Warning! This post contains images of books that have been recycled into crafty decorations, which some readers might find disturbing. If you can’t stand the thought of a book being torn apart for decorative purposes, you may not wish to go on.
You're still here! Good! If you know that books can be loved in a whole range of different ways, including as craft supplies, then we’ve got some fantastic ideas for you! Fall brings with it cozy sweaters, snuggly scarves, delicious hot drinks, and gorgeous leaves… and afternoons making fall decorations. Using old books to beautify your home makes perfect sense at this time of year, too. Not only do they have just the right kind of gentle, fallen-leaf feel that you want, but clearing out some old books creates space for lots of lovely new ones come the gift-giving season.
From pumpkins and garlands to candles and wreathes, here are a few of our favorite fall book projects (with some Thanksgiving and Halloween crafts thrown in for good measure).
There are so many tutorials for how to make a cute little pumpkin out of book pages, and we love them all! This is a really popular fall craft for lovers of literature because it’s just so easy. Each pumpkin takes one book to make, and all you have to do is cut the pages to shape and glue the first and last together. There are lots of ways to make this your own, too. Use sticks or corks to make a stem, add tulle or ribbon to the top, spray paint the outer edges for an orange (or any color) pumpkin, or group together pumpkins made from different sized books to make an arrangement. This craft can be time consuming (especially if you start with very large books), but it is definitely worth it.
For many, Fall is synonymous with pumpkin pie, thanksgiving turkey, and gathering together for a day of gratitude (and stretchy waistbands). Readers are all thankful for the many incredible books we read, so why not add a little literature to your Thanksgiving celebration this year? Include a table runner made from upcycled pages on your dining table, or if you really want to go all out, make this incredible turkey centerpiece. It looks amazing, and it’s surprisingly easy to make – just a step up from the simple pumpkins above.
Many people think of wreathes as a Christmas tradition, but they are a wonderful way to dress up your door for any holiday. (Or for any season! Wreathes are fun and simple to make, so why not give your entrance a little extra all the time?) For fall, using book pages to make a wreath is a really pretty alternative to using leaves, especially if you don’t feel like venturing out on a leaf-gathering adventure. Add colored and patterned paper to your wreath for some added fall feeling, or even a Raven for some Edgar Allen Poe-inspired spookiness this Halloween! Both of these just take some book pages, glue, and a wreath base from a craft store. Simple!
If the little touches aren’t enough, and you are the kind of reader who looks forward to fall all year round, it’s time to get a little bigger with the autumn decorations. Time to hang your love of pumpkin spice lattes from the walls themselves, with these amazing book page bunting crafts! These are so simple to make and look especially fantastic if you are throwing a party… or a fall-themed book club. Just take a few pages from an old book, trim them to shape, decorate them, and hang them. These two tutorials will show you how to use buttons and colored paper to create cute pumpkins, or a stencil to create dramatic lettering (typophiles, choose your favorite font!), but you can create anything you want. Add bats for a Halloween banner, or turkeys for Thanksgiving. You could even mount leaves onto the pages.
More Pumpkin Pages
Instead of making your own pumpkin out of a book, you can dress up a real pumpkin instead of carving it. This project is especially good for readers who aren’t really fans of the whole carving thing, and would rather decorate (and not get pumpkin goop all over their hands!). Instead of cutting into the pumpkin, use ModPodge and book pages to create a shiny, literary look. From there, you can do all kinds of fun things to add more decoration – a glitter stem, feathers, leaves, yarn, ribbon… the possibilities are endless. You can even theme your pumpkin to the pages themselves.
Tutorial Link: All Things Heart and Home
Reading By Candlelight
These candles look amazing – perfect for stormy nights when the power goes out (or just sitting on the coffee table with the power on). All they need is a little mod podge and some thin pages (thick ones won’t work), and you have a beautiful candle to include an element of bookishness to a fall arrangement. (As with any candle, do not leave these burning unattended, especially as the paper can catch.) Another idea for embellishing your fall candles is to use thin strips of paper around the base of a candle in a large glass holder, or using ModPodge to attach a book page to the holder itself.
Instead of carving a pumpkin, why not carve a book? Technically done by folding, not actual carving, this craft looks sculptural and beautiful. It takes a little longer, but books never rot, so you can bring this out year after year. It also looks harder than it is – and with patterns available for sale (Etsy.com is a great place to search), you can create a book-carving collection for every holiday.
What are some of your favorite fall book crafts? Comment and let us know, share your photos, and if you try any of these ideas for yourself, let us know how it went!