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Wednesday, 21 October 2015

5 creative ways to decorate with books

I am really great at recycling I think.  It's not too hard to rinse something out, or flatten something and put it in the recycling. Reducing and reusing come before recycling, but for me at least, I find these are the ones I need to work on becoming better at doing.  In this post, I am going to share with you a few creative ways you can reuse or repurpose old books once they have reached the end of their lives as something to be read.  All of these images (except for the final one) are taken from around our house and they are incredibly easy, as well as inexpensive to do.  I will put instructions for the first four ideas after the images in case you feel inspired to try something yourself.

1. Bunting using pegs
Bunting made from 'The Tawny Scrawny Lion' that hangs in my son's room

This was a project that I completed quite close to my son's due date when I was in maternal nesting mode.  I had originally wanted to frame the images, but it looked too formal.

2. More bunting...

Bunting (a bit wind blown!)  made from 'Bertie and the Bear' by Pamela Allen that hangs in the playroom

This copy of 'Bertie and the Bear' was a favourite amongst myself and my sisters.  It was completely tattered and loved to pieces but I couldn't stand the thought of putting it in the recyling.

3.  Washi tape + images cut out of an old children's encyclopedia
These two images are part of my daughter's 'gallery wall' in her bedroom

I found an old children's encyclopedia in the local Salvation Army store for fifty cents and bought it for the images.  

4.  Images/covers from old books + frame
The black frame contains one of the pages from 'Sam the firehouse cat' and hangs in the playroom
Another book that was a favourite of mine and my sisters (I remember my parents buying it at a school fair) and then loved to pieces by my son. He is happy that Sam now lives on in the playroom.

5. Decoupage using pages from old books

This is a wall in this adorable cafe we visited in Margaret River, outside of Perth.  It had a really cheerful and cosy vintage eclectic decor, and excellent food.
While this is not of a wall in my own home, it is something I am thinking of doing on a piece of furniture, as it is a lot less permanent than doing it on a wall!

Instructions for the images are as follows.

1. Bunting.

You will need:
-A craft knife
-1x craft board or surface suitable for cutting
-1x length of string, ribbon or bias tape
-Some wooden pegs (I got mine from Spotlight)
-2x hooks
- An old book

- Carefully cut open the book at the spine using the craft knife.  Remove the staples and separate the pages slowly, taking care not to rip any of them.
- Select which pages you would like to include as part of your bunting and experiment with what order you would like to peg them in
- Measure and cut your string/ribbon/bias tape and peg your pages onto it, leaving even spaces in between
- Hang your finished bunting between your two hooks

2.  Bunting 

You will need:
- A craft knife or scissors
- A pencil
-1x bunting template made of cardboard (I used a cereal box or similar to cut the template out of)
-1x length of ribbon/bias tape/string
-Old book
-2 x hooks
-A ruler

-If you haven't aleady, create a triangle template out of cardboard to trace your bunting pieces.
- Select what pages you will use as part of your bunting and trace around your template to create the pieces and then cut them out.
- Once you have all of your pieces cut out, use the holepunch to punch holes at the top 
-Thread your string/ribbon/bias tape through the holes
-Hang your completed bunting on your hooks

3.  Washi tape + pages from old encyclopedia

You will need:
-Washi tape
-An old book
-Scissors/craft knife
-Craft mat/hard surface
-A ruler
-A pencil

- If you haven't already, choose what images you will be cutting out of the book.
- Measure out using the ruler and pencil where you will be cutting out the image and cut it out
-Cut your washi tape and put on the corners of the image
-Put image on the wall

NB: there are many, many different ways you can use washi tape to put things on the wall- this is just one suggestion.

4. Images/cover + frame

You will need:
-An old book
-A frame
-A craft knife/scissors
-A craft mat
-A hook

-If you haven't already, choose what image you will be putting in the frame
-Carefully slice open the spine of the book, remove any staples and cut out your image
-Place in frame and hang on the wall

It's lovely to think of books living on in this way and for us to be able to continue to enjoy them, even when they are no longer read.  


  1. Awesome ideas! I have been admiring your book bunting since I first visited your house before L. arrived :) I've not been brave enough to cut a book up to make my own yet though!

    1. Oh thanks S :) Yes, I know what you mean about being brave about cutting up books! x