Upcycled Books

Click here for this secret compartment idea from Better Homes & Gardens.

Look around your house, and you may be surprised to find books that you do not read anymore, or ones that are slightly damaged. As more people start using e-readers, makers are finding creative uses for beautiful old books as objects with new purposes. Grab some old books and try these projects:

  • Sew pages of books to create storage pockets with this easy step-by-step on S. C. Johnson Co.’s blog Family Economics. It’s a unique way to keep track of your favorite photos, movie tickets and valentines!
  • Hollow out a book to create a secret compartment like this one from Better Homes & Gardens’ project ideas site.  Another way to do this is to glue a bunch of book spines to a box and slide it onto your bookshelf between real books, like in this photo. Voila! Your treasures are now safe from your little brother.
  • Make hardcover books into shelves like these examples we found at realsimple.com. They give the term “book shelf” a whole new meaning!
  • Build furniture out of old bookswith simple brackets and hardware.

For more old books to make with, you could ask an adult to take you to a used book store, thrift store,  or even ask your local library if they are getting rid of books in their collection.

What do you do with old books? Share your ideas with us at info@makeshopshow.com

*SAFETY NOTE: Ask an adult for help with these projects as they may require the use of sharp utility knives and power tools. And, of course, always get permission before upcycling and old book – some are valuable or still great for READING!

© 2012 Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

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About Amy
Amy is an educator and artist that works with weaving, dyeing, and installation. At her small business, The Dear Dyery, she creates hand-made accessories and wearables that she sews and dyes. Amy learned how to knit and sew as a preteen and was instantly hooked. Since then, she’s been taking art and craft classes, and showing her friends how to create simple projects. Naturally this led to becoming the Coordinator / Teaching Artist at the MAKESHOP. For the last two years, she’s been teaching kids how to hand sew and use the sewing machine, and has even had a crash course in electronics! Outside of MAKESHOP she can be found teaching tot yoga, or caring for her three pets: Piper and Greta, the house rabbits, and Cashew, her 1 year old lab/ collie mix. Amy has a MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Fibers.

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