Get Crafty With Your Old Books

Love books? Love crafts? Show off your love of the written word with these fun book crafts!

May 12, 2021

Love books? Love crafts? Have a lot of books hanging around—books that aren’t good candidates for donation?

We’ve gathered together some fun crafts that let you recycle your old books into something that shows off your love of the written word!


Folded Paper (Origami)

Origami, the art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures, is a relaxing way to recycle old book pages into fun little decorations. Most origami projects begin with a square piece of paper, so you’ll want to cut your book pages into a square before you begin.

You can find origami patterns all over the internet. Check out 10 Simple Origami Projects for Beginners, animal patterns from the World Wildlife Federation and, and some more complicated patterns from OrigamiUSA. For video tutorials, try Easy Origami on YouTube.

Anne has recorded several origami videos available on our YouTube channel:


Paper Flowers

Paper flowers can be as simple or as elaborate as you’d like—and dozens of different methods. Many instructions use single-color paper to make it easier to see, but book pages make for absolutely beautiful flowers! You can also paint or dye book pages for a more colorful bouquet.

Anne has recorded two paper rose videos available on our YouTube channel:

You can find hundreds of great flower crafts available online. We recommend searching the words “paper flowers” on YouTube!


Gift Bags and Card Holders

Are you giving a small gift or gift card? Make a bag or card holder with your old books!

Check out Anne’s instructions for Origami Gift Card Holders or Easy Origami’s Paper Gift Bag video!


Book Safes

Book safes are a great way to recycle hefty hardcover books—particularly old textbooks or encyclopedias that may contain outdated information.

These hollow books are perfect for storing small trinkets or hiding things in plain sight. They also make great gifts or gift boxes.

Check out How to Make a Book Safe for step-by-step instructions and different embellishment options. Most crafters will want to start with the Original Hand-Made Method that does not require any special equipment. You’ll need a hardcover book, box cutter, ruler, ruler, plastic wrap, white glue, glue brush, rubber band, and pencil.

Creativebug has a Book Safe video tutorial as well as a video to help you decorate the outside of your book safe. You can access Creativebug free with your Berlin-Peck library card!

Blackout Poetry

Blackout poetry is a little different from traditional poetry. Instead of writing words on a page—you cross them out! This kind of poetry can be anything you’d like it to be: fun, relaxing, powerful; you can incorporate shapes and drawings, or stick to just text; you can even create a whole new story.

And best of all, you only need a marker and an old book!

If you’d like, you can jump right in: grab a marker and start creating! Or if you prefer to learn more, we’ve gathered some great guides and articles on blackout poetry:


Projects on Creativebug

Your Berlin-Peck library card gives you access to thousands of award-winning art & craft video classes through Creativebug!

If you’ve never used Creativebug before, click here to create your free account using your library card. You need to do this before clicking on the links below, since the links will not let you sign up with your library card.

Creativebug has several projects that use books, as well as paper crafts that can be adapted to use book pages: