in light, medium and dark with gray undertones.

Paint colors for a dry brush technique.
Paint colors for a dry brush technique.

I give a more detailed description of the painting technique in this post. Here is what it looked like after the dry brushing.

Add a top coat to protect your finish. I like this one.


I found these decorative panels at Hobby Lobby. They are made of plastic, but look like tin ceiling tiles. I cut them with scissors to the size of my project and then tested out a bunch of finishes on them.

I ended up painting them with white chalk paint and then using a foam roller with gray chalk paint to catch the raised areas of the panels. Once they were dry, I attached them to the magazine holder with hot glue. Then I drilled tiny holes in each of the corners of the panels to add the nail head trim. I also purchased the nail head trim and grateful sign at Hobby Lobby.

Thrift Store upcycled magazine rack.


When I was at the cash register to buy the magazine holder the cashier asked me what I was going to use it for. At the time, I said I was going to refinish it. But I thought about her question the whole way home and came up with this list of ideas for home organization. Magazine holders come in all shapes and sizes, so some of these will work with yours and some won’t.

Different ways to use a re-purposed magazine holder.


  1. Saran Wrap/Foil Holder
  2. Baking Pan Storage
  3. Cutting Board Storage
  4. Bread Box
  5. Cookbook/Recipe Storage
  6. Canned Goods Storage
  7. Produce or Vegetable Storage

Living Room

  1. Piano Music
  2. Christmas Cards
  3. Remote Controls
  4. Folded Blanket
  5. Books/Magazines
  6. Seasonal Home Decor


  1. File Holder
  2. Cricut Vinyl Holder
  3. Sewing/Fabric Storage
  4. Craft Supplies
  5. Stencil Holder
  6. Craft/Computer Paper Storage


  1. Rolled Towel Storage
  2. Cleaning Supplies
  3. Blow Dryer/Brushes
  4. Toilet Paper
  5. Books/Magazines

Kid’s Room

  1. Lego’s
  2. Small Toys
  3. Stuffed Animals
  4. Children’s Books
  5. School Supplies
  6. Art Supplies


  1. Shoes/Flipflops
  2. Dog Toys/Leash
  3. Mail Holder


When my children were little, I had a small burgundy pot with the word blessings on it. When they would complain, I told them to add a little note to the jar with a word of thankfulness on it. Later, as they grew older, we had a saying “give me 10”. This meant when they were unhappy or complaining, they had to say out loud, 10 things they were thankful for.

Well, that’s how this little project began and I wanted to share it with my readers. So the idea is, during the fall season, each person has their own jar (labeled on the lid). When you are feeling dissatisfied or unhappy with something, you write down one thing you are thankful for on a leaf and add it to the jar. When Thanksgiving arrives, you open the jars and read them out loud as a family.

Count Your Blessings Jars


I wanted to make this project easy for you, so I created cut files for the mason jar lids and maple leaves for your notes. I also made it available as a JPEG, if you would like to print it out and use scissors to cut them.

If you would like to gain access to my cut files and printables, subscribe at the bottom of this page. You will be sent a welcome email with a password to access the FREE CUT FILES & PRINTABLES page located in the top navigation bar.

Do you like learning budget friendly ways to spruce up your home? Follow me on Pinterest, so you don’t miss a thing! Also, did you know that you can hover over any photo image, click on the red Pinterest circle, and save it to your Crafts or Projects board on Pinterest? Give it a try below.

Count your blessings jars for Thanksgiving
Refinished magazine holder.

I hope you were inspired by these uses for an upcycled magazine holder. I may never pass one of these up at a Thrift Store again!








  1. I absolutely love this article!! Very well written!! I currently have a few magazine holders I am upcycling; so very grateful ({:) for all the usage ideas. I will definitely be following you on Pinterest. Be blessed, Lydia W.

    1. Hi Lydia. I’m so glad you like the ideas for upcycling a magazine holder. Glad you found the blog, too! I hope you enjoy browsing the website and thanks for reaching out.

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