I’m a book fan. The hold-in-my-hand, smell-the-musty page, pile-on-the-nightstand kind of book. I find bookstores dangerous because I can’t pull myself away without buying several new titles.
My conundrum—what do I do with all my leftover books? Yes, I’ve given away favorite reads to friends, family and coworkers. I’ve handed others over to second-hand bookstores. But sometimes I can’t find anyone interested in adopting my old books, nor do I always have the time or desire to drive into town to dump off another load of books for recycling.
I’ve used vintage books recently in decor set ups I designed for clients and realized there must be additional ways to repurpose my closetful of old books. Because I would never, ever throw a book in the trash. Eeek!
I’ve listed a few ideas below (use the internet for detailed instructions and tutorials).
- Cut out the middle section of a book and use to stash keepsakes, coins, etc.
- Create a book tree by arranging books in a circle and building upward.
- Construct a unique book lamp (or side table) by drilling holes in the center of books and sliding over the lamp post or table spindle.
- Craft a garland, mobile or wreath by reusing pages from old books.
- Frame a favorite chapter or verse from a novel or book of poetry. Place it on your mantel or nightstand, or consider giving as an inspirational gift to a friend.
- Use individual pages as wrapping paper for small gifts.
- Cover old trunks or a headboard with pages and then cover with a clear lacquer.
- Inviting a fellow book-lover over for dinner? Create some nifty placemats by arranging pages on a thin sheet of plastic and laminating.
- Display memorable pages in frames and arrange on the wall along with a gallery of mementoes and family photos.
- Put your crafty side to work by constructing paper lanterns from book pages, and securing them in place with paper mâche. Insert LED tea lights and place on your patio.
Have fun recycling and re-using your books and feel free to share any additional ideas as I’d love to try them!