DIY & Home

Recycled Book Furniture

Posted in - DIY & Home on July 17th 2011 7 Comments Making Furniture from Books

It’s a trend that is gaining popularity – building furniture out of old hardcover books. These unwanted books are in surplus and cant always be recycled because of the glues used to assemble them. It shouldn’t be difficult to track down lots of old books for just pennies each. Once you’ve collected enough books you can start imagining your own creative ways to make them into unique and functional furniture!

Some of Our Favorites

The Floating, Invisible Book-Shelf

Invisible Bookshelf
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This is truly a clever way to organize your books, cds and movies, or you can just use it as decorative shelving!

The Full Book-Shelf

Full Bookshelf Made from Old Books
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Books can be stacked and fixed together in multiple different ways. Here, they are vertically braced to create a bookshelf.

Book Tables & Chairs

Table Made from Old Books
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We love this idea. Books are stacked to create spiral shapes. I’m sure you can imagine some other ways to implement spiral stacking!

Book Anything!

The possibilities are endless! Furniture such as tables, desks, shelves, chairs, stools, play-hutches for children, you name it! Whatever you can imagine can probably be constructed with old books by themselves, or in combination with other materials.

Some Tips to Get You Started

Most book furniture is sturdy enough using just glue alone. When a book’s pages have been completely glued together, it becomes very solid – a great building block!


The easiest way to use books is by simply gluing their pages together and stacking them short-ways to make legs or vertical structures. Stacking books this way will require a lot of books but little effort beyond gluing. You can also get creative and turn the books to make spiral shapes as you stack them!


Standing books upright will require a bit more work, but less books. You can fix books together by placing a small brace of wood or cardboard that goes through the center of each book before gluing the books together (IE: Glue the brace right between the center pages of each book). Remember, you can use a cutting knife to cut out a ‘space’ in the inner pages of each book, for the brace to slide into (so the books will still close flat).

Alternated Layering

You can also assemble books into a solid unit by layering them (inserting one book into the other by cutting out pages to allow them to close tightly and still interconnect). Again, glue will usually suffice to hold books together, but if you’re questioning the structural integrity, you can drill holes and screw the entire book (or books) together (just be sure to hold the pages down tightly as you screw, because they will try to pull up).


Sawing Books to Make a ShelfBooks can be sawed into shapes too! Try gluing a book together and cutting it into a triangular shape to create a bracket for horizontal support.

Other Ideas

Some books have really fun titles. You could try creating a conversation piece just by choosing books with strange or unique text on the spine or cover.

For a modern twist, try painting all of the books a solid color (white, red, black…) Or, you could try alternating colors!

As of now (7) people have had something to say...

  • Susan Henry - Reply

    December 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I am having trouble with Glueing the books togetjher as the pages are getting ” wrinkled” What kind of glue should I use or what am i doing wrong? I used elmers glue and glue stick glue.

    Please help!

    • Will Brown - Reply

      May 23, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      Mix elmer’s glue with water, at about a 50/50 ratio. Mix it well, and then paint that mixture on the edges of the pages with the book closed. Paint it wet enough to let the glue mix soak into the edge of the pages, but not enough to leave drips.

      Then put the book into a press or under some heavy weights for about a day. If you notice ‘cracks’ between the pages where the glue didn’t take, repeat this process.

    • Jahya - Reply

      January 18, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      Try putting rubber band around closed book and gluing all pages together. The rubber band will keep the book closed tightly so the pages cant wrinkle. You can also used clamps or clips and glue sections of the book together at a time, keeping them straight and gluing these sections together when they each dry.

  • bonnie weller - Reply

    April 22, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    So far, after “falling into” this website by accident, the ideas have been pretty good and the presentation very good. But this?

  • Louise - Reply

    January 16, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Does anyone want my hard covered 8×11 brown encyclopaedia Britannica’s?? 34 of them
    I also have 8×5 red childrens encyclopeaedias 14 of them

  • Lisa - Reply

    January 8, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Love these ideas, but on the ones that hang, by what means are they hung?

    • Samantha Isbell - Reply

      September 1, 2016 at 8:18 pm

      Use a very flat “L” bracket (also known as a corner brace.) Screw it to a stud or use toggle bolts on plain sheetrock. Take the bottom book, open the back cover, use velcro tape to attach the inside of the back cover to the bottom of the bracket. Make sure the tape is placed properly to allow the book’s “open” side to be flush with the wall. Stack at least enough books to hide the portion of the bracket that is above the book.

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