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15 Unexpected Uses for Retail Catalogs

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15 Unexpected Uses for Retail Catalogs

By Philip Schmidt, Hometalk

Shopping remotely has become a modern-day tale of Pandora’s box. It’s so temptingly convenient, but once you make a purchase you’ve exposed yourself to an irreversible influx of printed catalogs. You call to have your name removed from the mailing list only to discover in the coming weeks that your personal information has been reproduced and broadcast like a spider hatch among the original vendor’s “retail partners,” each of whom now sends you junk mail. In Pandora’s box, when all the evil was out, the only thing left inside was hope. Perhaps your only hope is to do something constructive with all those unwanted glossy catalogs. Here are a few ideas to get you started.


The colorful, glossy pages of high-end catalogs make nice custom-size envelopes for cards and personal notes. You can find loads of ideas and patterns online for creating your own pieces.

Puppet show puppets

Cut out people, animals or an entire dollhouse-full of furnishings. Glue the images to cardboard and/or a Popsicle stick to complete the puppets.

Homemade cards

Handmade cards for birthdays and the like are always keepers. But if your drawing skills fall short of your imagination, a cut-and-paste creation does the trick. For best results, stick with kitsch rather than trying to make your card look like Hallmark.


Catalog pages can be cut, rolled up and glued into colorful beads and other decorative pieces for making jewelry. I found an excellent tutorial for a kids’ bracelet on Family Fun Magazine’s Web site.

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+ add your own
11:56AM PDT on Apr 7, 2013


9:24AM PST on Nov 29, 2011

so many ideas!

9:23AM PST on Nov 29, 2011

good ideas!

9:52AM PDT on Oct 6, 2011


2:44AM PDT on Sep 22, 2011

Pretty good ideas thanks!

5:09PM PDT on Sep 9, 2011


11:13PM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

hi everyone, please sign this petition and help

10:03PM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

One of my favorite projects as a child was making a Sears catalogue into a Christmas Tree with my grandma. We would fold each page in on itself, to make a triangle. It would take all weekend, then we would paint it, add glitter, and little balls.

7:44AM PDT on Aug 29, 2011

Thank you for the ideas.

7:40AM PDT on Aug 27, 2011

Coll stuff bra

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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people are talking

Thank you.

Don't stop this is so relaxing. Thank you for caring and sharing.

Thanks Lisa.

This is amazing and totally "news to me". I am totally going to see if we can get it in our local In…

I try to avoid the "bad" carbs and eat a wide range of healthy foods.


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