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DIY: Repurpose-Recycle-Upcycle Books!

Updated on April 3, 2017

Recycled pages are music to my heart!

Paper wreath made from sheet music.
Paper wreath made from sheet music. | Source

Find a DIY Project to give old books a new life!

Are you here to find ways to re-purpose or recycle books ? Good! I hope I can provide you with some crafty do-it-your-self ideas to save your beloved (or not) old broken books.

Before you proceed, make sure that your book is not valuable (as in rare and antique) by clicking: Is your book valuable? (link will open a new page)

Make sure that you really want to re-purpose this book by reading this page: Deciding if your book can be saved. (will open a new page). It is NOT my goal to have readable books torn apart to create a craft.

Image: Wreath using re-purposed sheet music paper. I took this photo at a craft fair that featured "green" art. Here is a page that will show you how to create a wreath that is similar to this one: click Paper Wreath from Recycled Paper (will open a new page called "Librarians, Please Avert Your Eyes") to go and find a new recycling craft project. Click on this link to go to another page that uses a phone book: Phone Book Wreath

Recycle a Phone Book into a Wreath!

This is not the same wreath that is seen in the introduction, but you can easily make this one by upcycling a phone book. The principle could probably used with any large paperback book that is no longer useful to you.

Books About Repurposing Books: - Learn to Remake, Restyle, Recycle, Renew!

The first book below is full of ideas for repurposing books. The other one is about how to make books using recycled items. Be sure to notice the reviews of these interesting books on upcycling!

You can buy them now on

Playing with Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book
Playing with Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book

This book is so popular, I cannot ever get it at the library without a reserve being placed on it.

A Reader Review:

"I daresay that once you see the wonderful ideas in this book, you'll be itching to get your hands upon old and discarded books to create your own one of a kind art. Go ahead…it is o.k. to "Play with Books" - Tina Wilson,, April 28, 2010

Eco Books: Inventive Projects from the Recycling Bin
Eco Books: Inventive Projects from the Recycling Bin

Amazon Customer Review:

Terry Taylor is a wonderful artist whose work I really admire. This book did not disappoint! Who would have thought you could make such a wonderful small book with covers from an egg carton?

Book Bag image used with permission of Caitlin Phillips
Book Bag image used with permission of Caitlin Phillips

Recycle a book into a purse--

Save a book and money!

Re-purpose a useless book and make a darlin' book bag purse! The link to the instructions here are offered to the home crafter and should be used for personal use only--not for resale.

If you would like to do make your own book purse, visit Book Purse Tutorial (with pictures).

I have seen some really beautiful purses made from the covers of old books. Use your imagination and go wild. Make sure, I know I am repeating myself, that the book is not valuable!

Image of the book purse is used with permission from rebounddesigns at artist Caitlin Phillips. She creates professional quality purses and states: "Great care is taken to find books that are unwanted, obsolete, or damaged." Ms. Phillips told me that hers are the original book purses; I am honored to have received permission to use her image as inspiration for amateur crafters like myself.

Literary Lamp made from recycled books- Image from
Literary Lamp made from recycled books- Image from

Fold Books to make a Lamp base!

Technique similar to the folded Christmas Trees above

Unfortunately, the instructions for how to make the lamp shown here is no longer "live"! However, if you click DIY Lamp Projects, you will find other ideas for "Light Reading" lamps.

The original idea for the Literary Lamp was found on "ReadyMade". There are so very many ways to up-cycle books. I hope you enjoy this enlightening one! also gave me permission to use the image of this "Literary Lamp" shown here.

Another interesting article for making a Stacked Book Table Lamp can be found at HGTV's website. The tutorial seems very easy to follow.

There is another interesting article where you can find instructions for making a vase or lamp base from used books; just click Book Vases by Laura Cahill on Dezeen. this designer used a jigsaw to upcycle used books into classic curves.

Make a Lovebird Book House~ - a book upcycled into home décor!

Love a book so much that you will not let it go? Then make a "Love"-bird House. Below you will find a few links about how to do this oh so crafty project with an old book. One page is written by a Squidoo crafty lensmaster, the other is from a blog that just might give you some very good ideas about how to upcycle and recycle!

The image below is used with permission from Create Studio. Thank you so very much.

Bird Bookhouses:

  1. Lovebird Book House Tutorial from "Create Studio".

    Create Studio is a fabulous blog that will inspire you in so many ways. Do go and check it out. Thanks, again Sarah Tucker, for allowing me to use your image (above) of the Lovebird Bookhouse.

  2. Bird and Birdhouse Crafts has a bird bookhouse as an introductory photo.

Reader's Table from
Reader's Table from

Books Recycled into Furniture:

Novel ideas for using books in your home decor!

Find great ideas on this blog: Recycle Books Into Furniture. You can find ideas to make a bookshelf or a table out of old books on this page. Is your imagination getting sparked yet?

You can also find ideas for making bookshelves on this website: Weburbanist-Brilliant Bookcase and Book Shelf Designs

Don't know what to do with that set of outdated encyclopedias! Click A use for old encylopedias! Even charitable organizations will not let you donate old encyclopedias any more!

