Making Old Books into New Treasures

Tonight I’ve been pondering crafts involving old books.  Obviously collector books, library quality books and books we just plain love get pampered and kept on our shelves and tables…

What about the rest?  Obsolete manuals, damaged books, those which have only kind of survived the toddler years… where do they go, what do they become?

Disclaimer: If a book is not salvageable (or any parts of it that are beyond reuse), please tear it apart and recycle it.

If books are in good shape and no longer needed in your household, please consider donating them to a hospital or shelter.  A great idea for children is to have a book exchange party or a books for the children’s hospital party (ask everyone to bring their gently used books to donate).

Here are some great ideas I found for making a book into something new.

  • A book wall lamp (actually pretty cool for a study room, library or just a geek like me).
  • Join BookCrossing.
  • Gesso over the pages to create a journal or sketch book.
  • Remove pages and turn them into envelopes.
  • Frame individual pages or collages for inexpensive artwork.
  • Use as wallpaper (think bathroom wall, plenty of reading for guests!).
  • Decoupage a table top.
  • Stack several together (with cement glue in between) and clear coat to make an attractive centerpiece or a decorative column.  Repaint spines and top if desired to resemble classics.
  • Wad up unusable pages for packing cushion.
  • Use for wrapping small gifts.

I’m sure there are hundreds of other ideas… please share yours!

Photo credit: Books and Castle by Nufkin on Flickr under Creative Commens License.

Written by Jamie Ervin

Being green comes naturally for Jamie, a Native Oregonian. Educated at Oregon State University she is now a UofO Ducks fan, but remains true to her Alma Mater, the Beavers. Jamie lives vicariously through her husband, a developer of shoes for little feet, who travels the world over and prays she doesn't blog about him. She is the mother to five children, aged 4-16 and a Registered Daycare Provider. Her long term goals include traveling Asia, completing her first novel, obtaining her Master's Degree in English Lit and Education, in addition, Jamie would love to start a natural household and body product line, or maybe just pour some (organic soy) candles. Visit Jamie's personal blog, Looks Good In Polka Dots where it's not just about mothering, gluten free cooking and socially conscious living.


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