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 37 questions
  • Donna
    on Jan 29, 2020

    Have you posted a more detailed tutorial on how to make the flowers from books?

  • GailAmesiowa
    on Feb 2, 2020

    What type of glue did you use for the wall art?

  • Sukii
    on Feb 18, 2020

    I love all things paper. I worked at a recycled paper company for almost ten years when I was younger and fell in love with how paper is made.

    I have two old wooden type set drawers that I would so much like to put paper art in. The drawers are very shallow so would I have to cut the books down to size? Please advise me. This looks like a wonderful spring project for me. And when I think of how great the old wood next to old book page art would look, I get goose bumps!!! Love your work so much, thanks for posting.

    • Kandy
      on Feb 29, 2020

      Or buy / find smaller books. I found kids books have great color and are smaller for shallow areas.

      Best of luck

Join the conversation

4 of 377 comments
  • Ginny Pilarz
    Ginny Pilarz
    on Mar 30, 2020

    Beautiful, I am a young 77, when I saw the paper folding projects it brought back memories of doing this in the 1970’s, we made Christmas trees then spray painted red or green, silver and gold with some glitter. Love to see the progression of this art. I love the wall pieces, you have inspired me to design one. Stay safe in these trying times. Dollar Tree always has books for only a dollar. “Gob Bless” Ginny Pilarz( I am a Gingerbread house builder, just google my name to see some of them. Or go to YouTube and put in Steorra queen of the the stars, costume and gingerbread castle.🤗❤️😊

    • ReCreate Design Co.
      ReCreate Design Co.
      on Mar 31, 2020

      What a fun memory, Ginny! Will definitely go have a look for you on Google. And send us a pic if you make your own book art... we'd love to see it!  Mike

  • Shelley
    on Sep 24, 2020

    I'm interested in a more detailed explanation of how to make the folded book flowers - that look like a coral reef. I love that look. Has that been posted?

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