8 Fun and Creative Ways to Upcycle Old Books

8 Fun and Creative Ways to Upcycle Old Books

Last Updated: February 5, 2024By

Ever wondered what to do with used books that you’ve already read and no longer use? There’s nothing like curling up on the sofa with a cup of tea and a good book or chilling on a beach with a refreshing beverage and a new read. While some people have jumped on the Kindle bandwagon to streamline their book collection, others are less keen to make the switch to digital. If you are one of those who love the experience of reading a physical book and are in need of some ideas on what to do with used books then read on for our 8 fun and creative ways to upcycle old books!

What can I do with old books that I no longer use?

There are many things you can do with old books that you no longer use. Here are some ideas:

  1. Donate them to a local library, school, or charity organisation.
  2. Give them to friends or family members who may be interested in reading them.
  3. Sell them through online marketplaces, set up your own online store or sell them to a second hand book store.
  4. Recycle them by taking them to a recycling centre or giving them to a recycling program that specialises in paper products.
  5. Use them for art projects, such as making book page flowers, decoupage picture frames, or turning them into gift wrap.
  6. Turn them into furniture, such as a headboard or bookcase, by stacking and securing them in place.
  7. Create a book exchange program with friends, where each person can trade books they no longer want for books they haven’t read yet.
  8. Upcycle them into a journal or notebook by removing the pages and binding them together with a cover of your choice.

8 Fun and Creative Ways to Upcycle Old Books

How to create a headboard from old books

Why not create a headboard from old books so that you can incorporate your unwanted books into a funky wall feature in your bedroom. To make a headboard out of old books, you will need to:

  1. Gather enough books to cover the desired area of your headboard. Choose books that are similar in size and colour for a cohesive look.
  2. Make a template of the shape you want your headboard to be. You can use cardboard or foam board.
  3. Cut the books to size using a box cutter or scissors. If the books are hardcover, you may want to remove the covers to make them easier to work with.
  4. Arrange the cut book pages on a flat surface, with the printed sides facing up. You can use a glue stick or double-sided tape to temporarily hold the pages in place.
  5. Once you have arranged the book pages to your satisfaction, apply a thin layer of white glue over the pages, spreading it evenly with a brush.
  6. Use a hot glue gun to attach the book pages to your template, starting at the top and working your way down. Make sure to apply enough glue to securely hold the pages in place.
  7. Let the glue dry completely, then remove the template. You may want to sand the edges of your headboard to make them smoother.
  8. If desired, you can paint or stain the headboard to match your decor. Let the paint or stain dry completely before hanging the headboard.


How to turn old books into gift wrap

Rather than paying for additional gift wrap, why not transform the pages of your old books into stylish gift packaging. To turn old books into gift wrap, follow these simply steps:

  1. Choose a book with a decorative cover and unmarred pages.
  2. Cut the book into large, flat sheets. You can use a paper cutter or scissors for this.
  3. Wrap the gift as you would with any other wrapping paper, using double-sided tape to secure the edges.
  4. Tie a ribbon or twine around the gift to add an extra touch of charm.
  5. You can also fold the book pages into small squares or triangles, and use them as wrapping paper for smaller gifts.
  6. To make your book pages look even more like gift wrap, you can paint or stain the pages with a coordinating colour, or use decorative stickers or stamps to add patterns or designs.
  7. Give the gift to your loved one with a note explaining that the wrapping paper is made from a recycled book. They will appreciate the extra thought and effort that went into their present.

8 Fun and Creative Ways to Upcycle Old Books

How can I use old books for product packaging?

Using old books as product packaging can be a unique and eco-friendly alternative to traditional packaging materials. Follow these simple steps to turn old books into product packaging:

  1. Choose books that are the right size for your product and have a decorative cover.
  2. Cut the book covers into large, flat pieces that can be used to wrap your product.
  3. Wrap your product in the book cover, securing the edges with double-sided tape or glue.
  4. Use ribbon, twine, or string to tie the package closed and add a decorative touch.
  5. Label the package with the recipient’s name, your return address, and any other relevant information.
  6. If desired, you can add additional decorative elements, such as stickers, stamps, or hand-drawn illustrations.
  7. Repeat the process for each product you want to package.

Using old books as product packaging not only reduces waste, but also adds a unique touch to your products and makes them stand out. Your customers will appreciate the thought and creativity that went into packaging their purchase.


How can I make paper flowers from old book pages?

Making paper flowers from old book pages is a simple and fun DIY project. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Cut out flower shapes from the book pages using a craft knife or scissors. You can use a template or freehand the shapes.
  2. Fold the cutout flower shapes in a concertina or accordion style, keeping the folds tight and even.
  3. Use a glue gun or a strong glue to secure one end of the folded paper, creating the centre of the flower.
  4. Start shaping the petals by gently pulling the folded sections outwards from the centre.
  5. Once the petals are shaped, you can use a pencil or a round tool to curl the edges for added texture.
  6. Repeat the process for each flower you want to make, using different sizes and shapes for variety.
  7. To create a stem for your flowers, you can wrap a green pipe cleaner around a pencil or chopstick, then remove it and shape it as desired.
  8. Use hot glue or a strong adhesive to attach the stems to the flower centres.
  9. Arrange your paper flowers in a vase or use them to decorate a gift or a room.

With a little creativity and imagination, you can use old book pages to make beautiful and unique paper flowers.


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