If you’re a reader, you’ve no doubt got a stash of books that you’re never likely to read again. If you think that someone else would like to read them, check out our collection of book-sharing sites to find one that works for you. But if you can’t interest anyone else in that big box of romance novels or dog-earred Reader’s Digest tomes, consider some of the following crafty re-uses for old books.
Instructables has great step-by-step instructions to make a Literary Clock from an old book. A child’s book was used in this example, but how about an old textbook clock for a teacher, a Black Beauty clock for the horse lover, etc.?
Instructables also has a video tutorial, showing how to make the neat Recycled Book Lampshade, shown at right, or this interesting DIY project to make a paperback book into an ipod case.
Everyone needs a place to hide their stash, whether that be treasured jewelry, cash or, well, other stuff you want to hide from prying eyes or stealthy fingers. Make a Hollow Book Safe and slip it among the less-read novels on your bookshelves. Who will ever know?
Recycle several books at once when you make the DIY Network Stacked Book Lamp by artist and designer Alex Cobb. Use children’s books for a kid’s room, coffee table books for a table lamp for the den, or any books with pleasing spine designs that would look well stacked together.
Back to Instructables again for a wonderful way to revamp an old board book to make a Personalized Flap Book for Toddlers. This one will take a little time, since you need to get double prints of your photos, but the smiles will be worth it!
At right, a neat re-use for all those Reader’s Digest condensed books, or other similar-sized books that you’ll never be reading again – turn them into funky Stacked Book Table Legs; what could be more fitting for a library or study room?
Over at ThisAndThat, artist Jim Rosenau turns the whole concept of recycled books into a work of art. He doesn’t offer instructions, but will make bookshelves to order, and his gallery of beautifully finished pieces is well worth a look.
You can also let your books go free, releasing them into the world to take on a life of their own. It’s the brilliant idea behind Bookcrossing.com, and one that has so far been adopted by 720,165 people in over 130 countries.
You just leave the book somewhere – in a coffee shop, or on a park bench, for instance, or anywhere it may find a new reader. If you register the release of your book at Bookcrossing you can then track the book’s journey around the world as it is passed on from person to person.