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:

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

The Top 9 Kitchen Countertop Makeovers People Are Doing Now
31 Storage Hacks That Will Instantly Declutter Your Kitchen
These Amazing Vase Ideas Will Blow Your Guests Away!
31 Space-Saving Storage Ideas That'll Keep Your Home Organized
32 Space Saving Storage Ideas That'll Keep Your Home Organized
30 Creative Ways To Repurpose Baking Pans
3 Wonderful Ways You Can Upcycle Old Windows
ReCreate Design Co.

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

2 of 384 comments
  • Erin
    on Jan 23, 2021

    Is there a tutorial? I love all things books and would like to try my hand at this!

  • Goldbeargirl
    on Jan 31, 2021

    I really LOVE this project and the fact that the books are being re-used is a big plus for me. I'm such a book nerd lol Great job

Your comment...