We’re revisiting some of our favorite posts of 2020 this holiday week! Grab a cup of cocoa and look back on some fun bookish goodness with us as we head toward the new year.
Thanks to the confluence of spring cleaning and extra time at home, you may be looking at your surroundings, ready for a refresh. Sure, you could rearrange your bookshelves for the zillionth time. But if you want to maximize your bookish decor, while avoiding leaving your home, here are 10 bookish crafts to do in quarantine, with things you probably already own.
Book Gallery Wall
If you can’t bear to deface your books, but still want to showcase your inner bibliophile, a book gallery wall is a great way to go! It’s really easy to personalize. Plate hangers are great for this, as they often have little feet you can use to stabilize your books. Your parents or grandparents may have some extra plate hangers lying around they’d be willing to gift you.
While tons of tutorials exist for gallery walls, the best one for a book gallery wall is this one from She Holds Dearly. She ripped pages out for her wall, but you could always replace those with postcards, photos, or small art prints and achieve the same look without tearing apart your books.
This is the ultimate way to show your creativity with your bookish quarantine crafts. Truly, there is no shortage of bookmarks out there, and no shortage of inspiration. Making your own bookmark is a fun way to get creative with materials you already have at home. Keep it simple with folded paper and colored pencils. Show your quirky side with cross-stitching. Show off your hand-lettering or wood burning skills. Thick fabrics like leather and felt make great bookmarks, and are easy to assemble and embellish. You can even make bookmarks out of existing objects, like book spines or large popsicle sticks. Go nuts!
Keepsake Book Box
One of the simplest (and most ubiquitous) bookish crafts out there, this is an oldie, but a goodie. Essentially, all you need to do is cut out a rectangle from the pages of a hardcover book with a precision knife (like an X-ACTO®), leaving about a centimeter around the edge to hide the contents. You can dress it up with ribbons, contact paper or anything else you’d like to add.
While these books are commonly used for keepsakes, you can also use them to hide your remote controls in your living room, you can cut a small slit out of one end to charge your phone at night, or you can keep some on your desk to store small odds and ends like paperclips and thumb tacks.
Find a simple tutorial over at How Does She.
Zipper Book Clutch
This one is for all of the sewing bibliophiles (although no actual sewing skills are required). If you have a vintage hardback, why not turn it into an adorable clutch? if you have a large enough book, you could even attach handles and turn it into a fully-fledged handbag.
For this project, you’ll need a hardback book, a zipper, scrap fabric, hot glue, scissors, and a precision knife. Find a detailed tutorial for this project at See Kate Sew.
Folded Pages Craft
Perhaps one of the easiest bookish quarantine crafts on this list, folding pages to make a shape in your book requires only a ruler, a pencil, and strong hands. Use multiple books to spell out words, or do a simple shape, like in this tutorial from Sacha & Co.
Papier-Mâché With Book Pages
Display flowers from your backyard by using glue to adhere book pages to a vase. While this tutorial from How to Nest for Less suggests using Mod Podge, you can achieve a similar effect with equal parts Elmer’s Glue and water. If you don’t have a vase lying around, paste pages onto a clear glass candle holder for a bookish glow. Papier-mâché is a great way to involve your kids in your bookish quarantine crafts. This is also a great way to upcycle a thrift store decor item.
The possibilities for this craft are truly endless, and can vary based on your ability and skill level. You can draw your favorite bookish scene like this one from britishbookart, or paint a simple abstract like this one from Laurel Mercantile (shown above).
Dictionary and other reference book pages work well, because their columns and lines can help create a grid to center your image on. Mounting the page on a canvas, card stock, or a framing mat with a little Mod Podge can help keep thin pages from warping under the paint.
If you don’t feel like drawing yourself but like the look, find some free art printables online and print them out on the book pages. Just make sure you cut the pages down to size to fit in your printer, if needed.
If you like your painting so much you want to sell it, make sure you’re not directly copying someone else’s art and trying to pass it off as your own! Not only is it absolutely, 100% not cool, it also may very well be a copyright violation.
Another flexible project, all you really need to make some cute, bookish bunting are old book pages, a glue stick, scissors and string. You can keep it simple (like in this tutorial from Laura Radniecki) and string plain book pages on twine or macrame. You could also hand-letter or stamp letters onto the pages to make a holiday banner (such as stamping “Happy Valentine’s Day!” onto pages from Pride and Prejudice).
You can also do what the folks over at Boxy Colonial did and use illustrations from children’s books in your banner. This is a great way to use pages from a favorite children’s book (if you have more than one copy)! Just make sure you cut a guide out of construction paper first to make sure the image is centered on the banner the way you want.
Book Knife Holder
Another craft that doesn’t require taking books apart, this is a great way to combine your love of cooking and reading. All you need is 4 or 5 books and some twine or ribbon. Once your books are tied together, stick your knives into the pages blade down. You can always glue the books together for stability if you’d like, but it’s not necessary.
Given that spills and splatters are common in kitchens, it’s probably best to use books you wouldn’t mind getting a little marinara on. Though you should make sure to thoroughly clean and dry your knives before storing them in the books. Find out more at Town & Country Living.
Book Storage Box
Similar to the book keepsake box above, this is a great way to use books as hidden storage. It’s a bit more involved than some of the crafts on this list. Nonetheless, it’s relatively simple to do with materials you find around your house. You can also make this as large as you like, in order to hide larger and more valuable items.
In this tutorial from Girl in the Garage, she uses a small wooden crate that she takes apart and reconstructs to the size she wants, but if you have an existing wooden crate that’s the correct size you want, or even a cardboard box, you can save yourself the extra steps of reconstructing the box.
If you’re looking for even more inspiration, check out this list of 30 DIY Crafts You Can Do With Old Books.