DIY book projects: Repurpose books into crafts and gifts!

Book Clock #1

Book Clock #1 (Photo credit: David Singleton)

Do you have piles of books lying around collecting dust? After you’re done reading them, why not repurpose books into something new and creative? Here are some Pinterest-inspired DIY book projects, crafts and gifts to help you get rid of those books you’ll never read again!

Re-gift them

Have a wedding shower or baby’s first birthday party to attend? Consider taking a favorite book of the guest-of-honor — for example a children’s book, which author Elaine McMillion of the Beans in a Can blog does in her July 24, 2011 post, “Repurposing Used Children’s Books,” — and slice your favorite pages and illustrations out with an X-Acto knife and placing them in antique frames. The perfect, thoughtful gift any mom-to-be or newlywed will cherish!

Another great way to reuse those classics that you just don’t want to toss in the rubbish bin is to chop the cover off and spiral bind it with lined pages — the bride-to-be can use it as an on-the-go wedding planner. Choose romantic love stories such as Pride and Prejudice or Gone With the Wind to use as your cover. You may want to stop into a retail print shop to have them unbind the book for you before you start chopping away at the cover!

  • Use the side binding to make into a bookmark to keep for yourself!

Use as décor around your home

If you’re skilled in the electrical department, you may want to try your hand at crafting one of these very trendy stacked-book lamps, as seen on HGTV’s blog: Design Happens by Dan Faires in his post, “Stacked-Books Table Lamp.” While the list of materials needed isn’t that long, the steps to get you there might have you running for the hills. Enlist the help of someone experienced with using a power drill and assembling things and you’ll have an item your houseguests will swoon over!

So many books, so little time

What about all of the other things a good book has to offer — you know, like the words? There are plenty of crafts to make using the pages. Here are a few to try, but I’m warning you ahead of time: searching “crafts from book pages” can lead to hours and hours of browsing the Internet! Just be sure you’re done reading the book before you go ahead and start tearing the pages out!

  • How about these adorable little gift tags and wrapping paper repurposed from papers? Alisa Burke’s blog “Redefine Creativity” offers up several easy ways to use those book pages in her November 30, 2010 post, “Holiday crafting with book pages.”
  • Ruffles and Stuff, in their March 20, 2011 post, “Book Art,” suggests trying your hand at printing art work from your own printer onto book pages, rather than buying the pricy ones seen all over Etsy. Using pages that have only text on them work the best when printing artwork onto the page. Choose themes to go along with your bathroom or kitchen and your house will be the most stylish around!
  • Using old jars for decorating weddings, showers, and children’s birthday parties seems to be the “it”thing these days; why not combine your look of books with the simple decorations of a glass jar and use those pages to cover the surface of the jar and placing a candle inside? I love this and that blog offers an easy tutorial on its January 10, 2010 post, “Candle in a bottle.”  A glass jar, two sheets of book paper, scissors, glue, and a piece of rope or ribbon is all you need to get your craft-on!

Well, now that you’ve gotten a few useful ways to repurpose those old books, it’s time to get crafting! Let us know how the finished products turned out in the comments below!

For even more inspiration, visit our topic pages on Art and Creativity.

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