Make Tables Out of Books! Click Tables Made Out of Books to find inspiration. I found a few of the the above websites on THIS resourceful blog entry, Frugral Furniture Made from Books.

This Into That is an online store where an artist (Jim Rosenau) explains how his upcycling, repurposing craft is born: "The journey to market begins here, in our carefully tended orchards. Here, a fully ripened book is harvested from the Tree of Knowledge." (That is his "Reader's Table" pictured up and to right. He gave me permission to use his image.).

Image of a hollow book, aka "booksafe" from wikimedia commons
Image of a hollow book, aka "booksafe" from wikimedia commons

Need to hide something? A Hollow Book is a superb and nifty way to do that. Here are a 2 websites with instructions:

"WikiHow" Make a Hollow Book

How to Make a Secret Hollow Book

Again, these are given here for your personal use, not to re-sell.

Cook Time

Prep Time: Depends on how thick your book is

Total Time: More than 30 minutes.

Serves: Ecologically Crafty Minded People


  • Old Books that are not valuable to anyone anywhere!
  • A good website with great instructions
  • plastic food wrap
  • white glue or craft glue
  • water
  • paint or crafting brush
  • metal ruler
  • box cutter or craft knife
  • drill (optional)


  1. Click on any of the websites listed above for making a hollow book. Decide which one you like the best and follow the instructions.
  2. Booksafe image By Ich (User created) [Public domain],; via Wikimedia Commons
Cast your vote for How to make a Hollow Book

Festive ways to upcycle old books: - Just in time for (Halloween) (Thanksgiving) (Christmas)! You Pick the Holiday

Need to refresh your holiday decorations? I am positive that you will find a green (combined with red?) recycling project that your can use to bring cheer to your holiday season. I am constantly amazed by the creativity of the human race!

Make sure you check out how to make an angel from an old hymnal! It would take a lot of time, but the results could be spectacular!

Below you will also find links and a few images that will give you ideas to make Christmas trees, wreaths, and pumpkins--all using old books or magazines. Imagine the possibilities!

Keep Scrolling Down for More Festive Ideas Using Old Books:

Festive Fall Pumpkin Decorations Made from Recycled Paperback Books


Autumn Book-pumpkins:

This autumn pumpkin display might be an easy one to make if you have the old paperback books, an "exacto" knife, paint and some glue and a few other items. Visit Crafting Mom to find out what else you need to make these cute pumpkins. Excellent tutorial with good images for this "how to". Thanks to Crafting Mom for giving me permission to use this image.

Christmas Tree recycled from an old magazine

how to make a tree with an old magazine
how to make a tree with an old magazine

An excellent way to use of old magazines to make your home festive at Christmas Time. Thanks to lens master,"ideadesigns" for giving me permission to use this image. Unfortunately, I do not know how to find "ideadesigns" on the web any longer. Squidoo is now gone.

A Crafty Christmas Tree made from a hardback book!

Thanks to Littleredbox for allowing me to use the image. If you want to see how to make this tree, just click through to here: Hardback Book Christmas Tree. You will find all the steps to make this festive decoration. What drew me to this project was the red ball on the top of the tree. I also love the way the color fades to the inside of this upcycled Christmas Tree.

Stacked Christmas Tree in UNC Library--made with books, naturally!

Stacked Christmas Tree in UNC Library--made with books, naturally!
Stacked Christmas Tree in UNC Library--made with books, naturally!

The Art of Altered Books:

Below you will find two books that will also give you inspiration for up cycling old books. The first book is for young adults and children. The second one is for grown-ups, but a creative child will enjoy the ideas and images.

Answer me thIs:

What do you think about the future of the real paper book? Will books end up being repurposed, restyled, recycled or renewed? What project might you attempt?

I am sure that we will find some way to turn a Kindle or Nook into an object of art one day, too.

Put your answer in the Guestbook or comments section below.

Guestbook: Will you be repurposing a book soon? - Tip: most paperback books are not made to last forever!

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    • JackieBlock profile image

      Jackie Block 2 years ago from SE Michigan

      Came across your lens while looking for wedding shower ideas for my sister. Great ideas you have here. Thanks for sharing them!

    • EmmaGraceEllis LM profile image

      EmmaGraceEllis LM 3 years ago

      I love books! AND I love recycling, up cycling, & repurposing!

      fantastic read! I especially loved Christmas Tree recycled from an old magazine, I did this when i was little at school ;-)

    • profile image

      Colin323 3 years ago

      Very creative use of old books, which otherwise would end up pulped and turned into toilet tissue or whatever

    • profile image

      tonyleather 3 years ago

      Fabulous lens, because anything that promotes recycling, in my opinion, is absolutely the bees knees!

