Easy "Free" Magazine Storage

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Posted in HomeOrganizing

Introduction: Easy "Free" Magazine Storage

Need files to hold your magazines or notebooks or papers? Don't want to pay for those fancy files? Here's instructions on making a free file for your stuff!

Update: These holders are not that sturdy when heavier items are placed in them, such as thicker magazines. And there's a gap in the front of the holders because of the size of the box. But if you can find smaller boxes, the same concept would work.

I used post office boxes that I had left over from sending other stuff. You can use any kind of box about the same size. Suggestions have been cereal boxes, reuse boxes you have around the house or whatever.

Step 1: Get Your Boxes

A good size for the box is 11 7/8" x 3 3/8" x 13 5/8". One box will make two holders.

Step 2: Supplies

Box
Utility knife
Pen/marker
Decorative material (optional)

Step 3: Assemble Box

Assemble the box so that it is closed on both ends.

Step 4: Draw Design

Draw a simple design (shown) or make one up! I'm normally too lazy to measure, so I just eye ball the lines.

Step 5: Cut

Follow the lines and cut with knife. Cut all the way around the box.

Step 6: Tada!

Now you've got two file holders from one box!

Step 7: Additional Customization

Cover your boxes for a more decorative look!

1. Disassemble the box and reassemble it inside out so the brown side is out.
2. Decoupage the box
3. Spray paint the box
4. Paint the box
5. Wrap the box with wrapping paper
6. Be lazy like me and keep the USPS labels showing

Step 8: Done!

Show me your creations!

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45 Comments

Wow this idea is not only cost efficient but it is easy to create as well and one box will give you 2 magazine holders. It definitely beats the idea of buying readymade ones from stores which could get pricey per piece. There are stacks of important documents in my storage unit which most certainly need organizing for easy retrieval later on and this idea is perfect to resolve my clutter issue.

Ok, so if the USPS is not funded by tax dollars, is it not even more 'stealing' to take these boxes from a full fledged business... The reality is complicated, of course. With their operating costs being way higher than their profits, they need subsidies to keep going. To me it's the same difference but hey... http://fortune.com/2015/03/27/us-postal-service/ http://www.politifact.com/georgia/statements/2013/jul/24/american-postal-workers-union/postal-service-claim-not-fully-target/

Hi, I already did something like this some years back with those wine-in the-box boxes. I make sure to make the cut where the original hole was, to get rid of it, and I finished them with some wallpaper I got from the thrift shop. Another option would be to spray them with acrylic, but the wallpaper is cheaper and less messy. And since the boxes, though rather small, were made to hold 3 liters of wine, they were very sturdy!

Hi, I already did something like this some years back with those wine-in the-box boxes. I make sure to make the cut where the original hole was, to get rid of it, and I finished them with some wallpaper I got from the thrift shop. Another option would be to spray them with acrylic, but the wallpaper is cheaper and less messy. And since the boxes, though rather small, were made to hold 3 liters of wine, they were very sturdy!

I truthfully wouldn't worry about a stupid BOX!!! enjoy the project and stop arguing!!!

hey i saw alot of negativity about these boxes. if you dont want to do that you can go into any walmart store around restocking time. ask if you can have the boxes they are about to throw out. they almost always say yes. there you go lol

These are perfect for my second graders. I've already ordered my boxes. Thanks for the idea!

9 replies

I know it is tempting to get free boxes from USPS, but it is against the law and immoral. I too thought this was a great idea and picked up two boxes for free, and then I came to my senses. Taking supplies that are not used the way they are intended is not only a crime, which is stated right on the box, it is wrong. USPS provides those boxes for people who are going to be utilizing their service, if everyone at home ordered some boxes to their doorstep and didn't use them, we'd all be charged higher prices to pay for them. Do you really want to be paying higher prices in shipping so that people across the country can do free projects to their hearts content? By the way, if you order boxes from USPS, they now have your information should they want to pursue charges.

An excellent point. Thanks for speaking out on behalf of the USPS

Go away! No one wants your negativity here. If you're gonna come in and say, "Hey! That's illegal! Knock it off!" then just leave. Ok?

well, if they are in YOUR house sitting on YOUR shelf I doubt the USPS is going to send the police out to your house because you ordered their free boxes. besides, its not like you are using them to transport drugs or whatnot, you make a simple magazine holder. nobody is going to care that you did this with a free box. and kudos to the person who made this instructable because it makes a good use out of those leftover USPS boxes.

thank you! especially for the holidays recycle those boxes!

I got this idea after I ordered a set of boxes for mailing. I had extras and I figured I should make them useful. You do not have to use USPS boxes, you can use other things (like cereal boxes that someone else suggested). Plus there are other issues in the world that are more immoral than my use of boxes. Thanks for your concern, but I think I'll be fine. Think of my project as a way to recycle an used USPS box. Go Green!

Hi aznliu, This was a great idea as far as making your own holder for magazines or whatever. It was a really fresh idea and I think we all would do good to think outside the box and make our own things instead of paying too much at the store. I'm sure the amount of boxes that would actually be used for a project such as this is negligible in the grand scheme of the big bad post office. I wasn't trying to be a preachy person, but I think it is important to examine my own behavior and always try to make decisions that I wouldn't mind my kids emulating. Some people pilfer napkins from restaurants and think that's ok, others do not. But anyways, it was a great idea to recycle an old box and very creative. Thanks for passing it along.

Unfortunately, it's not really free. The post office operates with the dollars that come out of the taxes we all pay. And this would be fine, if the Post Office was profitable, but right now they are in 8 billion dollar deficit (http://bit.ly/lLAYpV). This means they are having to make decisions such as closing post offices across the nation, even stop delivering mail on Saturdays, cut pay, and of course increase taxes. So sure, it's free, but do you want to be responsible for contributing to that? The box does have a cost, it has to be made into cardboard, cut, folded and printed with ink. If a million people follow your idea and take just one box without using it for its intended purpose, do you realize how this adds up?

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I agree. I think the solution to this would be to use only USPS boxes that have been used in delivery. That way it's a form of upcycling and not theft from the government.

Cool idea! I've bought a few of those holders from the Goodwill, but the idea of using cereal boxes works for me, I eat a lot of cereal, and I found myself wondering if there was something I could do with them. Although, I probably would spray paint them!

You could glue some scrapbooking paper on the side OR you could use pretty magazine pages and clue it to the side like a collage :D to make even better holders :)))