30+ Upcycling Ideas for Old Books

30+ Upcycling Ideas for Old Books

What to do with old books – upcycle or leave alone? It can be a controversial topic (the repurposing of books) and one I’ve grappled with myself. I am a casual collector of vintage books, particularly the ones with crumbling leather binding, and I use them around our home for decorative purposes. But other books are considered less “visually valuable”, so I’m always interested in finding new upcycling ideas for old books.

For instance, these old books will NEVER be upcycled in my home…they are perfect as vintage decor.

Vintage books in home decor

Neither will these. Antique books have so much texture and history; even if they’re falling apart at the seams, they’re ideal as eclectic decor.

Decorating ideas for old books as vintage home decor

But what about old encyclopedias from the thrift store? I upcycled these into fun Halloween magic books or spell books

Making a Halloween Spell Book from an Old Yearbook

There are oodles of old books out there that are just waiting to be dusted off and re-imagined into something new. For instance, I had a decrepit old field guide that was literally falling apart.

So, I framed some of the color plates as wall decor.

Color plates from a vintage field guide

From trashy romance novels, to mass produced hardcovers from the 1990s, to outdated encyclopedias that make no mention of current day topics, thrift stores are usually overrun with old books.

And if you’re interested in discovering new repurposed book projects, then this collection of inspired ideas is just what you’ve been look for!

Upcycling Ideas for Old Books

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So, what do you think? Is there a repurposed book project in your future?

Book decor and cozy home decor with cheap flannel shirts

As for me, I love the book craft project that takes new-ish books and makes them look old with paint…I think that one would be particularly fun to try!

Whether you want to repurpose the entire book, just the binding, or just the pages, there are endless upcycling ideas for old books.

And don’t forget to check out my first book, too!

Crafting with Flannel by Sarah Ramberg

If you enjoyed these upcycling ideas for old books, then you’ll love these vintage decor bookends made from architectural salvage!

Wood bookends as vintage farmhouse decor with architectural antiques

Craft on!

S

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Upcycle crafts and repurposing ideas for old books

Upcycled crafts for old books and decorating with vintage books

Comments

  1. wow!! Lots of ideas!! 🙂

  2. Have you seen Vivian Swift’s castles she makes out of old books set on open pages? They’re brilliant. And I used to have a lamp made out of stacked books … downsized and couldn’t keep everything.

  3. Wow what neat ideas for repurposing old books. Ireally love that jewelry box made from books !

  4. I just found your website. Wonderful uses for old books! I take old books, thrift store finds, and I gut them (remove all the pages) and then put junk journals inside. These make a tidy income, what my Mom called “pin money”. So glad to see so many other ways I can use them!

  5. Really like all your ideas ! Good ones!

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