For many people, digital readers are obviating the need for old books. But there is no need to throw books away. Recycle your old books by turning them into decorative household items. With a few items from your local craft store, you can convert old classics into new works of art to enjoy yourself or to share with fellow book lovers.
Make decorative ornaments out of your favourite old books. Cut book pages into strips horizontally so that the words are still readable. Collect strips of your favourite passages. Cut the strip from the opening words of the book, if desired. Then fill a clear plastic or glass ornament (which you can find at any local craft store) with the strips. You can arrange them haphazardly or in such a way that your chosen strips are displayed. For instance, you could have the first line of the book be visible. These literary ornaments make a fun and creative Christmas present or stocking stuffer for any book lover.
Make bookmarks out of old books. Cut up book pages around pictures or text or rip haphazardly for a more abstract collage look. Arrange the page pieces on the card stock (approximately 2 inches by 5 inches). Glue the pieces down and then laminate. Punch a hole through the top and tie a ribbon through. You can make tons of bookmarks with an old book to keep for yourself, distribute among friends or donate to a library or book store for readers to take as a courtesy gift.
Lampshade or Table Top
Cover an old lamp shade with book pages. Use découpage adhesive to attach pages to the shade. This craft works especially well with thick, glossy pages that have illustrations. When the bulb is turned on, the shade will look like stained glass. This is a great item for any baby room. You can make a baby lamp shade with comic strips, pictures from children's books or text from nursery rhymes or fairy tale verses. You can also cover an old table top with book pages and then seal with resin or découpage adhesive. A coffee table made from book pages obviates the need for coffee table books.
Literary Wrapping Paper
Save money on wrapping paper by using old book pages to wrap small gifts. Remove the pages from books using a razor edge knife for a clean cut along the binding. Store the pages in a flat space so the pages do not wrinkle. When you have a small gift to wrap, use a book page. Tie the wrapped gift with coloured ribbon to complete the look.
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