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DIY Magazine Holder Makeover

When I taught, I purchased several of the cheapest magazine holders I could find to use in my classroom. Teachers do have to buy all their supplies, which means they’re not always the nicest!

Now I have a few of them at home and decided to use one at my desk, which means it needed to be revamped. This magazine holder makeover was an easy way to add some color and interest to my desk space, while hiding the ugly cardboard, but keeping it’s functionality.

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Cardboard Magazine Holder

magazine holder

This post may contain affiliate links which means I receive a small fee if you click through and make a purchase (at no additional cost to you).

I got this pack of scrapbook paper at Walmart for $5 (it’s $10 on Amazon) Sorry the Walmart site is down for maintenance or I’d link it for you!

Modge Podge

Foam Brush

Choose your color scheme:

First I flipped through my Wild & Free Colorbok scrapbook paper and chose what colors and patterns I wanted to use on my magazine holder.

Then I decided which pieces would be placed on the outsides, insides, front and back panels. This is important, as each piece will be cut to fit.

magazine holder
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Trace and Cut:

When I had all the paper sorted out, I laid my first piece down and laid the magazine holder on it. I traced around the magazine holder, onto the paper. Then I cut this out. I continued to trace around all the surfaces of the magazine holder on to the paper I wanted for each of them.

To do the inside pieces, I just used the outside measurements and then trimmed it down for a custom fit. The inside pieces need to be a little larger so the paper can fold over and cover the edges. I found my Dollar Tree exacto knife and self healing cutting mat were so helpful for all the paper cutting, but of course, scissors work too!

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Fit & Trim:

Starting with your inside pieces, make sure they fit well. You want the inside pieces to cover the inner panels and fold over the edges onto the outside.

magazine holder

The outside pieces should fit just to the edges (which will cover the overlap from the inside pieces). Once your pieces are trimmed and you know where each one goes, you’re ready to glue them down with Modge Podge.


Using your foam brush and starting on the inside, brush the modge podge on one inner panel of the magazine holder. Lay the paper on the glue, smoothing and press with your fingers.

I did it from the bottom up, in sections. When you get to the top, glue the paper over the edges and on to the outside panels. Repeat with all the inside pieces. Move on to the outside, gluing and smoothing all the pieces.

magazine holder
magazine holder

Let it dry:

Once all your pieces are glued down let it dry, for at least 2 hours. I let mine dry overnight.

magazine holder

Outer coat:

After the glue has dried it’s time to add an outer coat of Modge Podge. Using a foam brush smooth on a thin layer of the glue on all the paper covered surfaces. Let this coat dry for 15 minutes.

Then you can add a second coat of Modge Podge, which I would recommend. You might even want to add a third coat, but I’ll leave that up to you.

magazine holder

Now it just has to dry before you can use it! These are great at your desk, in kid’s rooms and craft areas. It’s such a useful tool and so easy to jazz up too!

magazine holder
magazine holder
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