Getting Crafty with Old Books

In my last posting about library sales I gave some common suggestions for things to make from old books. After that I decided to do some searching online to see what people are making from old books and it's amazing. Here are some very cool things to make, look at and buy.

Here's an interesting idea from Metacafe - making a lamp shade out of a book. It hangs on the wall and is kind of sculptural. This type of lighting would be for ambience as a 10-15 watt lightbulb is used. Watch the video that shows you how (there is a short commercial first).

Offbeat Earth shows many different artistic uses for old books. Some are quite fantastic. Love the funky chair and alice in wonderland vignette.Hold that thought on the vases, they will be coming up again on another site.

Chrisjob from Curbly shows how to make a purse from a recycled book. Very fun with a wealth of possibilities. This one requires sewing and crafting skills. 

Kristine McCay has many ideas involving old books. The valentine banner is my favorite. The christmas ornament is timely - what about using a beloved Christmas book that has seen better days?

These are the vases I was talking about. On de zeen design magazine, Laura Cahill makes gorgeous vases and lamps from old books. I like this vase, it would look really great on a bookshelf.

Lindsay of Living with Lindsay shows how to make a fabulous and inexpensive wreath and makes it fun.  I love her slogan - "Creating a beautiful home - one glue burn at a time" 

Seller rebekahholguin on Etsy  shows a lovely brooch.  I never would have thought of making a jewelry from old text books and would definitely wear one of these.

Etsy seller fishandlotus make these lovely Origami Lotus Flower Decorations that have potential for different uses They would be very nice for special events, even a wedding or rehearsal dinner. If you order 25 or more you can choose what type of text you want.

misshp88, seller on Etsy has these sharp magnets that are functional as well as decorative. A really nice gift idea.

Etsy seller sugarbsupplies has these charming hand stamped labels that have many uses. I like the idea of using them on packages or envelopes.

Etsy seller foundandmade has these awesome journal necklaces. I gave a hint to my daughter about one of these for Christmas, I like it a lot.

Jason Deatherage has a great idea and use for old book covers. Check out his site, ex libris anonymous for a large selection of journals handmade from vintage books. These would make wonderful christmas gifts.


  1. What wonderful ideas! Thanks for taking the time to compile them in such a nice way. I'm inspired to make a brooch now too!

  2. I've seen a few of those before. And some similar crafts to that vase (a porcupine made with an open book and olded pages). The only problem is I don't think I could bring myself to damage a book! Unless, maybe, it was one I really didn't like. Hmmm... lol

  3. Great ideas--would love to see more. I agree that I could not bring myself to destroy a perfectly good book but I would love to give a damaged book new life and purpose. I adore vintage book illustrations but they are also very popular with collectors. I can't tell you how many times I've found wonderful vintage books that have had every illustration cut out of the volume. Tragic!

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