Creative Ideas: What To Do With Old Books

If you are a reader, you might of an excess of old books lying around. Chances are, you may end up with more titles that you want to get rid of rather than keep. These old books don’t have to be thrown out, however. They can be easily upcycled into some creative decorative decor. Although vintage books can be decorative enough to use for simple display, other books may require a little bit of crafting. Luckily, there is so much you can do with every part of a book. I’ll show you what you can creatively do with old books to give the new life. From the hard covers to just the spine and all ofthe pages in between, there is a decorative way to use all of it!

what to do with old books

Make A Decorative Book Stack

decorative book stack
TUTORIAL: Chalk Paint Old Books

Have you ever wanted to use a book stack in your decorating but were lacking uniform colors? A good fix for this is to simply paint the covers. Whether hard cover or paperback, chalk paint works especially well for giving the covers a new look. Then you can either rewrite the titles on the spine or create brand new titles for a decorative theme. It’s a great way to repurpose old paperbacks.

Display An Old And Tattered Book Stack

old book stack

Even the oldest and most tattered books can be used decoratively. This book stack is super tattered and needed to be tied together with twine to keep it from falling apart. A stack like this makes a perfect rustic perch for other decorative items.

DIY Book Page Gift Bows

diy book page gift bows
TUTORIAL: DIY Book Page Gift Bows

Sometimes it works best to just use part of the book in a new way. Book pages can be used like any other decorative paper to create things like gift bows and other decor.

Craft A Book Page Pumpkin

book page pumpkin
TUTORIAL: How To Make A Book Page Pumpkin

I have used book pages, like I would use any decorative craft paper, as an embellishment in different craft projects.  I have also used an entire paperback book to make this book page pumpkin.

Book Cover Picture Frame Craft

diy book cover frame
TUTORIAL: DIY Book Cover Picture Frame

When you have used all of the pages in a book for craft projects, you are left with just the cover. There is no need to throw that out either. Just turn the cover into a decorative picture frame and you’ve effectively used the entire book for a new purpose.

DIY Bookpage Bookmarks

diy bookpage book mark craft
TUTORIAL: Book Page Bookmark Craft

It just seems appropriate to turn old book pages into bookmarks for new reads.

Open Book With Pop Up Pages

diy book pop up pages
TUTORIAL: Open Book Pop Up Pages

Instead of displaying a closed hard cover book, open it up and cut out some pop up pages. This is fun to do with seasonal shapes.

DIY Book Knife Block

diy book knife block
TUTORIAL: Town-n-Country Living

What a creative way to hold knives in the kitchen! A tied grouping of books makes a much more interesting knife block than the traditional.

DIY Vintage Book Planter

diy vintage book planter

For this way to use an old book, you just need to cut a square through enough pages to hold potting soil for a plant. It’s an unexpected decor item that is sure to be a conversation piece.

A Crafty Pencil Holder

book page pencil holder
TUTORIAL: The 3 R’s Blog

When you have a craft using cutting out circles of book pages, turn what is left into a handy pencil holder! Talk about now waste!

Create Old Book Wall Hooks

old book wall hooks
TUTORIAL: Turtles And Tails

Usually when you think of displaying old books, it’s on a table or shelf. This creative idea uses old books as the backer for wall hooks.

Build A Shelf Using Old Books

shelf made from old books
TUTORIAL: Remodelaholic

Instead of using wood to build the top of a wall shelf, use old books instead.

Make A Unique Lamp With A Book

Something else to hang on the wall is this very cool lamp with a book page shade.  It is very artsy and chic.

what to do with old books - book wall lamp

SOURCE: Meta Cafe

Turn Books Into A Row Of Planters

If you need a unique idea for a new planter, this next book project is perfect.  You can actually use a vintage book to create a very decorative home for a brand new plant.

what to do with old books - diy book planter

SOURCE: Apartment Therapy

Stack Some Books For A Creative Lamp

I absolutely love the look of this stacked book lamp with the industrial shade.

what to do with old books - stacked book lamp


This next one is similar to my book page pumpkin but it is a fun vase.

Make A Book Page Vase

This fun book page vase is a great base for inserting artificial stems.

book page vase

SOURCE: Saved By Love Creations

Use An Old Book Cover As A Disguise

And finally, this last idea is fantastic for using an old book cover as a disguise!  Take out the pages and insert something like a wireless router to get a much more decorative look — I love it!

book cover disguise
book cover disguise

SOURCE: Apartment Therapy

Do you have a unique idea for what to do with old books?  Share your thoughts below!

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Creating rustic styling on a budget by giving new life to old things and using the beauty that is already found in nature. Read more about me.
  1. nice but u should show the tutorial also

    1. Gunzul, you can see the tutorial when you click on te pictures.

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