Literary Paraphernalia: 10 Ways to Upcycle Old, Beat Up Books

It’s time yet again for some cool DIY projects for the summer. If you have older, beat up books that you’d like to give new life to (or perhaps some old text books you weren’t able to sell back), we have some fun projects for you.

Paper and Wire Bead Tutorial

These beads can be used to make bookmarks, necklaces, earrings, or key-chains. The possibilities are really endless and the project looks pretty easy.

Re-purposed Expanding File Folder

I love this. I want this. I think this is one of my top to do projects for the summer. I use expanding file folders for school and research projects, so making my own super cute one is something I find highly appealing.

DIY Book Jars

These jars would make a nice edition to any room, office, or act as a fun centerpiece for an event.

Book Wallets

Um, these are awesome. I would not only want to make a variety of these for myself, but these would make great gifts for friends as well.

Recycled Book Scrapbook

I like scrapbooking, and I like books. I think this would be a really great (and cheap) project that can also help you chronicle your summer adventures.

Book Pages Pencil Cups

This is great for a home office or an office office.

Recycled Book Envelopes

This is a product for sale on, but it also looks pretty easy to do yourself. You can get thick paper stock, some glue, and create away!

Book Art

This blog has a lot of great ways to get not just crafty, but artsy with your recycled books.

Book Postcards

I’ve always said that every book is a vacation – and now, if you so choose to do this project, you can send little parts of your vacation out to all of your friends in the form of book postcards.

Book Window Garden

I’m not actually sure how to do this one, but it looks awesome, doesn’t it? If you’re a woodworker, or know a woodworker, show them this picture and tell me how it’s done.


  1. Amanda Riggle

    You’re very welcome! We really loved the tutorial. I’m going to try to make some of these projects this summer, actually, and your beads are at the top of my list!

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