Old Book... New Planter!

1 Hour

Looking to create a unique planter for your home, or how about making this thoughtful gift for a book lover in your life!?
If you check the full blog post you will see many more detailed photos... 46 to be exact ;)
finished book planter
Here is a finished shot of the book planter... I cover mine with little glass domes to prevent my kitties from pulling the little plants out of the planter (they're jerks like that)... then they bring them into bed :/
Because the plants are succulents and receive very little water there is no issue with moisture buildup inside the bell jar that would wreck the paper...
gather the supplies!
Okay lets get this maker party started shall we!? Gather up your project supplies! Many of these items you'll likely already have in your home or perhaps even out in your garden!
Hardcover book
Xacto knife - I use the black metal blades as I find they hold up better
Metal ruler - metal over plastic as your knife can cut into a plastic ruler
Paint brush
White glue
Freezer paper
Activated charcoal - you can get this at a plant shop or in the fish section at the pet store
Pea gravel
Mosses/bark chips/rocks - decorative bits
glue the edges
Using the tinfoil wrap the top cover and top pages of the book that you wan left free that will be opposite to the top planted page - you can see in my finished book planter that I chose to leave a page with an image as my top left page...
Paint a thin layer of white glue onto the page edges of the book being careful not to glue down the tinfoil - the glue keeps the pages square and in place while you're cutting down through and holds the book shape for the planter. Set the book aside to dry - add a stack of books on top while the glue dries to help keep the pages square.
draw a box
When the glue is dry draw a box on the top page - keeping it the ruler width from the edges - this will make cutting much easier! trust me!
begin cutting!
Begin cutting down into the book using your drawn box as your guide - for the best results cut from the box corners, spinning the book around as you cut down through...
Okay, this takes a little time to get down through - you may find that standing makes cutting easier as it is easier to apply moderate pressure while cutting when you're standing above the book and knife.
extend your blade as the hole gets deeper
As you get deeper into he book extend your blade to match the depth of your hole... starting cutting with too much blade extended can increase your risk of cutting yourself and makes the knife harder to control as you cut.
prepare the liner
Now here is where visiting the blogpost will shine more light on the process... 15 pictures doesn't allow me to give you the full photographic tutorial...
Measure the hole that you made in your book and transfer those dimensions onto the paper side of a piece of freezer paper... then cut out the outer edge - the rectangle you seen the middle is the length and width of the hole opening... the sides that you see up there that are 1.25" is the depth of the hole that I created in my book...
make a little box
...fold along the lines of the little liner pattern that you've created and then bring the two sides adjacent up to meet each other folding the extra material at the corner into a triangle...
glue the corner triangles in
Do this with all four corners and then glue and stick those corner triangles to the sides of what is now your little book planter liner box....
ta da!
...BAM!... you've now made a little liner for your book planter... now there will be some looseness at the corners but this is okay - you don't need to glue it all down... its going to be inside your book planter and filled with soil and plants so you'll never see it.
test fit and adjust
Test fit the little freezer paper liner... I always make my a little taller than I need and then cut them down to fit perfectly - just below the edge of the hole that I cut into the book.
Apply glue to the inside edges of the hole in the book and place the liner into the book, pressing it against the sides sot hat it sticks into place...
prepaaaaare for planting!
Now its planting time...
Start with a layer of activated charcoal - this will keep your planter fresh... then add in a layer of pea gravel - for drainage... okay this isn't going to see THAT much water because were using little succulents but its best to do it right ;)
loosen the roots
...put in a little soil and the begin to plant your plants... squish the little root balls to loosen the roots to get them all ready to settle into their new homes...
it gets messy
I gets messy... be sure to work with dry soil as wet soil will cause dirt stains on your book pages... dry soil is also ver easy to vacuum, blow, dust away... so cleanup is a breeze!
Finish off the top of the soil with your decorative toppings... I wasn't a fan of how the bark chips looks so I decided to go with all moss...
you did it!
That's it! You've done it! Now for watering give your succulents a little water as required using a small measuring spoon or dropper placing the water right into the middle of the hole in your book :) This helps ensure that you don't spill onto the pages!
I would LOVE to see your book planters when you get them made and planted up! Please come on over to the Feathering My Nest Facebook page and share some photos of your planted books!

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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 questions
  • Daphne
    on Oct 31, 2016

    Does the page under the dome wrinkle from condensation?

    • MK McDonald
      on Dec 31, 2016

      I'm glad you have pesky cats because it's looks classy with the little dome on it!

  • Karen Wenell
    on Oct 31, 2016

    This is so darling! Can you please tell me where you go the little glass dome? Thank you!

    • Karen Wenell
      on Nov 21, 2016

      Thanks All! I need to go on a shopping search! I think I'll wait til next week though. Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Judy Clarke
    on Jun 11, 2019

    So cute!

Join the conversation

2 of 45 comments
  • Caroline Gerardo
    on Jul 28, 2018

    I made a version of your idea from an author's book and gave it to them. She cried at first but was happy I had to buy two books

  • Caroline Gerardo
    on Jul 28, 2018

    I made a version of your idea from an author's book and gave it to them. She cried at first but was happy I had to buy two books

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