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 3 years ago

      @PAINTDRIPS: I use some of my books to "harvest" parts from for making repairs. I know how difficult it is to get rid of books that one has loved for so many years.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 3 years ago from Fresno CA

      I'm in the process of eliminating my excess books (I hate calling them that since I love them all but no longer have room for them). Some I sell, used, on Amazon and others I give away to thrift stores. This recycling page is bookmarked for future reference because I love many of the ideas here. Thanks.

    • jen17 lm profile image

      jen17 lm 3 years ago

      What a really cool lens! So many unique ideas, I will definitely be trying some of them out - my favorites are "How to make a Hollow Book " and "Books Recycled into Furniture".

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 3 years ago

      Really amazingly creative, love this page, never heard of this idea before.

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      The Christmas tree is just amazing, what a perfect tree for the library

    • profile image

      Margot_C 4 years ago

      Very clever! It must have taken some time and patience to stack that Christmas tree. Great ideas. Especially liked the purse.

    • DChance LM profile image

      Dawn 4 years ago

      The screen might crack some time. You could use it as a picture frame.

    • profile image

      laurenrich 4 years ago

      This is a great lens with wonderful creative ideas for repurposing books. I have added it to my favorites. Thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I love books

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I especially love books that find a new life when they are either rediscovered by someone who wants to read it or repurposed into something beautiful.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      Wonderful crafty ideas and love those lamps. Blessed and have a wonderful, safe holiday season and extra special 2013. Hugs

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Do you have a list of people that make books into furniture as a trade?

    • cdgood profile image

      cdgood 4 years ago

      So light, bright and full of content!

    • profile image

      kulla 4 years ago

      Great ideas for re-purposing books. Nice lens liked it

    • Noctai LM profile image

      Noctai LM 4 years ago

      Nice lens and all of the ideas are interesting... but I'm afraid I couldn't use most of them. Barring a flood/fire my books will, hopefully, never become that damaged *shudder*. Maybe the Christmas tree, by the looks of it no books were harmed in the making of that decoration. :)

    • MBradley McCauley profile image

      MBradley McCauley 4 years ago

      Great ideas for what to do with old books I don't sell. Great info and lens.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I really do not think that books will ever go away. I hope humans take care of the ones they already have, too.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I hate to think that books will disappear forever. Mind you, that's always been a prediction and it hasn't happened yet, so maybe it never will. I love the idea of making books into furniture!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I like to paint in old old books & I use stacked books as decorative "platforms" for other items in my house - I also use vintage yellowed pages in my artwork, adding them onto my canvas paintings for texture and visual interest

    • profile image

      MintySea 4 years ago

      I love the table looks so cool

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 4 years ago from Kansas

      I used old books as sketchbook for my art. You have found some other great uses for books.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 4 years ago

      @madoc: So far, the only book I have repurposed is an old dictionary that was falling apart. I used the pages to decorate the lampshade. I have a pictured it above.

    • madoc profile image

      madoc 4 years ago

      I only have books I cherish as books. Maybe one day.

    • profile image

      crazy4u2 4 years ago

      Well, beyond imagination. You have the cutest idea to handle old books.

    • Flowerchild1946 profile image

      Carol Brooks 5 years ago from Florida

      I think I will! What a beautiful and informative lens.

    • ae dc profile image

      ae dc 5 years ago

      very nice uses for old books. thanks for the ideas!

    • sheilamarie78 profile image

      sheilamarie78 5 years ago

      Really fun ideas! I'm going to give that lamp a closer look.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      A lot of fun ideas! I don't think that I can repurpose any of my books just yet.

    • profile image

      wecomparebooks 5 years ago

      So many great ideas I never would have thought of

    • profile image

      WinWriter 5 years ago

      Loved all of the ideas. That picture of the Christmas tree made of books is amazing. *Blessed *

    • lisann-hall profile image

      lisann-hall 5 years ago

      Super interesting! I am a repurposer (is that a word?) but have hesistated with using books. The value of a book has always be instilled in me but next time I come across a ratty tatter book-it is so becoming one of your suggested projects!

    • thingz1 profile image

      thingz1 5 years ago

      Thanks for the great ideas. I especially like the purse. I have also seen some fantastic birdhouses fashioned from old books (they're really more like works of art vs functional).

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 5 years ago

    • DianeStafford profile image

      DianeStafford 5 years ago

      Excellent lens, not ready to turn any 'real' books into craft items, but loved many of the examples shown here :-)

    • profile image

      sheezie77 5 years ago

      Great lens! Well done, squidlikes!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I just bought 100 old leather bound law books. Got some great ideas, thanks.

    • piarejuden profile image

      piarejuden 5 years ago

      Oh, gosh! These ideas are awesome.. thanks for al the info! Yep.. i will try out a couple of these ideas on old telephone directories!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have given away most of my books and now have my new collection in my Kindle. You have given me many ideas in your lens.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      These are some wonderful, imaginative ways to repurpose damaged books that aren't valuable and give them a new life! Thank you so much for sharing and congratulations on the well-deserved purple star award!

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I love these great ideals .the trees are great.Thanks for sharing.

