- Furniture from old books
- Light fixtures made from old books, newspapers and waste paper
- Installations and architectural structures from books
Surely you have a paper “dead weight” in your apartment – old books, magazines and newspapers. How you can use this printed matter for the benefit of interior design, creating completely functional and beautiful things from it – read in this article.
Accessories made from yellowed paper and frayed book spines will perfectly complement designs in vintage, country or boho styles, while more recent products from the printing industry will organically fit into avant-garde, minimalist and pop-art environments. If the style of your home interior does not fit at all with such rare things, you can use some ideas for recycling old books in the country to arrange a kind of nostalgic room filled with memories..
Furniture from old books
The use of junk paper and cardboard, books, newspapers and magazines is one of the newfangled trends in furniture design – a kind of tribute that designers bring to the altar of eco-style. If you do not go into the high matters of preserving the ecology of the Earth, then making furniture from old prints is a great idea for recycling the deposits of useless waste paper, which makes it possible to acquire functional things completely free of charge.
Being the proud owner of a collection of 5,000 copies of literature, American Jim Rosenau from California, without hesitation, found what to do with old books – he began to make furniture out of them. Book racks, shelves, tables, key holders – as it turned out, printed publications are an excellent constructive material for the manufacture of furniture of any complexity
Old books are harmoniously combined with wood – all that remains is to choose a cover and a wooden insert that match the color palette. By stitching and gluing volumes with identical bindings, you can build a shelf of any length by attaching an old tool to it – it will act as hooks for various utilities
A shelf made of old books of a pyramidal configuration is much simpler in design than a linear one – here you do not need to spend effort on selecting volumes that are absolutely identical in thickness, and then adjust them for a long time. Fasteners – corners or brackets that support the structure are decorated with the same books cut out in the shape of a triangle
Gift book editions in miniature design, placed on a shelf made of a large format book, will look like a touching accent on the wall
Dilapidated books make not only comfortable shelves, but also tables of an original design. Bases, countertops, legs – literally all pieces of furniture can be collected from book volumes
In addition to the original, but non-functional gizmos – a mini-chair and a casket, you can glue a brush, which is quite useful for the house, from outdated books by cutting the pages of a volume with “noodles”
A tough but rather extravagant pouf can be built from unfolded and twisted books with pages deformed by moisture, which create an unusual pattern on the ends. Smaller cubes, glued in the same way, look spectacular when placed in a vertical composition
Shelves and brackets, unusual houses for animals, clock dials – all these various accessories for interior decoration are easy enough to make from old, obsolete books
Shelves formed from stacks of books serve not only as a functional solution for storing prints, but also as an expressive accent on an empty wall
Dutch designers have come up with a non-trivial way to recycle old books by folding them up a rack in one of the university libraries in Amsterdam
Functional and original – this is how you can briefly describe a wooden cabinet in which books are stored, and at the same time act as an element of decor. Such a cube can be easily transformed into a sitting place or a stand for any interior accessory.
NJU Studio designers came up with the idea of creating stools and ottomans from old magazines, books and newspapers, which will come in handy when zoning small spaces. A wooden base, a stack of waste paper, a pillow and leather straps that allow you to adjust the seat height are a rational solution for organizing storage space for children’s books, notebooks and paper
By stringing dilapidated books and magazines on a rigid rod, or laying them on a wooden base, you can create extraordinary chairs, stools and benches that will successfully play the role of a compositional center in the interior
A bright headboard made of multi-colored covers from old books serves as an accent spot in the interior of the bedroom and organically echoes with a patchwork bedspread in a rustic style
Take your time to throw away stacks of old comics – the result of past hobbies of your matured child. With catchy pictures you can not only paste over the wall, but also decorate an old chair with peeling paint
Black armchair from the studio “Kibardin Design” is created from 37 layers of tinted paper and 20 cardboard parts. The outlines of upholstered furniture resemble the outlines of a fantastic flower, which can be modified by creasing the edges of the paper, set any shape and height
Light fixtures made from old books, newspapers and waste paper
Old books, cluttering the shelves of cabinets and taking up a lot of space, can be put to good use by making lampshades for lamps from them. Using origami and deformation, applique and cutting techniques, you can create unique and useful things for your home without investing a dime. The only thing to remember is that the light source in a paper lighting fixture can only be an energy-saving lamp that does not heat up. You can also find some interesting ideas for lighting fixtures in our publication on the 2014 Milan Salon..
