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What to do with magazines?

Just out of curiosity…what does everyone do with all those jewelry
magazines? I have years of Colored Stone, Lapidary Journal, Jewelry
Artist, etc. All of them have folded corners with articles I like,
projects, suppliers. I need to make more room and am debating whether
to tear out those pages and make files or put them in a three ring
binder or find some other way to store the whole magazine. I’d like
to see what everyone else is doing.

Holly Swanson


After I have read a magazine I pass it on to someone from our local
gem and mineral club for their library unless there are articles I
want to save. You might also look at the local high schools to see
if they have a metal arts program. They may appreciate your magazine
for the students to read.

Happy New Year
Greg DeMark

That’s exactly what I do, Holly. Dog-ear them and at the end of each
year, review, tear and place in files I’ve made for reference, i.e.,
Chasing/Repousse; Artists; How-To; Opals; Earrings; Rings;
Turquoise; Metal Alloys; Rolling Mill; Texture; Etching; Website
(procrastination), etc. (just to name a very few!). It’s grinding
work, but man those stacks of magazines disappear! Have it down to
one-day’s work. Gearing up to do it in Jan. after my taxwork is
complete. It’s part of the annual major studio clean-up.

Happy New Year to ALL you wonderful “Orchids!”

Kay Taylor

Holly: Yep, everyone has the same problem. I finally came to terms
with it, and after the first of the year I am taking mine to a near
by city and giving it to their Visual Arts Center. They have a
library and a very active jewelry group, and by putting it in the
library, I am assured that the all students will be able to enjoy the
issues rather than just one person having them all.

And yes, I debated about cutting out the things I had earmarked, but
truth be told, I had to consider how seldom I actually had gone to
those magazines - Now and again there is something I really want to
check on, but have come to the conclusion that I can go to the
website of the magazine and most of the articles can be had on line
for downloading for a minimal price.

Just as I finally parted with my baby grand piano (I marked on my
calendar for a whole year every time I played it (and it turned out
to be exactly 5) and then only for short times - and once gone I
didn’t really miss it - well maybe a tad at the outset, but I made a
group of transitional youths at the YMCA very happy and it went to a
good cause.

And so my magazines will leave my happy home next week and though
the parting is initially painful - and yes I have longingly
considered keeping “some” of them - but the whole lot of them is
GOING and I’m sure once gone, I’ll adjust and be fine AND there will
be room for the new issues I keep getting. I’m giving away 10 years
of Lapidary Journal, about 6 years of Ornament, tons of Metalsmith,
American Craft, and Bead and Button etc…

I can’t advise you what to do with yours, but am glad I’ve settled
the issue with my own. And I’m loving the space this has freed up.
I’m on a tear of purging everything I don’t use from this house -
and am finding a new freedom once the things are gone. I’ve decided
I’ll only keep those things I like, love, and use - everything else
is going. Maybe this is just what happens when you get older (I’m on
my way to 78 next summer) but it is definitely very liberating.

Good luck with your own decisions - am glad mine are made.


Hi Holly,

I copy the articles at a copy place (It’s much cheaper than using
your ink) and put each in a sheet protector in a loose leaf binder.
I have several for different subjects e.g. metalsmith techniques,
casting, moldmaking, metal clay. Than especially if you have full
years you can sell them on ebay. You can mail them book rate which
is very inexpensive or choose Flat rate Prioity Mail and you can
almost fit a whole year in one box. When I list single magazines I
include in my discription the table of contents. Many people are
searching for certain info and will buy the whole magazine for the

Sometimes we only think of metal as scrap materail we can get money
from, old tools, books and other things that are not useful to us
anymore are useful to others and give us money to buy the things we
need now.

Linda Reboh

Holly- I like to give my old magazines to local high school jewelry
classes or to my students. You could scan the articles you want to
save and burn them to a disc or just have them on your computer. Have
fun and male lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer

Just out of curiosity...what does everyone do with all those
jewelry magazines? I need to make more room and am debating whether
to tear out those pages and make files or put them in a three ring
binder or find some other way to store the whole magazine. 

That’s exactly what I do–I pull out the pages I want to keep and
punch holes in them. Then I store those in a binder. The rest of the
magazine goes in the recycling bin. Keeping the parts I won’t ever
again is a waste of space.

Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry

Here’s what I do with good articles that I want to be able to share
with my students and find quickly:

I tear them out of the magazine, by splitting the entire magazine,
tear right through the spine. Then take out each page of the article
and put them in clear plastic page protectors, and put them in a

I’m behind though, and I have a stack to go through.

