How can I reuse or recycle catalogues?

catalogue.jpgHere’s one I thought we’d covered (because it’s on Compost This) but apparently not: catalogues.

We got an IKEA catalogue through the post the other day – not one that we’d requested (because we wouldn’t do that) but just one spammed through the letterbox like a pizza menu. 180 pages of heavily printed paper that we’ll never use, sigh.

(I got, understandably, narked about the waste since presumably everyone on our street/estate got one but then John pointed out that it’s IKEA, home of semi-disposable furniture and random plastic things, so a few catalogues are probably not adding much to their overall footprint. But still.)

So obviously it could go straight into the recycling bin but what are the other options? Any decoupage suggestions or other paper craft stuff?

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19 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle catalogues?”

  1. Christine says:

    My immediate thought was to make them into envelopes, there are lots of tutorials on the web like this one:

  2. Lynsey says:

    I have some craft punches that I use to punch out interesting shapes from catalogues. I then use these on cards or they go through my sticker making machine to be turned into stickers. You can also use interesting pages to make envelopes.

  3. Bellen says:

    Some ideas:
    Paper beads made from the pictures
    Alphabet book for kids – cut out
    appropriate pictures, glue to a page, make a book
    Make a kids’ puzzle – glue page to cardboard (cereal box) cut out into shapes
    Sorting cards for kids – cut and paste to cardboard pictures of items that belong in a kitchen, bedroom, etc; have kids sort them into piles (increases vocabulary, thinking processes)
    With several catalogs and the sorting card idea make your own Concentration game
    Decoupage on boxes for storage, on ugly clip boards
    Use as a disposable craft glue surface or cutting surface
    Cut out 1 inch squares of colors from the pictures – when have a big pile rearrange them into a mosaic picture (a friend did this with a bra catalog and made a beautiful flower garden picture)

  4. anna says:

    You could maybe try making yarn of them the same way you could use a newspaper

  5. kate says:

    I love these junk mail trees on the Craftzine blog – they might work!

    If you do a google search for “junk mail” and “paper craft” there are loads of nice ornament-y type things that you can use junk mail for, and because you cut it all up you get a collage effect, not price tags… some are daggy, some aren’t!

    Here’s a few ideas:
    Stripey cards
    Quilled/rolled paper art

  6. ebba says:

    you could make weaved boxes and baskets out of strips of paper.

  7. Lucia says:

    IKEA is good in eco-ideas: wait next year and give them back the catalogue. They will gift you with an object made from recycled catalogues of the previous year. Usually they make notebooks big or small.
    I am an IKEA addicted, that’s why I know it. Ooops, I have to go to give back the old one in these days!

  8. Cara says:

    How bout making stars? You know those cool paper stars that you can hang around the room or put a low watt bulb into and light up? I have a pattern on my site – totally free.

  9. Melinda Goodick says:

    Quilters can use the uniform pages as a base for paper peicing. I recall that my mother made a crazy quilt of rectangular blocks from magazines.

  10. boofsmom says:

    I would love to get the IKEA catalog! Maybe you could pass it on to someone who doesn’t get it?

  11. Leah says:

    kids collage material
    give it to a local school or kids club for kids collage material
    scrunch up for package insulation while its posted
    wrap round glass etc. while storing to stop scratches

  12. wocket says:

    Shred and use as chook nesting material. eventually i becomes a wonderful compost.

  13. Sarah says:

    Yes, I agree with giving it to local schools. They are especially always doing projects that require different pictures cut out (junior schools especially) and I’m sure they would find it useful.

  14. Juli says:

    My hands are arthritic so these arts and crafts ideas, though reat for some, don’t help me. My mother has hundreds of Avon catalogues and we don’t know what to do with them.

  15. It is certainly a good idea to recycle old catalogues, either via your doorstep collections or even for your compost pile or pet. The preferable action is to have fewer catalogues in the first place, as most catalogue companies make their products available to view online these days.

  16. Melanie says:

    We use them to prop up our babies cot. She was 8 weeks premature and has severe reflux. The catalogs keep her at an angle and help keep her food down.

  17. Steven says:

    I suggest you send it back to the supplier so I will send my Tesco book back to the local branch next time I am in there :)

  18. Allison says:

    I like to make envelopes with them! You can check them out at my etsy store if you like.

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