Last updated on January 19th, 2021 at 11:09 pm
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 instructions to make the neat Recycled Book Lampshade, (maximum lightbulb size 10-15 watts) shown above.
Also see DIY project to make a paperback book into an ipod case, with the supplies required shown here.
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 a stack of books all at once by making a Stacked-Book Table Lamp, with directions and step-by-step photos by Dan Faires at HGTV.
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 double prints of your photos, but the smiles will be worth it!
Here’s a neat re-use for all those old and bulky 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 and other items to order. His gallery of beautifully finished pieces is well worth a look.
Finally, if you’ve just not ready to recycle or reuse your old books, donate any good ones to the thrift store or local library, or check out book swapping sites such as Paperbackswap or Bookmooch.
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 millions of bookcrossers who have released over 13 million books throughout 132 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.