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9 DIY Projects Made From Old Books | Art Of Upcycling

Featured | Old books with envelope | DIY Projects Made From Old Books | Art Of Upcycling

Old books are magical, not to mention they look absolutely fantastic in a rustic home decor scenario!

RELATED: DIY Hidden Storage in Old Books | DIY Storage Ideas

In this article:

  1. Make a Book Clutch
  2. Make a Book Table Top Lamp
  3. Repurposed Book Coat Rack
  4. Create a Secret Hiding Place Out of a Book
  5. Recycled Book Shelving Unit
  6. Make a DIY Quote with Old Book Pages
  7. Create a DIY Book Headboard
  8. Book Page Covered File Cabinet
  9. Book Page Ornaments

How to Upcycle Old Books for Art and Decor

Old Books Craft Ideas

Collecting classic literature has always been a favorite pastime. If you crave the tattered, loved, barely-bound spine to their fragmented pages that smell of decaying cedar, we know this project is for you.

Cancel the “old books disposal.” If your books aren't being put to good use anymore, you might want to think twice about just chucking them.

There are many beautiful furniture pieces you can make by up-cycling.

Check out these lovely pieces of old books art and decor. We know you'll just adore the way they fit nicely into your already-chic decor.

You will have a happy little home, indeed. Upcycling is a great DIY project that we just love!

1. Make a Book Clutch

DIY book clutch bag | DIY Projects Made From Old Books | Art Of Upcycling


Turn an old book into a clutch. In just a few simple steps you can have your books with you, wherever you go! Whether you're reading them or not.

Click here for the full book clutch tutorial.

Click to watch: 

2. Make a Book Table Top Lamp


This idea looks like it may be hard, but fear not! It's quite simple.

All you need to know is how to rewire a lamp or pick up a Pre Threaded Socket) from Amazon, Ikea, or other places with lighting accessories. Check out many more awesome DIY projects using old books by following this link.

3. Repurposed Book Coat Rack


Check out this repurposed coat rack made from using books. The writer of this blog describes her love for old books just as we had at the beginning of this round-up.

Learn how to create the look!

4. Create a Secret Hiding Place Out of a Book

Secret hollow book | DIY Projects Made From Old Books | Art Of Upcycling


Build your own secret hiding space in your bookshelf. Take an old or unneeded book, hollow it out, mod-podge the pages shut, and you're ready to hide!

TIP: Be sure that YOU remember which one it is. Read the full hollow book tutorial here.

RELATED: 17 Clever DIY Repurposed Furniture Ideas To Try This Summer

5. Recycled Book Shelving Unit


Okay, this project by far takes the cake for upcycling old books. This is one of the coolest and most interesting projects for home decor.

Look at how the books sit so flush against the wall! This DIY project makes a great weekend endeavor.

6. Make a DIY Quote with Old Book Pages


While this DIY project has been attempted several times around, this tutorial in particular far exceeds expectations. The outcome of this project is simply magnificent!

Make sure to use your favorite old book for the background text (as it's surely going to stir conversation).

7. Create a DIY Book Headboard


Do you dream of books? You most certainly will with this lovely headboard made from old re-purposed books.

Our DIY senses are experiencing an overload of awesome! The turnout is more perfect than watching Breakfast At Tiffany's on a Sunday morning…followed closely by brunch in Central Park!

8. Book Page Covered File Cabinet


Spruce up your office space with this easy DIY project made from recycling old book pages. All you need is a little Mod Podge and a little love!

Check out how it's made by visiting the tutorial.

9. Book Page Ornaments


Learn how to make these lovely book page ornaments by upcycling your old books. These would make great place settings for a wedding or birthday party!


Here's a video by Deepika Attrish about interesting crafts out of old books:

That's it for our re-purposed old books projects. As much as we'd like to think that books are just for reading, we would be sorely mistaken.

“Abused” books are great recyclables and make for great conversation pieces.

Got more recycling ideas for old books yourself? Share them with us in the comments section below!


DIY Projects Made From Old Books | Art Of Upcycling |

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on January 27, 2015, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.


  1. Several months ago, I saw where a guy cut off the spines of books. Glued them to a Plywood box on a shelf. Plenty of room to HIDE about anything you wanted.

  2. great ideas! But I guess I am a book pack rat I just cant see cutting up my precious books that I might read again some day

  3. How many first editions did you destroy to produce those crafted projects? Which to the right buyer could bring big dollars. Find out from an antique dealer or used book dealer how much those old books might be worth before cutting into them. And as a family historian, I cringe seeing old books so abused. I bet some genealogy library would love to see those old historical hardbacks! If you must have book pages, use modern paperback trashy novels. sigh!

    • Oh, give me a break. You do NOT know what these books were. There are plenty of old books out there that aren’t worth the paper they are written on. Not every old book is a first edition or worthy of saving, and plenty are mold and water damaged and perfect for reusing this way. Look at the ones on that lamp — totally water damaged, not worth anything to collectors. I love books, have hundreds, if not thousands, and NEVER throw them away, but to say that every old book is precious is total bull. And there are plenty of “trashy paperback novels” that are actually worth real money because they are out of print, and plenty of really good books that, since they look “trashy” to you, you obviously have never read. But sure, give it an old-looking cover and suddenly it’s too precious to ever use for anything else. I’m sure in a couple of decades Bush’s autobiography or Twilight will be too precious for you to cut up because they have hardcovers, right? SMH

    • Not everything is about money & just because it’s something you value doesn’t mean others do.
      I personally couldn’t cut up books but I wouldn’t criticise others for it – their books, their choice!


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