    • mytortoisemind profile image

      mytortoisemind 5 years ago

      I like this lens a lot (so do other people obviously looking at all of your likes etc). Even the simple Christmas tree stack looks really cool. Thanks for sharing on this lens.

    • Hypersapien2 profile image

      Hypersapien2 5 years ago from U.S.

      The Christmas trees are pretty cool! Thanks for this lens!

    • Julia Morais profile image

      Julia Morais 5 years ago

      Wonderful ideas here....i have so many old books here, that I've no idea what to do with them. These are some great suggestions.

    • Spokanewebdesig1 profile image

      Spokanewebdesig1 5 years ago

      the book purse is too cool!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Some great suggestions here! I especially like the idea of converting books into furniture.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Kindles would look great set in blocks of concrete and used as foundations for multi-storey car parks.

    • jballs6 profile image

      jballs6 5 years ago

      Great ideas! I either sell on or give my books to friends. But I do have two books cases full of books that I love and cherish

    • profile image

      jenn-barrett 5 years ago

      fantastic suggestions for old books! :) I still have some books from college that no one wants, maybe I will make some art.

    • TheCandle LM profile image

      TheCandle LM 5 years ago

      I think paper books will eventually become a thing of the past, but I do love curling up with one. I have a Nook and didn't think I would like it, but I love it as well.

    • squidoopets profile image

      Darcie French 5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      What delightful ways to reuse books :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Awesome lens. But I have no books to repurpose at the moment. I love the angel idea. Very cute.

    • blue22d profile image

      blue22d 5 years ago

      Very impressive. I am having trouble deciding as to if I like the trees made from books or a purse more (saw one at the fair). As I mentioned before, some take time, but if you have made one of these, one should be proud!

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      A friend of mine makes books into postcard albums. The books have to be the right size to take two per page with some room to spare. She carefully cuts slits in the paper to make it like an old fashioned album. the great thing is, she can fit any size or shape card into it because she is cutting the slits herself.

    • profile image

      PaulRyan 5 years ago

      Love it! One of the best lenses ever. Some creative ideas. Shall see what I can do with my old books.

    • magictricksdotcom profile image

      magictricksdotcom 5 years ago

      You've found some really creative ideas here. My wife does a lot of altered book art, and I've always been fascinated by it. Great lens!

    • profile image

      AbandonGames 5 years ago

      omg i didn't know you can make such amazing things out of old books ... (for sure only the worthless) .. amazing lense!

    • profile image

      Prescriptiondrugrehab 5 years ago

      I would like to do this in the future. I have many books that I was thinking to give away. Now I see that there are different ways to reuse them.

    • profile image

      LizaSandler 5 years ago

      awesome lens! I really like it, it's an amazing idea, having this decoration made of books. I really can't imagine how do you came up with this idea. I will really try this one. But as piece of advice, I hope you don't use books that are still capable of giving knowledge and ideas.

    • Spiderlily321 profile image

      Spiderlily321 5 years ago

      Wow I really like this lens! I'm a book lover and there are some great tips on what to do with old books. Great job and thanks for sharing!

    • Deadicated LM profile image

      Deadicated LM 5 years ago

      I may do so now that I've been given some truly wonderful ideas on your exceptional Lens. Kudos!

    • profile image

      RInneVolle 5 years ago

      so cool ^O^

    • Dmarieinspires profile image

      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      I love your lens!!! and I love to read!

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      Lots of clever and unique ideas. Thanks for the helpful info. Blessed by a joyful angel.

    • RainDefence LM profile image

      RainDefence LM 5 years ago

      Is giving a book to a friend after you've enjoyed and having them enjoy it too not the done thing any more? I like the idea of someone else enjoying what I've read and talking about it after, rather than shredding them and turning them into a novelty flower or a bag or something.

    • dann7trdro lm profile image

      dann7trdro lm 5 years ago

      Ironically, I'm reading this while pulling labels off a pile of old books! (we're donating them)

    • profile image

      DecoratingMom411 5 years ago

      There are a lot of great ideas here. It's quite nice what you can do with old books such as making them into a purse or those cute lamps.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wonderful.. Simply wow.. I've bookmarked it.. :)

    • ILoveNature profile image

      ILoveNature 5 years ago

      Wow! Who knew there were so many ways to use old books. I really hate to throw away books and this Lens has helped me realize the potential in all of those pages.

    • CraftaholicVete profile image

      CraftaholicVete 5 years ago

      Wonderful ideas! I would have never thought that old books would have been used in so many crafts. Thanks for sharing. Great job!

    • bikerministry profile image

      bikerministry 5 years ago

      Really great ideas here. I was in a restaurant yesterday that had amazing artwork on the walls, the background layer of the framed artwork was pages from books, and the them then was painted onto the pages. Beautiful. I love to upcycle.

    • cynthiannleighton profile image

      cynthiannleighton 5 years ago

      I like having books still!

