Don’t toss old damaged volumes. Use those loose bindings and book pages to make beautiful accents that will add texture and character to your decor.


Book page pillow

If you’re a passionate bibliophile or just agree with Billy Baldwin’s statement that “the best decoration in the world is a roomful of books,” chances are you’ve got plenty of old tomes sitting around. And it’s hard to throw them out even when they’re falling apart.

Donate the books still in good condition that you don’t read anymore to a library, school, or charity but for those that are outdated or damaged, give them new life as do-it- yourself projects for your home.

As a bookworm, you’ll love bringing the library look to every room.


Book page pillow detail

Scan a page with inspiring text to create a decorative pillow. A yellowed-with-age book page provides the image for the transfer used on the front of the pillow, while a floral design gives the back of the pillow a vintage vibe.


Book page pillow transfer

Typography Pillow

Gather your materials

  • Fabric (washed, dried, and pressed)
  • Pillow form
  • Computer scan of book page
  • Iron-on transfer paper

Scan the book page at a high resolution and enlarge the image. Flip the image in a photo program so that the words will print backward. Print the image on the transfer paper.

Place the paper face down onto the fabric and iron transfer following the manufacturer’s directions.

Cut out the fabric to fit your pillow form, adding an inch to the width and length for seam allowances. Trace around the cut transfer fabric onto a piece of the backing fabric. Cut out the backing fabric.


Sewing the pillow

Place right sides of both pieces together and sew a seam ½ inch from the edge around each side, leaving an opening to insert the pillow form.

Turn the pillow cover right-side out and insert the pillow form. Finish the opening by sewing shut with a whip stitch.

Framed book illustrations

We came across an old music book that was badly damaged but still held several intact and quite lovely illustrations. If a book will be recycled anyway, carefully tearing loose and framing some of the pages as wall art is a thrifty idea!


Frames and book pages

Framed Art

Gather your materials

  • Selection of matching or coordinating frames
  • Painting supplies (optional)
  • Vintage book illustrations

Find a group of old frames that will create a balanced gallery on your wall. If desirable, unify mismatched frames by painting them a matching color and give them a patina with a coat of dark wax or glaze.

Select a group of illustrations that will look good hanging in a grouping together. Choosing from a single book source should ensure that the images coordinate well.

Place the images in frames and hang on the wall.

Folded book page lampshade

Cover a plain-Jane lampshade with time-worn book pages that layer the lamp in texture and type.


Glue book pages to lampshade

Folded Lampshade

Gather your materials

  • Drum or shallow drum lampshade
  • Book pages
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • Double-sided tape

Choose book pages a bit longer than the lampshade. Accordion-fold each page evenly and tape pages together using double-stick tape.

Using the glue gun, tack the pages onto the shade. Work gently if your old paper is brittle. Use pages made of thicker paper for a sturdier lampshade.


Projects and styling by Jodi Harris
Photography by Nicolaus Gourguechon

© Caruth Studio

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