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Three Ways to Recycle a Book

written by: rhwriter13•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 6/12/2010

Many people are conscious these days of keeping what they can out of the landfill. What if there is a book with sentimental value that you really can't use, or a really pretty one is found at a thrift store? Here are some ideas to give it new life.

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    Three Ways to Recycle Old Books

    Books are all around us. Whether we try to get away from them or surround ourselves with them, they are a real part of our lives. At some point, most books begin to lose their luster, become irrelevant, and are relegated to the trash pile. Before adding it to a heaping landfill, try to recycle it into something useful and attractive.

    Use it for Wallpaper

    • Some books are the perfect candidate to use for wallpaper. Choose vintage books (with little resale value) with bright photos or pictures. Many old children’s books have excellent pictures printed with vivid inks, such as Raggedy Ann and Winnie the Pooh.
    • When several books have been collected, cut the pages out at the spine.
    • Intersperse the printed pages with the pictures because too many pictures in one spot reduces the impact of each one.
    • Brush wallpaper glue onto a clean wall, and then place each page up in a pleasing pattern.
    • When the paper is dry, brush or roll on a sealer if desired.

    Make a Book Clock

    This is a good project for a book with sentimental value but which is not earning its space on the shelf. By turning this old favorite book into a clock, you are justified in keeping it.

    • Choose an attractive hardcover book and drill a one quarter inch hole into the center of the front cover.
    • Open the front cover, and draw a three inch by three inch square directly underneath the drilled hole.
    • Use a sharp utility knife to cut the square out of the top one inch of book. There is now a three by three by one inch deep hole in the pages of the book.
    • Place purchased clock works (found at any craft store) into the square hole and through the drilled hole.
    • Put a battery in, set the time, and place on the shelf or hang on the wall.

    Make a Secret Hiding Place

    This project is similar to the clock, but this one is meant for stealth.

    • Choose a thick book - think dictionary or War and Peace - and draw a rectangle on the inside cover. Leave a two inch border around all the edges.
    • Use a sharp utility knife to cut the rectangle out of the book. Leave one half inch of pages on the bottom.
    • Brush glue on each page. When each page is glued, place a couple of heavy books on it to keep the pages from curling. This creates a solid border to keep the hidden items inside the book.
    • Fill the book with treasures and hide on the bookshelf in plain sight.