Otherwise, you can give them away, through Orchid, to a high school
metals program, or donate them to a doctor’s waiting room.


Holly- You could scan the favorite articles and have them on your
computer or a disc.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer

I rip out pages of things I think will inspire me or things I like
the look of and put them in clear plastic sheets and keep them in a
binder, that way if I having a “need to focus minute” I will pull
them out and it helps me get back on track looking at all the lovely
things other people have made.

CreatedWithFire Studio’s

That’s the spot I’ve hit. I decided to start scanning the articles I
actually want, especially the older ones that are getting brittle,
anyway, then putting the original magazine out at the local
community center for all takers. It’s going to take awhile…

Ron Charlotte – Gainesville, FL


I photocopy the articles and projects I want to keep, put them in
plastic page protectors. and then into a binder. I either sell the
mags online or donate them to a lapidary group or a public library.


I just sorted this out a couple of months ago myself, first of all I
spent a full morning sorting out and filing them in order and keeping
the special ones i.e. friends who are featured ect and sometimes just
something amazing to keep for inspiration.

Then I scanned the articles and put them into a folder on my
computer and offered them to a group who are setting up an informal
opal cutting and carving group out on the fields, they were super
happy to have them. They will look after them much better than my
local library who don’t catalogue magazines and the like and
borrowers take them out and never return them.

The group who I have given them to are setting up a register so each
one borrowed is returned.

I have had much pleasure and inspiration from them, I am thinking
that all magazines like lap journal ect could be online, I think that
is the way of the future and I would happily pay an annual
subscription as at the moment the cost of the postage is more than
the magazine costs as it has to get to Australia.

Just a thought to the editors of all these journals.
Christine in the Ridge

Hi Holly,

Check your area for ‘Used Book’ stores.

We have several in our area that by old magazines as well.

A local lapidary/rock or gem & mineral club may also be interested.


Hi Holly. Years ago I decided to rip out the interesting articles as
I read and file them under a variety of categories. This makes it a
whole lot easier to keep track of stuff and link things together. I
keep the magazines for year or two, then toss them, secure in the
fact that I kept anything I might need. And if you go through all
your back issues to do this, you’ll find all sorts of fresh


Its been interesting to see what others have been doing with their
mags. I don’t tear anything out of them. Any articles I find
interesting I scan them into my data base and make hard copies for
separate use. Let me explain.

Our G&M Society has most copies of the Lap Journal dating back to
1961. My personal collection of LJ goes back to 1972. They are all in
date/time order and loaded in storage boxes up in the attic. The
clubs are sorted and stored where we keep our extra stuff. I find
reviewing the ads is as interesting as the articles!!! It helps date
items donated to the club, give members all kinds of ideas how to
make their own machines, etc.

Don’t know how long we can keep it up but will just keep on chuggin!

Cheers from Don in SOFL.

Hi Holly,

For the past 10 years I have been cutting out articles and putting
them in looseleaf notebooks under an appropriate title. For example:
Granulation, Flex Shaft, Soldering, Marriage of Metals. I also have
the notes and pictures I have taken from workshops there. So I have a
diverse collection of opinions, pictures, and techniques to refer to
when I revisit a topic. I cut out of any magazine or newsletter I
get. SNAG newsletters, Lapidary Journal, etc.

I am planning to switch to a file folder soon tho as I am getting
tired of punching holes and pulling the books off the shelf. Filing
is much easier for me.

Esta Jo Schifter
Freezing in Philadelphia PA
Wanting to go to the Caribbean!

If people are getting rid of their magazines I can think of no
better place than the local cancer clinic or hospital. As a man who
just spent the last year going through breast cancer treatments I can
tell you that waiting for chemotherapy with nothing but Martha
Stewart, Ladies Home Journal and Chatalaine back issues to read can
be trying. Now that I am in remission, when I am recycling my
magazines, I go to the hospital and distribute them to the varius
waiting rooms.

Peter Peterson
Calgary, Canada

I end up with piles and piles of magazines, unfortunately. I emailed
Lapidary Journal a few years ago suggesting they do what some
computer magazines do, and create a once a year, searchable CD with
pdfs of the year’s magazines which is sent out with the December
edition. AT the time they said they didn’t really have the means to
do that…I wonder if they would consider doing it now?


I would like to thank everyone for all your suggestions. I like the
idea of scanning or copying what I want to keep and putting them in
binders. I may sell some of the magazines, but I didn’t think about
contacting local gem and rock groups or schools to see if they would
want them…that’s a great idea.

Thanks for all your help.
Holly Swanson