    • pinkelephantpod profile image

      pinkelephantpod 5 years ago

      Read your lens a few days back and am inspired by the many inspiring ideas shared here. A BIG "High Five"

    • profile image

      gradientcat 5 years ago

      I think my kids would like the secret box made from a book

    • i Dia1 profile image

      i Dia1 5 years ago

      How interesting. I never would have thought of using books this way. Great ways to recycle.

    • profile image

      NC Shepherd 5 years ago

      I'm going to keep my eyes open for some old books just so I can do some of these!

    • profile image

      AnnieMoril 5 years ago

      "High Five" I love books and hate the idea of throwing any away. So I love all the ideas for recycling them in your lens.

    • karMALZEKE profile image

      karMALZEKE 5 years ago

      I love all your ideas but I would have to have a book with no purpose to do any one of these ideas. I love all my books and I revisit them often.

    • profile image

      tnabooks 5 years ago

      I love these ideas. The book purse is particularly creative and tempting to make. :)

    • grinagallery profile image

      grinagallery 5 years ago

      Some awesome ideas here! I love the Christmas Tree made out of books. Putting the paper back in the tree. Very clever. Thanks for sharing. :-)

    • CarreiraS profile image

      CarreiraS 5 years ago

      I won't, I know my limitations, and although I like to see artistic things, I'm not an artist and I don't know nor have the patience to do them myself :p

    • KateHonebrink profile image

      KateHonebrink 5 years ago

      I remember doing some of your art projects shown above! They brought back great memories! Thanks for a wonderful lens!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Great lens, enjoyed it. Yes it makes you wonder what is the future of books.

      Nice lens for Earth day. Thanks for sharing all these ideas. Blessed

    • sheriangell profile image

      sheriangell 5 years ago

      I don't know if I will, but I am tempted. We were just at an antique mall yesterday and I saw a wreath made out of beautiful yellowed pages of an old make my think of this lens! Angel blessed today!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Back to pin this great lens. Ecological and pretty.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      @vetochemicals: Thank you for the offer of a link for this recycling page of mine. If you do not have the time to make the book purse, you can buy one on Etsy using the link above to the artisan whose photo I used. (I do not get a commission, btw.)

    • vetochemicals profile image

      Cindy 5 years ago from Pittsburgh Pa

      My favorite local book store closed, they just weren't busy enough and I miss them, it's happening to more and more of even the larger book stores. I would love to make the purse book, bookmarked! So many great ideas here, love them all. I'd like to link this to my How to Celebrate Earth Day if you give the ok to do so.

    • FlynntheCat1 profile image

      FlynntheCat1 5 years ago

      Ironically, I'm reading this while pulling labels off a pile of old books! (we're donating them)

    • ny2nashville profile image

      ny2nashville 5 years ago

      LOVE this lens!! I just opened an Etsy store with my book page wreaths- I'd love some feedback from you fellow bibliophiles:)

    • profile image

      Timsmansmall 5 years ago

      Congratulations on being on the front page of Squidoo.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Simply a stunning, highly original, and refreshing site. I enjoyed the many visual references as well. I'm going to link somehow to this lens on my Elaborate Gift List for Writers and Poets lens. Beautiful, terrific job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did I mention I was impressed to the hilt? Oh yeah, I think I did. I'll shut up now.

    • LooLooBird profile image

      LooLooBird 5 years ago

      All these ideas are fabulous! So happy to see other "upcycling" articles! Check out mine on making a lap quilt from flannel shirts if you'd like! :)

    • profile image

      linkreggie 5 years ago

      great lens about recycling things such as books. I will apply some of your tips and thanks for sharing wonderful lens..

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      I absolutely LOVE books... and I love that tree made out of books :) Blessed!

    • BusinessSarah profile image

      BusinessSarah 5 years ago

      I love these ideas! I'm planning my wedding, and since I'm an editor and my fiancé is a musician, most of the décor is made from old dictionary paper and sheet music. Your lens gave me a few ideas for some finishing touches -- thanks! blessed!

    • Rock Artist profile image

      Rock Artist 5 years ago

      Going to try that wreath one of these days with some old books I have laying around the house. What a nice idea for a lens, thanks!

    • suzy-t profile image

      suzy-t 5 years ago

      I am very fond of old books. I collect and donate a lot of books to our local library but do come across some that are so damaged they are not saveable...and next time I come across one, I want to try the "lamp base" project. I have the perfect spot picked out already. Wonderful lens. Blessed.

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 5 years ago

      Bookmarked, saved and thrilled to have these references for making something from old books! Thanks for all the research and putting this together! *Blessed

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Congratulations on a a well deserved front page feature...delightfully blessed!...*

    • SophiaStar LM profile image

      SophiaStar LM 5 years ago

      These are some great pieces of art. There is something very nostalgic, beautiful and quite clever of turning an already piece of an art (the written word or book) into another one. I really like the book trees.

    • profile image

      GrowWear 5 years ago

      You do great work, lady. ...I have a Nook. It's on top of a book in my biggest bookcase full of books -- art in itself to me. :) Sad, but books will go the way of scrolls...

    • bead at home mom profile image

      Teri Hansen 5 years ago

      Very nicely done and creative ideas. Thx for such great inspiration!.

