8 ways to up-cycle old books

upcycle old books

Do you have a shelf full of old, musty books – hand me down’s from your parent’s or grandparents? Do you want to get rid of them, but don’t know how? Well, compared to most other things, decluttering your life of books is relatively easy, and does not come at a high cost to the environment. You can donate them to libraries, gift them to other people, and they’re easily recycled back into paper.

There is however, another great way of reusing old books around the house – giving your space a personal feel, and allowing you to retain some of the sentimental value. We went around the web looking for interesting ideas on how you can upcycle old books, and found 8 that we’d recommend to you. 


Take a look!

Bookmarks: If you know that your books are going to a recycler who will make paper out of them, then you can take the spine off to make these lovely bookmarks, before handing them over to your kabadiwala. They not only make beautiful gifts but are a great way to upcycle old books too. See how it’s done here.

Eco friendly book mark

Kindle Cover: Don’t have space for books and have moved on-to a Kindle? Make this awesome Kindle or Tablet cover to retain some of your old memories, and stay in touch with real books. Make a few and give them to everyone you know for a personal touch. Learn how to do this, here.

Eco Friendly Kindle Cover

Wallpaper: We absolutely love this idea. It looks gorgeous, is a great use of old paper, and is not hard to do when you’re doing a home makeover. Perfect for a study if you’re going to build one. Read more here.

Book wallpaper


Book Safe: It’s an awesome gift for anyone, specially for kids. They’ll love hiding their stash in here, away from prying eyes :) See how it’s done, here.

book safe

Secret Box: One great way to upcycle old books is by creating a secret box that can go into a shelf. Use if for storing knick knacks, or let your kids use it as a secret hiding place. It’s a great craft idea for kids too! Read more here.

Recycled Book Box

Table Cover: Make a simple statement at dinner, with this specially crafted table runner. Match it with bright plates for an extra touch. You could easily fold it up, and put it away for use the next time too. Check it out here.

recycled book table runner

Table Lamp: You may need some professional help with this beauty, basically from a carpenter and an electrician, but it’s easy to do, and is perfect for a reading corner. Get instructions here.  

Recycled book lamp

Black Ink Wall Art: A beautiful way to use old pages, and a black and white toner :) Get classy wall art for nothing! Learn how to do this, here.

Black Ink Wall Art

Remember, every time you buy something new, you impact the environment. The cost of energy, production, packaging, shipping and transportation is borne by the product you are using. Therefore, upcycling old things you own to make something new and valuable, is a great way of reducing your carbon footprint.

It doesn’t have to be a whole load of things, try any of these. You will be making a difference.


One views on “8 ways to up-cycle old books”

  1. nidhi a jain September 8, 2016

    Fantastic ideas…. lemme know if any carpenter or designer who can give a new look to my home without too much hassle..

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