Crafts DIY

12 Ideas for Upcycling Books

These are some fun ways to reuse old books. Instead of tossing them or giving them away do something interesting out of them.

Here are some easy ways you can re-use those well-loved books instead of throwing them away.

I have a hard time parting with old books.  Especially the really old ones with the yellowed pages from my grandma’s house or classics that I have read so much that they’re falling apart.  But there are so many ideas of DIY crafts you can do to “upcycle” those books and make a new use for them! The following are some of my favorite ideas for re-purposing old books.

  1. Book Purse

    –I love unique purses and one of my favorite purses is one made from my favorite book: Jane Eyre.  There are tons of tutorials online for how to do this and different styles as well.  A tutorial from HGTV is posted here.
    purse book

  2. Wreath

    — There are so many different styles of wreaths done with books.  I have seen some done with rosettes or magnolia leaves made from book pages or pages rolled into a cone shape.  It is a great statement piece for any book lover’s home. Here is one of many tutorials I found.
    wreath made out of book pages

  3. Flowers

    — I have made a bunch of different book page flowers and they have all turned out amazing.  I have seen tutorials for almost every flower imaginable but I think the roses are my favorite.  The rose tutorial is included here.
    roses made out of book pages

  4. Bookmark

    — There are some unique ideas for bookmarks.  Check out this link for a tutorial on a corner heart bookmark or this one made from the spine of an old book.
    bookmarks

  5. Framed Book art

    — Use old pages of books as backdrops for paintings or collages. Or if you aren’t feeling crafty, you can even run the book pages through a printer for a silhouette effect like this example.framed book pages

  6. Necklace

    — For book-lovers, how about putting your favorite quote into a necklace? It’s a piece of the book that you can always have with you. This tutorial shows you a fairly inexpensive way to simply frame a phrase from your favorite book.
    necklace with book quote

  7. Journal — I have seen homemade journals made from old book covers at boutiques and farmer’s markets but they would be so easy to make yourself.  This example shows a planner made from vintage books and it is to die for!journals
  8. Garland

    — There are endless ideas for making book garlands.  I’ve seen some as easy as circles strung together or paper chains for Christmas trees.  I love the example below of the paper hearts and twine for a rustic feel.
    heart garlnad made out of book pages

  9. Clever Storage

    — How about some clever storage options?  I love this book safe idea or even this example of “hidden storage” books where you can keep things like routers or remotes that you don’t want cluttering your shelves.

  10. Book Letter Decoupage

    — This would be great for a nursery! I love the idea of taking an old children’s book and using Modge Podge to attach it to a wooden letter to make a custom work of art.
    decoupage

  11. Book page heels

    — This one is a little out there but the book nerd in me loves the idea! These Harry Potter high heels are amazing! How about making a fashion statement by decoupaging your favorite book pages to your high heels? Love it.Image via TheNerdBoutique on Etsy

  12. Bookish Wrapping Paper

    — I love the classic look of brown paper packages tied up in string. What a great idea to add a little book-themed wrapping into the mix. Click here for some great ideas for tying in books to your holiday wrapping.
    gift wrapping

Let me know if you have any other ideas for re-purposing your old books!

DIY--12 Ideas for Upcycling Books--The Organized Mom

About the author

Erica Mackay

Erica is a speech language pathologist at Northlake Pediatric Speech. She loves hanging out with her family, celebrating holidays, and taking on ambitious home projects.

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