Design Ideas: Re-purposing Old Books

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In the midst of spring cleaning my grandfather’s house, I came across a number of boxes of old paperbacks. They were the old paperbacks that really weren’t heavy in the thinking department. Some Ian Fleming’s, some old penguins, science fiction; basically novels that you would read once as a light, fluffy read. I, of course, took them down to the used bookstore. After laughing mirthfully and at great length at the types of books they thought I was reading, they agreed to take the books off my hands.

Now, however, I wished I had kept them and used them for this neat craft project. From the website Re-nest: Abundant Design for Green Homes, Jason Thompson describes how he uses old paper back novels to make postcards.

Jason says: The idea for this project comes from a set of postcards I sent to a Swedish friend more than a decade ago. I mailed him a handmade postcard made from the paperback cover torn from a copy of Ian Fleming’s Moonraker. He mailed back a postcard right away written on the back of Ian Fleming’s Thunderball, and a tradition was created.

What You Need

Paperback book covers

Utility blade (optional)
Corner cutter (optional)


1. Most paperback covers will tear away easily from the book pages. Covers that are old or firmly adhered might require the use of a craft or utility knife.

2. Once the cover is removed, clean away any glue residue.

3. Use a corner cutter to create clean, rounded corners.

4. The printed side of these science fiction postcards was designed on a computer and printed using a desktop printer.

I am not sure what you would do with the rest of the book pages. Maybe ornaments a la Samantha Miller.

You can read the rest of the article about creating postcards here. Anyone know how to set photoshop, illustrator, etc. to print the postcard details on the back? If so, drop us a comment here at DawgEared!