Upcycle books to show your style

in Potpourri by

As humans, we are always looking for ways to express our individuality, to stand out, and to separate ourselves from the next person. Some of us get tattoos or piercings to make a statement about who we are and what represents us, while some of us accessorize our homes or buy trendy or retro clothing to show the world who we are. I’ve got a new way to up your individual style (and it doesn’t involve permanent inking). If books and sustainability are among your top interests, then you’ll enjoy giving some of the upcycled treasures and do-it-yourself projects I’ve found a try—because each one is made from books! If you want to add a literary splash to your living space or your personal style, check out some of these products and ideas. The best part—each item can be personalized with your favorite titles or subjects for a totally unique look. Raid your book collection or scrounge up every quarter you can find and pull over to the nearest yardsale immediatley.

tumblr_inline_msf7o65WfK1qz4rgpThe Stack Lamp

If you’re handy with a drill and can spare about nine books from your collection, this piece is sure to light up your favorite reading spot and impress your guests. HGTV online provides step-by-step instructions for creating this antique-looking book-based lamp. Grab the nearest egg basket and get to work.

(Image source: http://www.hgtv.com/accessories/stacked-books-table-lamp/index.html)

 

Sense Sensibility purseThe Book Bag

The covers of hardback books, when stripped of their interior pages, make for perfectly-sized handbags and purses. Who knew? Do it yourself or buy a premade handbag that makes a statement like the one crafted by Rebound Designs, shown here. Are you philosophical at heart, or more adventurous? Whatever your personality, there’s a bag for that.

(Image source: https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/56299442/custom-sense-and-sensibility-book-purse?ref=related-7)

 

Dewey Decimal earringsThe Dewey Decimal Earrings

I bet you never thought you’d see the words “Dewey decimal” and “earrings” in the same sentence. I know, I was surprised, too. But worlds have indeed collided for us stylish nerd types in the form of mini-pendant jewelry. If you like the looks of this set, click your way over to the Written Nerd’s Etsy shop and see what else is for sale.

(Image source: https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/91012286/science-dewey-decimal-vintage-card?ref=listing-1)

 

101699607.jpg.rendition.largestThe Faux Flowers

I promise you that these hand-torn, hand-painted flowers will last longer than your boyfriend’s bouquet. Give yourself roses that will bloom all year long with this do-it-yourself project from Better Homes & Gardens. Simply rip, tint, and mold these beauties from the pages of an old book. Is there a more inspiring way to start your morning than by getting a glimpse of your favorite prose or poetry at the breakfast table? I think not.

(Image source: http://www.bhg.com/decorating/do-it-yourself/fabric-paper-projects/stylish-projects-from-vintage-books/#page=1)

 

corsetThe Wall Print

Once you’ve stripped the cover of an old book to make a handbag, you might want to salvage the innards to create some gorgeous wall art. If you’ve got the skills, just sketch, draw, or paint directly onto the pages and then frame and hang. Voila. If you don’t have the skills, you can order a print online for about $10 and give your home office a style update in no time.

(Image Source: http://www.visualnews.com/2010/10/18/upcycled-vintage-books/_)

 

Which books would you choose to represent you? Victorian romance novels? Steampunk mysteries? Or your favorite childhood classics? If these style ideas aren’t permanent enough for your tastes, check out Rachel Carter’s favorite literary-inspired tattoos.

Angela Palm's forthcoming essay collection, Riverine, is the recipient of the 2014 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize. The book will be published by Graywolf Press in spring 2016. Her first book, an anthology of literature called Please Do Not Remove, was published by Wind Ridge Books (2014). Angela's work also appears in apt, Hippocampus, Paper Darts, Midwestern Gothic, Sundog Lit, Prick of the Spindle, Tampa Review, and elsewhere. Angela's essay, “The Devolution of Cake,” and her short story, “Mrs. Greenwood’s Jelly,” were both nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

2 Comments

  1. Such great ideas. I plan on doing some Zentangle designs over some book pages soon. Thank you for the inspiration. Cynthia B.

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