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DIY: Repurpose-Recycle-Upcycle Books!
Recycled pages are music to my heart!
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 Amazon.com.
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, http://stliving.com, April 28, 2010
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?
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 etsy.com 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.
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! ReadyMade.com 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.
- 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.
- Bird and Birdhouse Crafts has a bird bookhouse as an introductory photo.
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!
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.).
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
- paint or crafting brush
- metal ruler
- box cutter or craft knife
- drill (optional)
- Click on any of the websites listed above for making a hollow book. Decide which one you like the best and follow the instructions.
- Booksafe image By Ich (User created) [Public domain], http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ABooksafe.jpg; via Wikimedia Commons
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:
- Paperback Pumpkin from Cheeky Magpie
Excellent tutorial for making a pumpkin from a paperback book. A restyled book that is perfect for Autumn and Halloween!
- Hymnals to Angel Centerpieces
Hymnals to Angel Centerpieces From the Open Files of: Northwest Synod of Wisconsin Resource Center Contributed by: Lois Jensen, Long Lake Lutheran Church
- How to make a hymnal angel:
Another version of a repurposed book being used as an angel.
- Mickie_G's "Upcycle recycle" board on Pinterest where you will find more recycling ideas!
In addition to waking up every morning, I am trying to save the world one book at a time!(see http://www.squidoo.com/BookRepair) Learning about repairing and saving real paper books has become a . Mickie is using Pinterest, an online pinboard to coll
Festive Fall Pumpkin Decorations Made from Recycled Paperback Books
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
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 Intsructables.com 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!
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.