Try these thrifty ideas to transform old books into something new and exciting
This project using old books will take 15 mins for one flower. You’ll be using book page squares, but we’ve shown the technique on plain paper for clarity.
1 Fold the square in half.
2 Fold up the two sides.
3 Flatten out the two sides.
4 Fold the tops over.
5 Tuck in the tops.
6 Fold the two sides in half.
7 Glue the outer edges together. Voila! That’s one petal – make four more, then glue together.
Take A Seat
We suggest setting aside 2-3 hours for this make with old books. Découpage an old stool, chair (or any piece of furniture) with pages from a book, comic or map.
1 Working either inside or out, cover the surface beneath the stool with newspaper. Clean off the stool with warm soapy water to get rid of any dirt and grease. Sand off any rough areas; wipe away dust with a lint-free cloth.
2 Tear up the book pages into whatever shape you like –strips, squares or just randomly. Apply a layer of Mod Podge découpage glue and varnish to the seat of the stool, then start layering on the pages, applying more Mod Podge on top as you go.
3 Carry on applying pages to the legs, wrapping the pages around and underneath the seat.
4 Once dry, you can either add some more pages where you can see gaps or add a couple more coats of the Mod Podge.
Skogsta stool, £15, Ikea (ikea.co.uk); Mod Podge matte, £4, Hobbycraft (hobbycraft.co.uk)
In just 1-2 hours, you’ll be able to turn an old book into a hand hideaway. Hollowing out the inside of a book (hardbacks work best) is a fun storage solution for jewellery or odds and ends.
1 Open up the book then, using a ruler and a pencil, measure and draw the rectangle shape you intend to cut out. Don’t make the rectangle too close to the edge – leave a border of at least 1in.
2 Line up a ruler along one of the drawn edges, then start cutting into the pages with a sharp craft knife. Be really careful not to slip. Keep cutting along the same line, as straight as you can, but don’t cut all the way through.
3 Repeat this process on all four drawn edges, then start taking out the middle sections of the pages. You may need to level up some sides by cutting down more.
4 You can either leave the book like this, but if you’d prefer
Got a spare 1-2 hours free one afternoon? This is a lovely idea for a child’s room: use a polystyrene takeaway container to print a design on to pages of their old books.
1 Using our photograph as a guide, sketch a row of houses and a hot-air balloon on to a piece of paper. Once you are happy with them, trace them on to some thin polystyrene – we used an old takeaway container.
2 Go over the traced design with a ballpoint pen, so that the design is indented into the polystyrene. Cut round the design.
3 Apply some paint to the design with a paintbrush or a small roller, then test printing it on to a piece of paper. This will highlight any areas you need to strengthen the indentation.
4 Tear out some pages from a book, then try printing the design on to them. Play around with composition until you are happy with the results.
5 Finally, once the paint has dried, place the pages into matching frames and display as a group.
Ribba frames (13 x 18cm), £2.25 each, Ikea (ikea.co.uk)