Magazine Crafts

With this magazine crafts idea, you can build a miniature log cabin. Turn a social studies assignment about Abraham Lincoln into a visual display. This educational craft would be a great project to compliment a school book report.

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. He was one of the greatest Presidents ever known.  He was born in a log cabin near Hodgenville, Kentucky. Feb. 12, 1809 (reference: Encyclopedia Americana Volume 17, 1959 Edition)

Age: 10 and up

Difficulty: Medium

Time Scale: 4 out of 5



  • Magazine
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • Cereal box board (3 boxes)
  • white glue
  • glue gun/glue sticks
  • wide roll of packing tape
  • masking tape
  • burnt umber paint
  • country maple (light brown) paint
  • 3/4 inch paint brush
  • small paint brush
  • 5/16th dowel 11 inches long or pencil
  • pen
  • skewer stick

Magazine Crafts: Build your Log Cabin

Rip the pages out of a magazine. Start with the ripped edge and roll around a wooden dowel or a pencil. The wooden dowel will be easier to use than a pencil. Don't roll it too tight or too loose. If goldilocks was checking this, it would have to be just right, like her porridge. Huh? Like porridge? Not really like porridge. Oh, never mind, magazine crafts aren't that complicated.

After rolling partway, add a dab of white glue. Roll the rest of the way and add glue, along the entire edge. Smooth it down and once it seems to be holding together, remove the dowel/pencil. If it is stuck, use a skewer stick to push it out of the center.

Now repeat, until you have rolled lots of pages. This magazine craft uses about 50 rolls, but this will depend on how good you are at using all the leftover cut pieces.

Print out the log cabin template. Cut it out and trace around the edges, onto cereal box board. Cut out all the pieces. Double up, or use a bit thicker cardboard for the roof pieces.

The one side piece will have a window and the door cut out and the other side will be solid.

The chimney will add a bit of time to this magazine crafts project. It can be a bit challenging. Younger kids may decide not to do the chimney. That's okay! Cut out the cardboard pieces, fold where indicated on the pattern and glue the pieces together.   

Start with the front, peaked piece and glue the rolled up pages, horizontally across the cardboard. You can use either white glue or hot glue. (If you do okay with a glue gun and you aren't going to burn your fingers, use that.)


Use the full length of the rolled pieces, for now. Make them even on the one side and overlapping on the other.

When you get to the angled part, for the peak, overlap slightly on the one side and leave hanging over, the rest of the length, on the other. Do the back piece the same way. Let these dry.

After drying, trim, so the pieces are even with the cereal box board. Save these trimmed off pieces because you will need to use them.

For the side pieces, the very top log, will have to be overlapped, past the ends of the cereal box board by 1 inch. All the other ones will need to be cut with an overhang of about 1/2 an inch. (The overhang will be equal to the thickness of the paper roll on the front and back pieces.) Make the overhang the same on both ends.  When the sides are put on, the side pieces will then be even, with the front and back. Does that make any sense?

Use the shorter pieces that were cut off when you did the front and back, for on the side, near the window and on the one side of the door.

Wait for the glue to dry, before you start to assemble the pieces. It is way faster and easier if you are able to use a glue gun, instead of the white glue for this part.

Attach the side pieces to the front piece. Now add the back piece. Make sure everything is sitting square. You can add masking tape to the inside corners to help hold it, while the glue dries.


Glue on the roof, so the pieces come together at the peak and overhang at the bottom. Remember to double up the thickness of the roof pieces, if you are using the cereal box board.

Add magazine rolls for extra support, to the underside of the log cabin, near the door. If you think someone might be peaking in the window, you can fill the whole floor in, if you like.

Cut three, 1 inch lengths of the paper rolls and glue on, sticking out, on the front. They should be even with the one that you left overhanging on the side piece. (Near the bottom edge of the roof.)

If you are putting a chimney on your log cabin, do only the bottom two, on the back pieces. These should look like they are lined up with the front ones.

Hold the cardboard chimney frame up to the back, center of the log cabin. On the backside of the chimney, where it meets the peak, the pieces will have to be cut at an angle and then glued on.

Use a pen to mark the outline of the peak of the roof on to the chimney.

Cut the logs at the correct angle by following the guideline marked on the chimney.

Start gluing the cut pieces on, starting at the bottom and working your way up.


Glue the chimney to the back, center of the log cabin.  Add logs to the front and sides, working from the bottom up, until the entire chimney is covered.

Remember, this magazine crafts project doesn't really need the chimney. If you are in a hurry, or it just seems like too much trouble, the log cabin will still look good without it.

Cut pieces of cardboard to about a 1/4 inch wide. Glue these on to the front edge of the cardboard door piece. Add a tiny piece for a door handle. Glue the overhang piece that has the fold seam on it, to the inside edge of the door opening. Now, the door can still open and close.

Magazine crafts are sometimes left unpainted, so you can see the colorful pages. To make this Lincoln log cabin replica more realistic, I thought it should be painted. The whole thing was painted with a couple coats of burnt umber craft paint.

Use a small paint brush to paint the inside edges of the logs.  

After the paint dries, use light brown paint with a 3/4 inch brush, to add brush strokes to the roof.

Dry brush over the logs, using the light brown paint.


Use clear packing tape to make the glass for the window. Cut two pieces of tape about 2.5 inches long. Put sticky sides together. Now put a piece of tape that is slightly longer, over this. Tape to the inside of the window opening. In 1809 I don't think glass would have been really high quality, so I think this works perfectly. 

You are done! This magazine crafts project can now accompany your book report on Abraham Lincoln!

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