Posted: April 6, 2013 at 2:47 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: Recently, you had a column on a useful donation to veterans hospitals for recently issued magazines. At the same time, you requested that the magazines be from within the past two months (Heloise here: Veterans hospitals and other places that use them for reading material would prefer current issues).

My experience on the subject is that there are untold piles of decor magazines, probably in attics. People do not want to discard them, and church bazaars, thrift shops and such don’t want them.

My idea is to have the magazines put to use by young students in public schools’ art classes using cookie cutters and scissors to create their wonderful works of art. Even children who cannot draw surely would take delight in pasting different colors on paper as in modern art.

In Japan, origami is credited with teaching young children the basics of geometry - squares, circles, rectangles and so on. Arranging the colored pieces of paper should have the same result.

  • Elizabeth Hickey, Washington

DEAR READER: Recycle and reuse are good habits to teach our young students and for us to remember. Passing on magazine pages is a good example of both. These “ready to throw out” books also can be used as good filler for the new way of scrapbooking, where odds and ends of paper make journals.

DEAR HELOISE: The best way to clean couch cushions is to remove the cover (if it can be removed - Heloise) and put them inside a large garbage bag. Hold the vacuum nozzle tight against the cushion and turn the vacuum on. After the vacuum will not suck any more air, turn it off. The cushion will puff back up and fill out. Put the cover back on. I put a dryer sheet in the bag, and the vacuum sucks the smell right through the cushion.

  • A Reader, via e-mail

DEAR READER: A Heloise hint from long ago to freshen cushions, but unfortunately it won’t really “clean” them. Just as using fabric spray to freshen carpets, curtains, furniture or beds will make them smell nice, but it does not clean them.

Many college students think spraying their clothes and sheets will suffice because they “smell” clean. Folks, they are not clean! Teach your children that clean means soap and water.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or e-mail

HomeStyle, Pages 36 on 04/06/2013