12 Clever Ways to Decorate With Books, Since You Have Way Too Many, Anyway


Books, books, books. We read them; we love them; we put them on a shelf and don't do anything with them after we're finished. But a dusty library doesn't have to be a graveyard for books loved and shelved away. Here are 12 ways to decorate with books, craft with books, wallpaper your entire home with books, and generally make it crystal clear to visitors that you have a serious thing for books.

Image: Design Every Day

Rethink the Bookshelf Stack

Think there’s only one way to display your books in a bookshelf? Silly you. Here are SEVEN (!) ways to stack, unstack, and rearrange your books on a shelf, from the hilarious Karen Bertelsen of The Art of Doing Stuff. Consider this the kama sutra of book positions. Oh yeah.

Image: The Art of Doing Stuff

Craft an Oversized Book Page Wreath

Need something big and bold for a bare wall? Roll up some pages from an old encyclopedia, glue them along a styrofoam donut, and you’ll have yourself a word wreath worthy of envy. Start crafting away with Myquillyn Smith, author of The Nesting Place.

Image: The Nesting Place

Make Paper Hydrangea Book Balls

You know those decorative wooden balls that retail for more than $100? These book page balls are twice as cool. And according to my precise calculations, they cost approximately one katrillion times less money. Stack them in a tray, display them in a vase, or just line them up on a shelf, and you’ll always have some pretty typed pages within sight. Learn how to make them here.

Image: Muslin and Merlot

Paper Your Walls with Book Pages

Can’t stand the thought of ripping and folding book pages for a craft? For the purists out there, you can always keep your precious pages whole and display them as a textured, layered wallpaper. This book page wall by Emily Jones of Jones Design Company adds a literary touch to a neutral, welcoming entryway.

Image: Jones Design Company

Turn a Book Into a Planter

Books are pulped trees. Trees are books-to-be. And now, trees can grow in books. Is your mind blown yet? Learn how to turn a vintage book into a planter here, and let the circle of life continue.

Image: Curbly

Stack Books to Make a Coat Rack

Imagine you’re throwing the greatest literary party of all time. Things are going great, until you realize your guests have no place to hang their tweed blazers and cardigans as they arrive. That’s where this coat rack comes in. It not only showcases your favorite book covers, but it also keeps your literary apparel neat and wrinkle-free. Book nerds, rejoice!

Image: Knick of Time

Revitalize a Chandelier with Book Pages

Yes, you could pay a few hundred dollars for a pre-made book page chandelier from a fancypants store. But starving writers are craftier than that. Just pick your favorite pages from an old illustrated book, clip them to your existing chandelier, and feel supremely smug that you just saved hundreds of dollars. Learn how to do it here.

Image: Hugs and Punches

Upgrade Your Headboard with Books

Everybody knows that books make the best bedmates. But simply bringing a book to bed is for amateurs. Step up your game by turning books into your bed itself, with this clever book headboard from Design Every Day.

Image: Design Every Day

Write Your Own Story in a Book Journal

Couldn’t get through that hot new book everyone else loved? Don’t feel guilty — turn it into an opportunity to write your own story. With this easy tutorial, you can turn any hardcover book into a pretty (and inexpensive!) journal. And when you’ve filled all the pages, you can slide it right next to the other great classics on your shelf.

Image: Rook No. 17

Carve a Book Into a Monogram Letter

If you’re the type of lady that likes to play with band saws (and who isn’t?), try this intermediate-level project to turn an old book into a monogram letter. Bonus points if you band-saw yourself a R-E-A-D and donate it to your local library.

Image: Ashbee Design

Turn Cookbooks into Kitchen Art

Think you need to pay big bucks for classy kitchen art? With this tutorial from Holy Craft, all you need is pages from a discarded cookbook, a few antique pieces of silverware, and old canvases. Voilà, book art!

Image: Holy Craft

Fold Book Pages Into Flowers

Flowers die, but books are forever. So create your own book bouquet by folding pages into pretty petals and gluing them around a central bud. Think of it as origami for the literary set.

Image: 100 Layer Cake