30 Easy to Advanced DIY Crafts With Old Books You Can Do

Susie Dumond

Senior Contributor

Susie (she/her) is a queer writer originally from Little Rock, now living in Washington, DC. She is the author of QUEERLY BELOVED and the forthcoming LOOKING FOR A SIGN from Dial Press/Random House. You can find her on Instagram @susiedoom.

I love books. I love to always have a book with me, I love to decorate with books, and I love to wear clothes and jewelry inspired by books. And because I am a Pinterest-y nerd who always has mod podge on hand, I love to get crafty with DIY book crafts. If you’re looking to upcycle old books or show your love of all things reading, these 30 DIY crafts with old books are for you!

30 DIY Crafts with Old Books image with upcycled book lamp, box, and planter

Yes, I know crafts with book pages can be controversial. Books are beautiful and sacred and should never be destroyed and blah blah blah. But look how cute these things are! If you’re already clutching your pearls at the idea of ripping out a book page, I advise you to turn around now. Some of this book destruction is not for the faint of heart.

Easy Crafts with Old Books

Art on Book Pages

The Pin

Book pages make a unique canvas for drawing, painting, and sketching. For an even easier project, print an image directly onto the page.


Book Lantern

The Pin

Turn a paper lantern into a bookish lantern.


Book Spine Bookmark

The Pin

Using a book spine to mark your place in a different book…So meta.


Book Bouquet

The Pin

These book roses are perfect as decoration or for a wedding, and they’re easy to make at home with a template and instructions.


Book Photo Frame

The Pin

This is an easy way to show off your family photos and your love of reading.


Ruffled Book Garland

The Pin

This garland makes a big impact, and only takes book pages and a stapler to create.


Book Page Bows

The Pin

So easy, and so cute! I could put these on everything I own.


Miniature Book Necklace

The Pin

Use a big book to make a little book to wear around your neck!


Book Pinwheels

The Pin

This is a great craft to do with kids, as long as they won’t be heartbroken when you rip up their old books.


Book Balls

The Pin

Books, styrofoam balls, and hot glue can turn into a beautiful floral decoration.


Book Envelope

The Pin

The most bookish way to send a letter.


Book Keepsake Box

The Pin

All it takes to make turn a book into a hidden box is a craft knife, glue, and some patience.


Book Feathers

The Pin

A little glitter goes a long way to make these book feathers pop.


Book Page Origami Star

The Pin

This origami star tutorial provides video, step-by-step instructions, and a downloadable template.

Intermediate Crafts with Old Books

Book Wall

The Pin

This wall decoration doesn’t require a lot of technical skill, but it does require some time and a good eye for design.


Book Planter

The Pin

For a planter that doesn’t “succ” (lol), use this book planter tutorial.


Book Apple

The Pin

This apple made from a paperback book makes a perfect gift for teachers.


Zippered Book Clutch

The Pin

It’s hard to believe that this adorable zippered book clutch doesn’t require any sewing. Just a lot of glue!


Book Letters

The Pin

These book letters make for beautiful and inexpensive wall decoration.


Hanging Bookshelf

The Pin

All you need to make this adorable hanging shelf are books, a drill, twine, and mod podge.


Book Birdhouse

The Pin

This one looks impressive, but is pretty simple to make at home using a plain birdhouse and some mod podge.


Multimedia Book Journal

The Pin

You can upcycle old books into beautiful journals, photo albums, or cookbooks.


Dahlia Book Wreath

The Pin

I need this in my living room IMMEDIATELY.


Book Phone Charging Station

The Pin

The sneakiest way to hide your bedside phone charger.


Advanced Crafts with Old Books

Book Lamp

The Pin

This craft requires a little more skill, and some more intense tools, but you’re sure to love the finished product.


Book Headboard

The Pin

I would love to fall asleep with this many books every night.


Book Music Box

The Pin

There are a lot of tutorials for turning a book into a keepsake box, but this one includes a lock, multiple compartments, and a music box.


Book Rose Wreath

The Pin

This one may take some work, but it’s definitely worth it.


Book Coat Rack

The Pin

Cute AND functional! This book coat rack would make a lovely addition to any home.


Book Birdcage

The Pin

The possibilities for decorating this beautifully folded book are endless.

What are your favorite crafts with old books? Be sure to share your past projects in the comments. And check out more bookish crafts from Book Riot:

Finally, if you’re here, you love books. Find our recommendations for the best DIY books here to get you started on your next craft.