    • allenwebstarme profile image

      allenwebstarme 5 years ago

      Brilliant idea!

    • profile image

      dumutu 5 years ago

      I hope I can make something like this...:(

      But very nice lens, thank you.

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

      Mickie_G, I just noticed your comment on my RocketSquids article from last week. You should definitely submit this to So Crafty for Earth's really great! You'll find a link for submissions on the homepage. :) SquidAngel Blessed!

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      I just can't part with my books so easily! That being said, the projects shown in this lens are beautiful and some are spectacular! I really enjoyed reading this lens.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Great lens, back to sprinkle angel dust! I loved the book trees and the furniture made of books. Cool! Oh, and social bookmarked which I hope more people do. These ideas are ecological as well as fun.

    • Lauriej1 profile image

      Lauriej1 5 years ago

      I love some of these ideas! Great lens!! :)

    • snazzify lm profile image

      Katie Harp 5 years ago

      blessed by a squid angel :) <3

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I do book altering from time to time. These sculptures are amazing. Thanks so much.

    • Adele Jeunette profile image

      Adele Jeunette 5 years ago

      I'd like to use old books to make bookmarks or refrigerator magnets. Does anyone know of a site for those?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Returning reader but this time I *blessed* this!

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 5 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      I love the examples of re-using old books in craft projects. I'm not sure if I've got any books I can bear to use, though.

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 5 years ago

      Books will definitely last for a long long time, no other way can really replace paper books.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      The various paper art from books are really impressive especially now with so much paper lying around. There is indeed no limit to creative imagination.

    • peggygallyot profile image

      peggygallyot 5 years ago

      going to try making a christmas tree

    • peggygallyot profile image

      peggygallyot 5 years ago

      going to try the christmas and yes i recycle old books by passing them to my grandchildren and also donateing them

    • MarcoG profile image

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      I love this as a craft, like book origami!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      This is absolutely fascinating. I especially like the book trees. Thank you for publishing this lens.

    • ottoblotto profile image

      ottoblotto 5 years ago

      Love this!

    • profile image

      TheDeeperWell 5 years ago

      As a collage artist, I am a fan of any paper art...this is one of the most intriguing lenses I have seen on Squidoo.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I know that I can often find free books at the library they are just giving away. If a person can figure out a way to make a piece of art from them to sell? Wait, that's what this lens is about. Thanks.

    • profile image

      klaird 5 years ago

      I love books and have a hard time parting with them, even when my bookshelves are overflowing. Great ideas for repurposing old books. I've featured this lens in a new section about crafts from old books on my "101 Craft Ideas for Adults" lens. Great job. And I love the photo of the Christmas book tree!

    • peachplanet profile image

      peachplanet 5 years ago

      love the Christmas trees! thanks for sharing!

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 5 years ago from Texas

      I love the purse made from a book. There are some really great ideas here for using old books. Some of them remind me of when we used to fold the Houston,Tx telephone book into Christmas trees. That was a BIG phone book.

    • profile image

      greenearthy 5 years ago

      wonderul lens love all that you can do to recycle old books I want to make the purse soon and I like the Christmas trees made from books that are so neat.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Great lens - adding to my Recycling at Home lens (pinned it too!)

    • profile image

      im1337mi 5 years ago

      Lovely ideas! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • SoniaCarew profile image

      SoniaCarew 5 years ago

      Interesting! But I love my books and prefer to keep them intact. Love the handbag though.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Great article! I love books! I don't ever want them to go away. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      it was all beautiful and very creative.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 5 years ago

      I love REAL books, I think it would feel so sad not to have them all around my house. Angel blessed lens!!

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 5 years ago from Missouri

      Hmmm, I have some old computer books that are useless. Maybe those would work as art?

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 5 years ago

      Before long I intend to do so, to create another kind of treasure.

    • nyclittleitaly profile image

      nyclittleitaly 5 years ago

      great idea

    • Mistl profile image

      Mistl 5 years ago

      Very creative, I love all the ideas of repurposing books here although I don't think I could ever get myself to hurt any of my books :D

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      Seeing old book thrown in recycle bin is one of saddest views possible. I love the alternatives you presented. Long live the books!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Lovely lens - very cool! Of course I am a bibliophile that is tripping over books.

    • profile image

      ideadesigns 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for the link to my recycle magazine tree. There are so many great ideas here. I love the book art especially all the Christmas tree ideas. :)

    • profile image

      totalhealth 5 years ago

      it was all beautiful and very creative. great ways to re purpose those old books.

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      now i know what i have to do with those old encyclopedia britannica and encyclopedia americana....make a christmas tree.

    • profile image

      seedplanter 5 years ago

      I am head-over-heels in love with this lens! I've seen repurposed books on Etsy and thought they were so cool, but your lens lays it all out with lots of good info and instructions. I LOVE the Christmas trees! The huge tree in the library is amazing. Another super Mickie G lens! :)

      I'm off to tweet it...

