15 Brilliant Ways to Repurpose a Pile of Old Books

Updated: Apr. 05, 2024

If you've got shelves or boxes of old books hanging around your home, don't toss them! Repurpose them into something grand with these 15 fantastic ways to repurpose them.

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Knife Block

Who says practical storage can’t be pretty? This DIY knife block, made from old books, is a cinch to make. Simply pick some unique books in your favorite color scheme and tie them together tightly with twine to create the perfect home for all your kitchen knives. You can even create different color schemes based on the seasons and holidays, making this a versatile hack and way to figure out what to do with old books. Need more counter space to accommodate a knife holder? Need more counter space to accommodate a knife holder? Here’s how!

Photo: Courtesy of Home Talk

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Family Handyman

Hidden Storage

All you need to create this amazing hidden storage box is glue, a sharp knife and a simple box frame. This is one home security hack that looks as good as it works.

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Never know what to do with old books, try this. It takes a bit of patience, and a large hole saw to create this well-read planter, but the effort will be worth it for book lovers. Play with different combinations of books and pots, stacking where needed to create a mini garden of words. Wondering what to plant? Here are some excellent choices.

Photo: Courtesy of Etsy/My Booklandia

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Many times, recycling centers won’t accept book covers, due to the glue used to manufacture the bindings. So, now you’re stuck with trying to find what to do with old books. There are crafts with old books you can do, like make bookmarks! Simply use a razor knife to slice off the covers and drill a hole in the top and thread through a strip of leather or ribbon to accent these unique gift items.

Photo: Courtesy of Green Paper

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This book wreath is nothing short of breathtaking when it comes to crafts with old books. Patience and careful planning will result in a truly one-of-a-kind décor item that visitors to your home will swoon over. Just be sure to hang it in a prominent location for maximum effect.

Photo: Courtesy of Happy at Home

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Artichoke Pendant

Sometimes the best thing about a DIY project is making an existing product even better. This modern pendant takes a generic paper lantern and steps it up a notch by carefully pasting circles, cut from book pages, in a scalloped pattern which resembles an artichoke!

Photo: Courtesy of The 3 Rs Blog

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Pencil Holder

This quaint pencil holder is a genius DIY project because it is made with the leftover scraps from the previous artichoke light project. Once you adorn your desk with this masterpiece, you’ll want to know all these genius home office organization tips to make your space truly functional.

Photo: Courtesy of The 3 Rs Blog

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You’ll never need to worry about someone showing up with the same bag as you when you create your own purse out of a much-loved book. Settle into your own DIY workspace to create this gorgeous bit of crafting magic.

Photo: Courtesy of Crafting a Green World

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This book-page pennant is an easy-effort craft to do with kids and is endlessly customizable. Simply cut, paste and thread the pennant flags and adorn with whatever lettering you like. Stickers, stencils, and paint are all ways to make this DIY decor your own.

Photo: Courtesy of Find it, Make It, Love It

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Jewelry Box

A hollowed out book is an age-old space to hide valuables, but it also looks great on display as a jewelry box. Get creative and add wooden feet or several stacked boxes for optimum effect. These boxes would also look great in an organized closet space which would make it feel like a luxurious dressing room, even in a small footprint.

Photo: Courtesy of Kate’s Creative Space

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Tablet Case

There are some great ideas out there for DIY tablet storage, but using an old book is a brilliant way to store your tablet on the go and help prevent it from getting stolen as it perfectly conceals the electronics within.

Photo: Courtesy of Etsy

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Wall Hooks

No longer utilitarian and plain, wall hooks have become an indispensable part of home organization – and good decor. By following this tutorial, you can create this great, vintage-looking coat rack that will be an instant conversation piece in your home. Just be sure to hang it level!

Photo: Courtesy of Turtles & Tails

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We all have books that we remember forever. Now you can carry those works wherever you go by creating your own word jewelry. Or if you’ve got an extra dictionary or two lying around, pick some words that describe your loved ones and create custom jewelry as a one-of-a-kind gift. These custom-made crafts with old books will mean so much that whoever receives them will want to find a safe hiding spot to keep them secure.

Photo: Courtesy of Etsy

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Wallpaper is making a huge comeback in home design, as long as it’s unique and limited to an accent wall or two. There is no more unique statement than wallpapering with book pages. Once you figure out the basics of hanging wallpaper, you’ll have this unique feature wall complete in no time.

Image: Courtesy of Cassie Fairy

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If you’re really not sure what to do with your old books, perhaps this will shine a little light on the situation. A homemade book lamp will provide the most amazing vintage touch in any room. Just remember to follow the rules of polarity when fixing or replacing a lamp cord.

Photo: Courtesy of Etsy