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9 Novel Ways to Reuse a Novel (or Any Other Book)

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9 Novel Ways to Reuse a Novel (or Any Other Book)

By Sayward Rebhal, Networx

If you’re the type of person who could never imagine taking apart a book – removing its pages, cutting off its cover, etc. – then please stop reading now. This article is not for you. And I totally understand! Some people have such emotional attachments to books; the thought of repurposing them is simply horrific. (For all of you, Atlanta painter and decorating expert Kass Wilson wrote a tutorial on how to make bookshelves the focal point of a room.)

But for the rest of you, here are a few awesome ideas (other than creating a decorative library) for upcycling the used books you’ve got lying around:

The whole book . . .

1. Secret Stash

Perfect for hiding your cash, your naughties, or even just your remote control. It’s easy to make your own book safe using any old hard cover book. First, wrap the front cover and first few pages in plastic. Close the book and brush puzzle glue (or diluted white glue) onto the pages: top, bottom, and sides. Allow to dry, preferably with something heavy sitting on top. Remove the plastic and open the front cover and first few loose pages, then use a box cutter to carve out the secret compartment. It’ll take a while! Apply glue to pages on the “walls” of the compartment, and again allow to dry. All said and done, the book should appear totally normal when closed.

2. Cactus Planter

Made in much the same way as the stash box above, but in this case you’ll plant a succulent inside the compartment, and leave the cover open as part of the finished look. Use the thickest book you can find to give your cactus as much rooting area as possible. Glue the pages, cut a nice deep hole, and then line the hole with wax paper. Add potting soil, plant a small cactus inside, and cover with more potting soil. Trim the excess parchment paper and revel in your whimsy.

3. Phone/electronic charging dock

Same concept as above, but applied a bit differently. This time you’re going to cut into the actual cover, removing a section just the size of your charging dock. A drill helps to get it started and a razor will finish the job. Cut the compartment down into the pages so that the whole dock can settle into the book, leaving it flush on top. Now, use the razor to cut a trail through the pages where the cord can run through and out the back (through the pages, so the spine will remain for display). Now you’ve got an adorable electronics charging station, perfect for your bedside table or by your front door.


Next: what about book pages?

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+ add your own
2:25AM PDT on Jul 20, 2013


7:47AM PST on Feb 2, 2013


12:32PM PST on Jan 31, 2013

don't DESTROY them

3:57PM PST on Jan 30, 2013

why not recycle and donate to nursing homes or to hospitals???

3:56PM PST on Jan 30, 2013

UGH! defacing books... :-(

12:59PM PDT on Oct 5, 2012

gasp. for a book lover like myself this is blasphemy! ll really though, I could never deface a book! regift, donate or reread!

11:23PM PDT on Sep 3, 2012

I give my old books to charity's

3:24AM PDT on Aug 26, 2012

The idea of taking a book, even a crappy one, apart, makes me shudder! I guess if they're beyond repair, these could be good ideas. Otherwise I still prefer giving my old books to a charity shop - they're always looking for more!

11:05PM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

I prefer to sell the old book and buy another used one for reading.

11:29AM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

Good ideas. Thank you.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Not sure if they are going to be friends exactly with all those spikes, but cute!

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