Mag2Bags make unique gifts that are good for the environment.

I was perusing Half Price Books on Northwest Highway this morning (not because I’m, e-hem, desperately searching for last-minute Christmas presents or anything) when I saw a bright display of handmade purses and wallets—ever since we did the story on neighborhood crafters, I’ve had an eye for this sort of thing.

Theses colorful clutches are unique in that they are made entirely from recycled magazines. If I’d known about the locally based Mag2Bag company two months rather than two days before Christmas, I might have had wallets made from archived Advocates for each of the editors, and I’d have seemed smart, thoughtful and creative rather than being hurried, overly caffeinated, and utterly defeated, throwing money at ugly trinkets and buying gift cards for the remaining members of my list while promising to prepare better next year.

Mag2Bag founder Kris Klinko started making the surprisingly sturdy bags as a way to use stacks of used magazines while creating one-of-a-kind gift items.

“The evolution of the bags has been incredible and with each one made a new idea or challenge comes to the surface. It is exciting and I love to see the finished products every time,” she says.

She also views the process as a way of helping the environment by keeping magazines out of landfills. “There are more than 4 million tons of magazines in landfills that are contaminating the environment due to the clay coating on the paper, the inks that are used in conjunction with various chemicals and the dyed papers.”

Each strip of the woven purses is individually laminated to preserve the woven feel and ensure it will hold up against water damage and wear. Klinko will custom make a bag from your favorite mag or that of the habitual magazine subscriber in your life, and ready made bags are available now at the neighborhood Half Price Books.

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