Wednesday, December 4, 2013

15 Uses For Old Books

Got old books? Here's how to re-use them!


So you've got a pile of books you and your kids haven't read in a long time. You've donated some to the local library, hospital or nursing home. Now what? Never fear! Here are 15 uses for those old tomes:
  1. If they're textbooks, sell them on Amazon, Ebay, or at Cash4Books
  2. Make a Book Safe – Cut out the center of old books to hide valuables (you can find instructions here. A word of caution: I made this as a present for my son and although it was time-intensive, Junior is now able to hide some of his valuables from his little sister by merely placing the safe among the books in his bookshelf.
  3. Use Modge Podge to decoupage a table top, lamp shade, etc. The illustrations in many children's books are especially good for this.
  4. Stack them to add height to a lamp (see photo). We
    Use books to increase a lamp's range.
    needed more light in this area, so we stacked books underneath. The result:  more light and a great look!
  5. Use them as trivets. I'm always bringing warm pans to the table, but don't want to harm the surface. Old books work great to protect tabletops from too-hot plates, pots and pans.
  6. Make a picture frame from an old board book (you can find instructions here). What a great, unique gift!
  7. Make shelves to hold small knickknacks or other books. This is a wonderful craft (the how-to is here, especially since you can match the shelf to your room's d├ęcor.
  8. Re-use the pages as kindling, mulch, packing material, or as wrapping paper.
  9. Make a unique night-light. These instructions from list this project as a “lamp,” but I think the amount of light given is really more suitable for a night-light or accent light. 
  10. Make coasters. Take inexpensive ceramic tiles (the kind you find at Home Depot), a few book pages, decoupage using Modge Podge, and varnish. You could even add a photo or two.
  11. Decorate a notebook. I'm always using salt-and-pepper notebooks I pilfer from the kids. They take on a more adult-look when covered with pages from a book.
  12. Make a clock. Take a beloved book, glue the pages shut, cut out room for a clock mechanism and numbers (available at local craft stores) and you've got a clock which subtly reminds us to “Take Time For Reading.”
  13. Decorate a portable calendar. I buy the inexpensive appointment calendars from the Dollar Store. Decoupage book illustrations or passages from an old book for a “classier” look to your calendar.
  14. Turn an old book into a purse (find instructions here).
  15. Make a planter for succulents (click here for the how-to).

Yes, your old book can be a planter!

Do you have any other uses for books? Please comment below! I'd love to hear from you!  And, as always,

Thank you for visiting!


  1. Those are some great ideas! The book safe is smart but I really love the decoupage idea. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great ideas. Also, if you cut out the centre of the pages then stick them together and varnish (if you want), they make great jewellery boxes :D

  3. My Little Sister made a "safe" -- similar to the planter idea. She cut out a big hole in the center, and hides her gems in there :-)


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