The skills acquired in childhood when folding boats and airplanes out of paper will be useful to you in the process of creating a lamp – bending the pages of an old book in some pattern, you will get a shape of rotation, which will serve as an original base for a table lamp
Pages and clippings from books that have turned yellow from time to time will successfully act as an alternative material for creating a chandelier lampshade – you just need to fix the paper on the frame with staples, paper clips or clothespins
Expanding an old book 180 or 360 degrees and piercing its pages with a metal rod, you will get an expressive plafond for a ceiling or wall lamp without the slightest effort, and most importantly – money costs
Create a composition of books of different formats for your home interior by gluing their sheets in pairs – such “accordions” will perfectly fulfill the mission of a plafond for a lighting device – both wall-mounted and desktop. A non-standard option for placing such a lamp is an unfolded mount at an angle
To make a laconic lamp with a diffuser in the shape of a layered parallelepiped, it is enough to cut a hole in the book for a cylindrical light source, disassemble it into separate pages, which then need to be strung on a thin rod, shifting with beads
From a stack of book volumes, you will get an unusual base for a floor lamp, and you can adjust its height, and by fixing a half-open book on a rigid frame, you will design a table lamp without much effort
A slightly opened book with a light source tucked into the thickness of the pages will form a small spot of light on the wall with blurred borders, creating a slight effect of mystery
To make the simplest lamp, just a few old books are enough for you – after cutting a cavity inside the volumes for placing electrical fittings and drilling a hole for the cord, fix a beautifully shaped light bulb in the book and bring out the toggle switch
Black and white book illustrations, old postcards and calendars, pictures from tourist brochures are useful for creating lanterns that, with their mysterious glow, add a romantic mood to the interior.
Nostalgic bedside lamps, cut and folded from frayed pages of an old book, will organically complement interiors in country or Provence style
Installations and architectural structures from books
If you don’t surprise anyone with furniture and lamps from books nowadays, houses and architectural elements made of paper are something from the category of amazing, causing a feeling of bewilderment and delight at the same time. Naturally, there is no need to talk about any bearing capacity of such installations, but as decorative details they look exclusively.
If you turn the book inside out and glue its pages so that a structure in the form of cells is formed, and then put several modules made in this way on the rod, you will end up with an openwork cylindrical column
Old books serve as good building materials – they are used to construct decorative columns that do not carry loads, and decorate the ceilings, fixing multi-colored volumes on metal cables
A fancy partition in the form of an outlandish flower is made of glued books, pre-deformed in a wet state and then painted in rainbow colors
Arched structures and dome structures, consisting of radial planes, may seem difficult to accomplish from books, but, as practice shows, such tasks are also within the power of old-style printing products.
Looking closely at the books, you can find their fundamental similarity to stone or brick – therefore it is quite logical to use old editions for dry masonry of small auxiliary buildings in a summer cottage or huts for children’s games in the fresh air
The idea proposed by the creative owners of the book boutique can be played out in the home interior by folding a maze out of books in a children’s or playroom
A street installation made of books is an unusual thing and, moreover, seasonal. However, the book column should definitely appeal to reading lovers – it can be erected on a foundation of stones in the middle of a reservoir or installed to support drooping branches in the garden
It turns out that unnecessary books are a relative thing, someone has their surplus, and someone lacks dear shabby volumes. So, in the center of one of the Russian cities, a strange art of gigantic proportions appeared – a facade painting imitating a shelf with everyone’s favorite literary works.
Using the ideas we have proposed as a call to action, you will surely find a way to use old books to the advantage of decorating your home or summer cottage. And it doesn’t matter whether it is a functional thing or a decorative one – in any case, literature that has exhausted its potential will still be useful to you more than once..