Jul 21, 2015
upcycled book planter

Whether you are a book nerd or just seem to have collected stacks of novels over the years, it can be difficult to know what to do with all those books. Sure, there are many different ways you can display your favorite pieces of literature throughout your home, but what about all those unwanted books? It is of course taboo in our society – or any society, for that matter – to throw away old books, which can leave you in quite the predicament. Donating books is a wonderful option, but have you ever thought about the many different ways you can upcycle them in your own home?

If you are someone who just can’t quite seem to let go of a book, any book, then you may be interested in learning some of the best ways to use books in your home in a manner you may not have thought about in the past. Placing books in strategic places around the house will not only take your design game up a level, but it means less waste and more sustainability.

Keep in mind that when you are looking for old books to craft with, you must be respectful. A book that is falling apart or missing pages is always a good option for crafting, but the line doesn’t have to be drawn there. Below you will find a few great ways to upcycle old books, all of which are eco-friendly and will leave you with a clear conscience at the same time!

1. Desk Organizer

One of the easiest and most efficient ways to upcycle a stack of books is to turn it into an organizer. All you have to do is take a stack of book page, cut two circles, insert cardboard tubes, and use the circular spaces you have created to organize your desk. This is the perfect option for the bibliophile in your life, as they will still be able to enjoy their precious books without them taking up too much space on the shelf.

desk organizer made from upcycled old books

2. Wall Clock

You may not have thought of this before, but an old book can easily be transformed into a wall clock. This project is best-fit for books that are thick and have a colorful or meaningful cover, as it will serve as the clock’s face.

Upcycled wall clock
Upcycled wall clock. Image courtesy of Creative Funny.

3. Book Journal

Make your own journal by simply taking out the pages from your favorite hardcover edition and replacing them with fresh recycled pages. All the supplies you will ever need can be found at your local craft store, so you can jump on this creative project as soon as you have the time!

book journal

4. Planter for Succulents

Dive into your creative side by turning an old book into a planter for succulents. Similar to the steps for making an organizer out of a book, all you have to do is hollow out a thick hardcover novel, line it, and plant some colorful little plants.

planter made from upcycled old book

5. Picture Frame

Old hardcover books also make beautiful photo frames that are great because they will stand up on their own.

picture frame made from upcycled old books
Image courtesy of It’s Always Autumn.

6. Vase

If you are feeling REALLY ambitious, you can use old books to make a ‘vase’. While this won’t be the type of vase that can actually hold flowers, the aged and illustrated pages will look great on display if you cut them into the shape of a vase and connect them all so they fan out in a 3D form.

vase made from upcycled old books

Books are a wonderful tool to use for many home projects, and they are something that most people have lying around! So if you are looking for a sustainable, eco-friendly project and also have a problem with overcrowded bookshelves, you’re in luck.

Feature image courtesy of PaperDame

By Earth911

We’re serious about helping our readers, consumers and businesses alike, reduce their waste footprint every day, providing quality information and discovering new ways of being even more sustainable.