20 Ways to Reuse Old Books

There’s something special about old books, isn’t there? They have a certain feel to them, a certain smell. If you have some old books in your stash that aren’t readable anymore, you don’t have to relegate them to the recycle bin. Try some of these book crafts instead!

When you’re looking for old books to craft with, you want to be respectful. A book that’s falling apart or missing pages is a no-brainer for crafting, but if you have a book that’s intact, you might want to think twice about cutting it up. Do a little research first! You don’t want to cut up something rare and valuable for your crafting.

OK, so you know your book isn’t a priceless first edition, but would it have value to anyone else? It doesn’t feel right to cut up a book that you could donate to a local school or library. Now that we can read on our Kindles, iPads, and even our smart phones, I feel that books don’t always get the respect they deserve. The point of upcycling is to take something unusable and make it usable again, so a perfectly readable book that’s still relevant might be better off somewhere besides the crafting table.

Have you done your Googling and a gut check? Let’s grab some old books and get crafting!

book purse

1. The book purse – This is the classic reclaimed book craft!

2. Book journal – Old book + recycled paper = awesome journal! Don’t worry – you don’t have to get your supplies at Walmart. Your local craft store should stock all of those materials, or you can order them online.

3. Glitter pinwheels – Your kids will love making – and playing with! – these cute pinwheels made from old book pages.

4. Book headboard – Do you have a bunch of old hardcovers that are falling apart? Turn them into a colorful headboard!

5. Book jacket flowers – If the book itself is in pretty good shape but the jacket is horribly stained, pull it off and turn it into cute flower bows.

6. Rose wreath – Old book pages make a beautiful all-occasion wreath.

7. Kindle cover – Hollow out an old book and use it to keep your Kindle safe and sound.

8. Picture frame – Old hardcover books make beautiful photo frames that stand up on their own.

9. Book clock – Turn an old book into a little wall clock.

10. Book page fabric – Pull out your sewing machine and stitch together book pages to create fabric for all kinds of fun crafts.

Up next: Even more ways to upcycle old books!

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by Topeka Library

book page bunting

11. Book page bunting – The best part about this upcycled garland? You don’t need any glue to make it!

12. Deoupage letters and frames – This is a two-fer! Use Mod Podge and old book pages to cover decorative letters or to revamp an old picture frame.

13. Pennant banner – Old book pages are a lovely medium for making a banner. You can make these as party decorations or design something that you can hang year-round.

14. Wall of pages – Got a wall in your home that needs a little love? Cover it in book pages! No, seriously!

15. Book-quet – Old book pages make a lovely bouquet of forever flowers.

16. Floral garland – Create a dramatic conversation piece to adorn a bookshelf or mantle.

17. Chandelier – Do you have lots of fun, craft punches? Gather them up and make a cascading book page light fixture.

18. Necklace – Wear your love of reading around your neck with this cute tutorial.

19. Tiny storage – Grab that X-acto knife and tranform a book into a box for your valuables.

20. Hedgehog sculpture – How cute is this little hedgehog? This page is translated from Dutch, so when she says “pocketbook,” she means a small, softcover book.

Have you guys made anything fun from old book pages? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!

Image Credit: photo by Becky Striepe

Related
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11 Ideas for Homemade Crafts
25 Ways to Upcycle Old T-Shirts

196 comments

Chris G.
.about a year ago

Hmm!! This blog is really cool, I’m so lucky that I have reached here and got this awesome information.
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Julie Botsch
Julie Botsch2 years ago

Thank You. Nice Article.

Val M.
Val M.3 years ago

Thanks

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson3 years ago

gasp. I could never deface a book :o it would have to be entirely ruined before I would even CONSIDER it

Danial W.
Past Member 3 years ago

thanks for info

Elena B.
Elena Bonati3 years ago

I like old books! Thanks for sharing.

Latoya Brookins
Latoya Brookins3 years ago

I come across a lot of really damaged books, magazines, graphic novels.

The ones with pictures I usually cut up and keep the nice artwork to be framed, etc. I'm always thinking of what to do with the books that I can't fix up. I hate when people throw them away and even get upset when I see them getting recycled. I want to know that as much enjoyment and use as possible has been salvaged from them before that happens.

Carol Ann O.
Carol Ann O.3 years ago

Do this only if books are in bad shape. Third world countries and impoverished areas will put these to better use. All my Nursing journals and texts that the local library would not accept because they were too old ,were welcomed by impovered organizations, as they were scarce or financially un attainable! Try the USO or Peace Corps.

Ellen J.
Ellen J.3 years ago

Love the book page necklace! Several of these ideas are "beginner proof," meaning anyone can do them - good thing, since I am a novice.

Anna Jarczynska
Past Member 3 years ago

Great ideas!!!