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Novel Ideas: DIY Book Crafts for All Skill Levels

Posted on May 21, 2015 at 6:00 am

By Kelsey Hudson

Bookworms beware—some books were harmed in the making of this blog!

As a librarian and a giant bookworm myself, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I have more than a few books hiding around my apartment, many that haven’t seen daylight in ages.  Although donation is tempting, I’ll admit they’re not all prized literary gems. And I’m not sure anyone needs (or even wants) my beat up copy of Wuthering Heights or the 10-year-old calculus textbook hiding in my ottoman.

What’s a girl to do when she’s got all those books and a burning desire to not just throw them out? Well, it turns out there are a wealth of creative ideas for taking that stack of old books and repurposing them into something completely new. I’ve gathered a few of my favorite book crafts for all skill levels to share, starting with the super simple and working up to the more difficult. So gather those books, round up your supplies, and check out these seven book crafts bound to show off your book love!

Book Page Banner

All it takes to make this project is a few book pages, some string, a sheet or two of colored paper, and about fifteen minutes. You can feature a warm welcome or your favorite quote—that’s up to you. For more color, try incorporating some comic book or magazine pages into the banner as well.

Book Pinwheel Art

One or two of these are a quick and fun way to add a splash of “book lover” to your space. A whole wall of these on the other hand is a slightly more time consuming (but all the more rewarding) way to make a statement. Make sure you crease your folds well, or you’ll find it pretty difficult to keep the shape.

Comic Book Coasters

Show off your favorite superhero or book passage with these coasters. Assembling them is fairly straightforward, but make sure to give yourself a bit of room around the edge of the tile so you can get a good waterproof seal. If your picture is wrinkling under the mod podge, try dampening it slightly with water before applying to help keep the bubbles out.

DIY Book Crafts for All Skill Levels by Kelsey Hudson | Spokane County Library District

Book Bracelet

Magazines, maps, dictionaries, and even picture books work great for creating paper beads that you can then make into a book bracelet. Be warned though—this is the first of what I’ll call the messy crafts. You will end up with glue all over your hands and paper scraps on the floor, but I like to consider that a crafting badge of honor.

DIY Book Crafts for All Skill Levels by Kelsey Hudson | Spokane County Library District

Comic Book Frame

I’m a firm believer that you can decoupage anything, and a picture frame is the gateway to more advanced projects. With all the corners and edges, you’ll have to be more careful than you were with the coasters to make sure it comes out clean. I recommend removing the glass before starting and giving it a few days to dry before adding your favorite picture. Once you’ve got the technique down though, you’ll be ready to move onto bigger things. I once decoupaged an entire console table with Harry Potter. Think of the possibilities!

Secret Book Box

A secret book box is just about the next best thing to your own secret bookcase passage. In fact, the only thing better would be a hollowed out book box hiding the trigger for a secret bookcase door. Although the secret passage might not be feasible, the secret book box certainly is. To keep a nice clean edge on the inside, use a very sharp X-ACTO knife and a metal ruler. Once you have the technique down, you’ll be primed and ready for this next craft.

DIY Book Crafts for All Skill Levels by Kelsey Hudson | Spokane County Library District

Book Planter

This project brings new life to some of those sad and weary books. While this one requires a bit of gardening know-how, you can easily use your first secret book box as a planter. Those not-so-straight edges will be perfectly hidden behind by the dirt and leaves of your plants.

Check out our Pinterest page for more ideas on upcycling your old books and share your favorite book crafts in the comments below!

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