7 Interesting Ways To Repurpose Old Books

By: Vernon Clyde

Old books can be kept as keepsakes or donated to charity for the less fortunate to read. Those that aren't wanted are given to recycling. But creativity can influence what to do with old books and it's only a matter of letting the brain work its magic. If you've given away most of your old tomes and don't know what to do with the leftovers, try these repurposing ideas.

Easter eggs

Who says Easter eggs have to be store-bought or filled with chocolate? Humble hard boiled eggs can be prettied by covering them with pages from old books. For a vintage effect, you can turn white paper into an aged tan color by brushing coffee over it. Wrap the eggs with the uncolored paper and apply a couple of layers of coffee. Tie the eggs with white lace or black ribbons and set them against paper cut into long strips before placing them into a basket.

Wrapping paper

Store-bought wrapping paper is an unnecessary waste when the same result can be achieved with old books. Of course, large gifts may not be able to be wrapped but if you can successfully join sheets together, it can work.

Using colored paper, make cut-outs of butterflies, bows and ribbons to add to the wrapped gift. The contrast against white paper will make an interesting combination.

Paper flowers

Paper flowers are easy to make and kids can be brought on board to create bouquets for vases. They won't have the same effect as those made with tissue but can act as great conversation starters. All you need are scissors, pages from old books and a steady hand. Tutorials are available online with various difficult levels.

Buttons, ribbons and ferns can accessorize paper flowers so have them with you before placing them in a vase.


Use old books to make bookmark cutouts and place them between pages the next time you gift a book to a friend. Using a scissor or a razor, you can cut out paper in the shape of a feather. Slice the edges finely for a feathery effect and twirl the bottom to make a quill.

Christmas decorations

Christmas decorations are expensive and there's no fun buying them from the store. Parents and children can enjoy some family time by cutting out shapes of Christmas trees, snowflakes, candy and holly instead. Beads and red ribbons can accessorize them along with glitter.


This takes some work but if you get it right, you'll be the proud owner of a fully customized lampshade. To get an idea, let's assume the shape of the lampshade is cylindrical as it's easier to work with. Wrap the outer side completely with paper (preferably sheet music if you have any). Make flowers out of more paper till you have enough to line the top and bottom edges of the lampshade. Use quick drying and long-lasting adhesive to stick them to the covered lampshade.

Table runner

Paper table runners are not the common choice but they can serve for a few uses. Remove sheets from an old book and glue them together to form a long single sheet. Purchase paper punchers with snowflake or flower shapes and punch the entire length of both edges. Paint a layer of coffee over it if the paper is white. Lay it over the table when dry.

What's great about these ideas is that anyone can do them. They're especially ideal for children as part of play activities and to enhance motor coordination skills.

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There is no end to the many benefits to buying used books or in a second hand shop or book online. A big advantage of used textbooks is the fact that they are environmentally friendly. Looking for second hand book shop? Refer this link for more information.

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