Our Favorite Recycled Book Art

2 Materials
10 Days

We picked 3 of our favorite recycled book art projects to share and inspire you to DIY your own !
If you want to give it a try...look for our LIVE video tutorial with Hometalk here: http://bit.ly/2jtjiPU
We made this book art last year for our local university - but there's absolutely no reason why you can't recreate the same effect for your home.
It's simply a matter of folding and rolling the pages of books that are no longer being used for reading.
Of course we don't destroy the old grand dames of literature - like books with leather binding or marbled papers - but we've long gotten past the idea of altering a book in order to extend the lifespan of the materials used to make it.
Why are we okay with altering books for art? Because we've seen how many books are thrown away at a single secondhand store, in a single city, in a single country on our planet. IT'S A LOT!!! So, we're okay to save some of them and turn them into something beautiful.
This piece included rolled pages that filled in all of the other sections. We called the finished result 'the beehive'.
The four origami-ish books in the piece are simply folded pages...no glue necessary! There are lots of how-to videos on YouTube - find one and give it a try. You'll be so surprised how satisfying it is! Truly meditative.
Isn't the result simply spectacular? Folded pages. That's it.
And when you get some basic folds down, it gives rise to experiment and try different patterns and designs.
The book flowers do require a bit of glue just to make sure they hold together. And when you make enough of them and collect into one reclaimed wooden frame, the result is.....
...absolutely spectacular!!! These books were folded by a class of 5th graders. If they can do it...
...so can YOU! Just look at how beautiful. We think this piece looks like a coral reef.
And our third fave - this wall art installation at a local school. Again, made by 5th graders!
Here's the proof! So - if they can do it, so can you.
If there's enough interest in this post we'll be happy to post a more detailed 'how to' tutorial to lead you through the process of creating your own recycled book art. You'll definitely end up with a unique art piece that will be oogled over by everyone who casts an eye over your creation.
With a little bit of time and know-how - coupled with very little money (maybe even free if you are a reclaimed materials hoarder like us) - you CAN create your own "WOW" reycled book art.
Remember, if you feel inspired by our favorite recycled book art creations in this post - save to your boards and share wherever your heart desires.
P.S. here's a quick peek as we finished up one of the pieces. Of course there's always a friend or two that drops by as you'll see in this short clip. The more the merrier!

Resources for this project:

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 34 questions
  • Michael
    on Apr 4, 2019

    How do you keep them from yellowing?

    • User
      on Apr 16, 2019

      I think yellowing is part of the charm of the old books. I'd think if you just keep them farther from windows they'll change slowly but they will change due to the acid in the paper.

  • Adrienne Reilly
    on Apr 8, 2019

    How can I get the pattern for the Star of David?

  • Dsouther
    on May 14, 2019

    Your work is stunning! You did a great job! I am glad these book were turned into art as opposed to be thrown into the trash. However, as a person that loves history and antiques, I just have to ask, did you know that there was a time when books were so rare that they were considered as valuable as jewelry would be to us today.

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