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 5 years ago

      I use the pages from old books for painting etc. The pages look great after you paint them and the paper is awesome for watercolor.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Awesome! Super love it. Thanks for sharing. Squid-liked!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very creative thanks for sharing!

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      @anonymous: If you get a stacked Kindle or Nook tree, remember where you got this idea and share the wealth. :)

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      @NicholasBW: Thanks for the feature.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 5 years ago from So Cal

      I have some books that were damaged by the rain but can't make myself throw them away. One is a hymnal that I bought from our church many years ago. The angel is the perfect use and I still get to keep it. Thanks! Angel blessed.

    • profile image

      MorningShine 5 years ago

      You have some really neat ideas. I never would have thought of some of these things. Good job.

    • cwstocks lm profile image

      cwstocks lm 5 years ago

      I love physical books. I hope there will be continued interest in them. I enjoy collecting 1st edition and signed 1st edition books and I think collectors will continue to be a market for paper books.

    • profile image

      ErHawkns7100 5 years ago

      Great stuff!

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 5 years ago from Liverpool, England

      My books tend to stay with me, on sheklves, floors, dining table ...

      Some great ideas on recycling - Angel Blessed.

    • NicholasBW profile image

      NicholasBW 5 years ago

      Well done, this is an excellent lens with great ideas, it's featured on my lens for upcycling ideas :)

    • profile image

      MintySea 5 years ago

      very creative ways to recycle damgaged books

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love these repurposed book ideas, and the purse is super cute, Where a repurposed Kindle is concerned however, I'm sure I wouldn't mind if someone gave me a Stacked Kindle Christmas Tree :-)

    • MariaMontgomery profile image

      MariaMontgomery 5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      A really neat lens with some great ideas. I love the book-purse idea.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      @ananimoss2: Actually another lensmaster has created a lens about unusual uses for books. The url is

    • JodiFromFlorida profile image

      JodiFromFlorida 5 years ago

      Awesome lens! I love the literary lamp.

    • ananimoss2 profile image

      ananimoss2 5 years ago

      This was a very unique lens. I have never seen anything quite like this. Some cool ideas...

    • profile image

      mysterrio 5 years ago

      I love the idea of recycling a book. If I have any that need to go to the ole book grave yeard - now I know what to do with them.

    • LotusLandry profile image

      LotusLandry 5 years ago from Southern California

      Our neighborhood recycles books into a clubhouse library where we are free to take other books out. Volunteers cull extra books out periodically. Many people still use the clubhouse even if they have Kindles (and wrote a Kindle book). This facility has served us well for over 30 years as the local public libraries are inadequate. Obviously, pop up books and other coffee table books will not be recycled. I still retain poetry books and some textbooks. I am grateful for both the clubhouse library AND the Kindle because of limited shelf space.

    • RF153541 profile image

      RF153541 5 years ago

      Great idea for recycling those old books that i got.. thanks for posting...

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 5 years ago

      These are brilliant crafty ideas! Thanks for sharing them. It always feels great to recycle and re-use. Saves me a lot of money and the planet, too! Fantastic lens! Sundae ;-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      glad I browsed upon this, did like this indeed. Probably best to go to kindle instead of paper back, good reading. I gave you a 'thumbs up' too!

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 5 years ago from California

      Excellent lens. I'm so glad to see the ways an old book can be used. I take extra good care of my books so they never end up being torn apart. But the library here and other people sell old books and some just need to be used in the various ways you've described. Thanks. Blessed. Bear hugs, Frankster

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I applaud this lens as it would be a real waste simply to throw books out.

    • profile image

      henrylayla 5 years ago

      Very much interesting and unique ideas

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I love this lens!

    • ce2consulting profile image

      ce2consulting 5 years ago

      really great ideas and resources for recycling old books!

    • profile image

      greatlegs 5 years ago

      Wow, what a great idea. This is a great lens.

    • profile image

      writer_villa 5 years ago

      It is so nice to see those stack of books! Gorgeous!

    • MyFairLadyah2 profile image

      MyFairLadyah2 5 years ago

      As I don't like things going to waste

      Re-purposing books is an interesting notion

      Though I wouldn't rip up the pages in haste

      Lest my friends, the books, stir a commotion

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 5 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      What cool ideas. Love the table! And that Christmas tree ... hm, I think I might make a small version of that this holiday. I have a box of hardcover gardening books that would work.

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 5 years ago

      Definitely. The ideas on this lens are very unique.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love this interesting and unique!

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 5 years ago

      Amazing recycling ideas for books ! I particularly like the lamp idea as well as the pumpkin in the kitchen. The Christmas tree is awesome. Fantastic lens!

    • falldown2007 profile image

      falldown2007 5 years ago

      Wow awesome lense, great ideas!

    • Fignewton37 profile image

      Fignewton37 5 years ago

      What a great idea for a lens! I really like the craft ideas for books. I once saw an article about old library books that had been re-purposed into a full size desk. They used the books as a base and a nice wooden top for the desk portion. I thought that was a pretty neat idea. Thanks for you hard work on this lens.

