Charming DIY Book Decor Projects to Fill Your House With

Decoration and Design
Small Projects and Repairs
By Contractors.com Team May 04, 2021

For bibliophiles around the world, books carry so much more value than just their content. We all have that one quirky friend who loves to smell them, collect them, and buy them even though they may not get to read them for a while. If you are that friend, read on. 

Book lovers have an especially difficult time getting rid of books. Every book has its own aesthetically pleasing aspect; whether it’s the sound of flipping through the pages, the wooden, starchy smell, or the yellowed parchment stuck to a beautifully ornate leather cover, they definitely have charm. 

To ease the minds of book and design lovers alike, next time you’re reorganizing your library or looking through some boxes from the basement and attic, you don’t have to throw away any books you no longer need. That is because there are plenty of ways to continue to give books purpose by using them as decor around the house. Whether as a fun pastime for National Book Day (April 23, mark it down) or just to show your love of books through design, try some of these interesting decoration, design, and DIY projects to add some literary charm to your home. 

Bookshelf Decorations

How To Decorate With Books

How To Decorate With Books

There are many charming ideas for decorating with books. Let’s start with the most natural place to find books — your bookcase. When you look at your home library, try to see it as more than a place for storage. You can implement patterns in the way you arrange your books (by color or by size), alter the positions they’re placed in (mix up horizontal and vertical stacking), or even have a few books leaning on their side. By breaking the monotony of books lined up in a single row, the design of the space will allow your eyes to travel and discover. Most importantly, breaking tradition in how you line up your books breathes life into a bookcase.

You can also use small vases of flowers (fresh or dried) to spruce up the look of your otherwise boring bookshelves in your home library.

If your bookshelf doesn’t have much shelving for your books to lean on, you can create book holders by gluing some of the books you’re no longer reading together to act as discrete book weights. By placing them on either side, the holders blend in with the rest of the books, making it look like they’re perfectly balanced on their own.

Something else you can play around with is your book covers. Covers of books are such an important part of the office, library, or study aesthetic, especially classic leather covers with their gorgeous engravings. If you’ve inherited some of these older works of art, why throw them away when you can use them to create beautiful patterns? Doing this can bring a lot of character to a stale-looking study or small home office.

Tip: If the outer binding colors of you're books aren't speaking to the look you're going for, try flipping your books around so that you're faced with the white canvases of the pages.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Book Collage as Wall Art

One of the easier ways to add more character and some excitement to the room is with a collage. It’s a type of decoration that usually combines photos or fabric of different styles, colors, and materials to create one big piece of decor. You can spice up the more traditional collages by designing with books and loose pages.

DIY Book Wall Art Tutorial

DIY Book Wall Art Tutorial

Before creating a collage with old books, you need to make sure they’re intact. You can use bookbinding glue to reattach all the loose pages of older books into place, so they don’t fall out once they’re on the wall. You don’t need to worry about gluing them in order or even using pages from the same book. Next, you’ll want to use a large flat surface to figure out the arrangement you want to achieve in the end. You can drill, nail, or heavy-duty tape them to the wall one at a time. Use a staple gun to attach pages in the book to each other so they don’t sway loose.

Show Your Love for Books Through Interior Design

Show Your Love for Books Through Interior Design

Whether you opt for a square collective that can even be framed or an abstract shape creating a map of some of your favorite pages, there’s a lot of room to get creative.If you’re having a little trouble figuring out exactly where to place them or in what pattern, you can always consult an interior designer for their thoughts and feedback.

Picturesque and Practical Book Stacks

Charming Decor Ideas With Books

Charming Decor Ideas With Books

Another simple and quaint way of how to use books as decor is simply to make stacks out of them. All it takes are a few books in the visual style that suits the setting and some strong glue or string. 

You can choose books with covers in bright colors if you want to bring in a statement to a minimalistic space. Or, you can pile up a few older books in tatters to complement a warm traditional setting. Make sure to place the heaviest ones on the bottom so there is a lower center of gravity, making the stack more balanced. Then you can choose between an evenly lined-up, put-together look, or a fun disheveled arrangement. If you want to make this a permanent piece of decor you can glue them together with strong adhesive, or tie them up with string and give yourself the freedom to move them around down the line.

These stacks can go great on shelves in your living room and even serve as a lovely pedestal for a nightstand lamp. They work great as a place to showcase a little sculpture or souvenir in your work office. Some people even pile old books up very high and make little armrests which they put next to their armchair, using the stacks as little tables for their drinks.

How to Use Books As Decor

How to Use Books As Decor

If you’re tech-savvy and know how to work with electronics, you can even drill a hole through the books to make taller stacks from falling over or to pull a wire through, creating a nifty DIY lamp for your office or a light fixture for the library. Can’t find the tools or don’t have the skills to do this yourself? Talk to an electrician or your local handyperson and get their help on this kind of project. 

There are many cool ways to use books and book stacks in your DIY projects. It’s just a matter of finding a ton of old books that you definitely won’t read ever again and dedicating some time to building something unique out of them.

Literary Wallpaper

Ways To Use Old Books As Decor

Ways To Use Old Books As Decor

Some book covers can be damaged beyond repair or missing entirely. As a result, you may end up with a ton of loose pages to books you can’t even remember owning. Most people end up throwing these pages away, however you can make good use of just the loose pages as well. 

Put on your interior design hat and consider covering one of your walls with story pages, creating unique wallpaper. We don’t recommend doing this for an entire room, however, it will serve to transform a sliver of a room into an accent wall, perfect for separating a zone for a home office.

Find pages that are similar to each other in style and design. You’ll get the most attractive results when using pages of the same book or at least the same publisher, to match the fonts, page margins, and style. 

Another great room for wallpaper made of loose pages would be a children's room, though this does come with the risk (or opportunity) of having your kids writing on the pages. To avoid pages from ripping off easily (by gravity or by tiny tyke hands), make sure to apply wallpaper primer on the wall and wallpaper paste on the back of the pages.

For the most attractive and aesthetically pleasing results, contact a local wallpaper installer and get their help on this project. They know all the right adhesives and protective coats to use, which will protect the page wallpaper, without ruining the ink on the pages.

Classy Book Storage Boxes

Fun Ways To Give Purpose to Your Old Books

Fun Ways To Give Purpose to Your Old Books

Another great use for books you don’t need anymore is to make cute storage boxes out of them. This is a more technical project that may require a more experienced handyperson to help with, however, it will be a really lovely way to show off your love for books in your bedroom as well.

Book storage boxes don’t have to be anything complicated or very durable; just firm enough to hold small, like jewelry, small personal belongings, and little secrets. You can remove the pages of a book to make a smaller one-installment box, or use six to build a larger one.

In the case of the latter, first, you’ll need to glue the pages together  — this will ensure that the book box stays rigid enough so that your belongings don’t slip through the cracks. You can use the book cover as a little door to open and close the box. Here’s a great step-by-step to turn an old book into the perfect home for precious keepsakes.

DIY Book Box With Secret Compartments

DIY Book Box With Secret Compartments

If you can get some very powerful adhesive to bind all the sides of the book with, you can even cut out the spine of one of the books to add a miniature pull-out drawer. It’s small and light enough to keep on your desk or move around, but also durable enough to be a reliable storage compartment for your things.

Written by
Contractors.com Team

Written by Contractors.com Team

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