15 Awesome Ways to Upcycle Old Books

Whether you want to rid yourself of the clutter on your shelves, or if you’d like to make a keepsake of a classic with a pretty colour or sentimental value, why not upcycle it with one of these fab ideas?

It might seem like blasphemy to upcycle an old book, but if it’s not serving a purpose, or is falling apart at its seams, I wholeheartedly believe in giving it a new life and purpose!

If you can’t bear to recycle any of your own books, then you’re to find plenty fit for your crafting whimsy at op shops, markets and secondhand bookstores. Get inspired with these clever ideas - you'll never look at a book in the same way again! 

1. Make a new place for your plants to live

Patiently carve out the inside of a book using a Stanley knife, fill with soil and voila!


Photo: Inhabitat.com

2. Recycled Book Laptop Case

Perfect for hiding your precious laptop, or just protecting it from the elements.

Photo: Intructables.com


3. Make a pretty purse

These gorgeous book purses are sure to get plenty of compliments. Best of all, they’re easy to make (no sewing required!).

Photo: Etsy


4. Paper Roses

Valentines day may be over, but you don’t need a holiday as an excuse to make these beautiful roses – they are the perfect present for a special someone any day of the year.

Photo: Darnsexysecondhand.com


5. Jewellery box

If you want to squirrel away those precious heirlooms, this super secret jewelry box will do the trick!

Photo: http://Darnsexysecondhand.com

6. Crafty pretty little things

Not just for the Christmas tree, these ornaments can be used as the finishing touch for a present, or as a mobile

Photo: Bystephanielynn.com


7. Book balls

These balls not only look fabulous, they will also make your house smell great by adding a few drops of essential oil when you’re done.

Photo: Muslinandmerlot.blogspot.com.au


8. Refashion old maps into gift bags

Now we all have maps on our tablets and phones, there isn’t much use for map books – which is a perfect excuse to turn them into gift bags!

Photo: Dishfunctionaldesigns.blogspot.com.au


9. Make a pencil case

This stylish pencil case will take you to the top of the class.

Photo: DIYncrafts.com


10. Make a clock

Beautiful and practical! Just carve out the inside of the book with a Stanly knife, draw or stick on your numbers, and insert a clock mechanism.

Photo: Hillcitybride.com


11. Decoupage your furniture

Give an old piece of furniture an overhaul – old music scores will give an elegant looks, while old comic books are a great way to upcycle kids dressers and chairs.

Photo: Missmustardseed.com


12. Make bookmarks

If your book is falling apart at the seams, rescue the spine by transforming it into a beautiful bookmark. Finish with a tassel.

Photo: pinterest.com

13. Make coasters

Search for your favourite passages in a book, then modge podge them onto old coasters, or the cork variety that can be bought from craft stores. Comic book strips and picture books also look great

Photo: thepinktoque.com


14. Make a case for your tablet

The hardest part of this is getting the right sized book! Simply take out the pages, glue on elastic to hold your tablet in place, and you’re done. A great gift for your favourite bookworm.

Photo: Treehugger.com


15. Make a nifty side table

Armed with a drill, and a base and top, this is an effective way to put those old books to purpose, while still keeping them on display.

Photo: Etsy

What do you think? Should we upcycle and craft old books? Or keep them on the shelf? 

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