    • profile image

      aussieremovals 5 years ago

      Great lend and it's providing different idea about recycle or up cycle old Books. Nice lens.

    • profile image

      Deeksha 5 years ago

      Impressive lens... Making use of unused items in an effective way is very good.

    • emmaklarkins profile image

      emmaklarkins 5 years ago

      Great suggestions! I've often had the problem of having way too many books on hand. I love books, but sometimes too many of them weigh down your life!

    • bosieboy profile image

      bosieboy 5 years ago

      Awesome lens, I am going to read some more. This is a great example of how it should be done! Thanks.

    • profile image

      333ideas 5 years ago

      Wow! I would have never thought of using old books to make these items with. I didn't realize that just an old (even torn) book could be used in such a neat way. Thanks for sharing this! From 333ideas @

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      @GonnaFly: Thanks for the blessing. Here is the url for your upcycling ideas lens:

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      @lilymom24: I plan on making the wreath, myself.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      @NaturalVamp: Yes, I have many of those very special books on my shelves! Most of them belong to my now grown children--they were much loved by them when they were tiny persons who loved to have stories read to them.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      @alyssa87: Thanks! :)

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      @Silwen LM: I use newspapers, too. Sometimes books are unfortunately beyond repair and need a new purpose in life. The dictionary that I used to cover a lampshade was definitely beyond repair and I am quite sure that plenty of libraries have a dictionary from that era for linguists to study. Thanks for your point of view. It is much appreciated.

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      @modernchakra: Thank you for the compliments. I am honored that you recommend my other pages about books here on Squidoo.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Wow! Some really cool ideas here, thanks! I will bookmark this lens and have a go at making some stuff out of old books next time I'm at a loose end

    • modernchakra profile image

      modernchakra 5 years ago

      Your understanding of the role of books in every aspect of our future is quite obvious from all your lenses and great writing. I recommend others check out some more of your lenses to understand a very important part of society and communication. Thanks for your hard work!

    • Silwen LM profile image

      Silwen LM 5 years ago

      I do not like the idea of re-purposing old book. I would never let anybody to do that if I could. Off course the ideas are great. But I prefer using old newspapers instead of books.

    • profile image

      alyssa87 5 years ago

      OMG!!! fantastic ideas,,, i love the pinky purse :)

    • hsschulte profile image

      hsschulte 5 years ago

      Beautiful ideas for recycling old books.

    • profile image

      NaturalVamp 5 years ago

      The very special ones will remain.

    • lilymom24 profile image

      lilymom24 5 years ago

      There are some great ideas here. I really like the wreath and the holiday decorations.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Very different and very nice!

    • JanTUB profile image

      Jan T Urquhart Baillie 5 years ago from Australia

      Great ideas here

    • adamfrench profile image

      adamfrench 5 years ago

      Impressive lens, thumbs up

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 5 years ago from Australia

      Love the lamp base! This lens has been blessed on the "I Love That Word" quest and added to my Upcycling Ideas lens.

    • agoofyidea profile image

      agoofyidea 5 years ago

      You have the best craft ideas. I will definitely be using these ideas. Awesome lens.

    • dotpattern profile image

      Pat Moire 5 years ago from West Village, New York City

      Reused books are the ultimate in recycling. These great projects raise the craft to true book arts.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 5 years ago

      What a cute lens! I love the paper wreath; great idea. So many fun things. So many books, so little time...

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Our minds seem to run along the same channels. I have a lens called, Book Oddities: Unusual Uses for Books.

    • mellex lm profile image

      mellex lm 5 years ago from Australia

      Fantastic lens - Thanks for all the great ideas!

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 5 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      I loved the wreath and the pumpkin! great lens

    • NoobWriter LM profile image

      NoobWriter LM 5 years ago

      Nice lens :)

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      I am not sure about repurposing any of my books. But I sure enjoyed your lens. Blessed! :)

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 5 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      I absolutely love this lens! Some really fantastic ideas to use old books.

    • FunkyJewelleryUK profile image

      FunkyJewelleryUK 6 years ago

      Brilliant lens. Really interesting and eco-friendly! I make my own jewellery out of recycled products, so I salute you! :)

    • sorana lm profile image

      sorana lm 6 years ago

      Excellent lens. I love the Christmas tree. What a creative idea.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 6 years ago from UK

      That library Christmas tree is a clever idea! I think in future we are going to see a lot more books used in art and craft projects like those featured here.

    • Rachel Field profile image

      Rachel Field 6 years ago

      Ww! I love this lens. I've been collecting breakfast cereal boxes so I can make myself a junky little doodle book. I love the idea of altered books too. I got into writing morning pages every morning - just getting all my junky thoughts out of my head - now of course I don't have any use for the notebooks I've filled and I don't want to reread all that junk so I thought it might be cool to paint and collage over the paper and reuse them :)

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 6 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      I love this great collection of ideas on how to reuse books! Of course, I prefer to re-read my books, but some might just be ready for some repurposing.

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