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The Repurposed Library

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  409 ratings  ·  81 reviews
33 Craft Projects That Give Old Books New Life

We all love to read and learn from books, but The Repurposed Library takes our passion even further, presenting us with 33 projects to make--quite literally--out of books. For these projects, Lisa Occhipinti rescues and repurposes orphaned and outdated books from flea markets and library sales and turns them into new art object
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Hardcover, 144 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Stewart, Tabori and Chang
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Delight in the Details by Lisa M. PaceThe Altered Object by Terry  TaylorAll Things Paper by Ann   MartinThe Repurposed Library by Lisa OcchipintiVintage Collage-Works by Maryjo Koch
Paper Crafts
4th out of 28 books — 8 voters
Twisted Stitches by Phil DavisonThe Star Wars Craft Book by Bonnie BurtonKnits for Nerds by Toni CarrAnticraft by Renee RigdonCreepy Cute Crochet by Christen Haden
Geek crafts
66th out of 68 books — 15 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,042)
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Ms. Yingling
Yes, these thirty plus crafts are really cool, and yes, some of the ancient nonfiction that I pulled while weeding this year might be good to use for some of them. There were even some crafts that I thought were cool, like the clock made out of a book with "time" in the title or the old bridge book made into a container for a deck of cards. I had brief thoughts of making a lampshade out of paper or maybe a bracelet out of some decoupaged words.

But this makes me so, so sad. There were several boo
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Kelly H. (Maybedog)
Although having books turned into art and household items is better than throwing them away, the main image on the cover is giving me an anxiety attack just from looking at it. I want to bat someone's hands away and say, "No! Bad person! That's not how we treat books!"
Melody
I had this love/hate relationship throughout the whole book. To wit: "Oh, isn't that cute? Wait, that's... oh, fercryinoutloud that's LITTLE WOMEN all ripped up. I can't stand it." There are a few truly fun projects in here, projects I actually want to do, maybe even will do. But. Books. And I don't think all books are equal, and I don't think making art projects from any book is wrong. I just don't know that I can do it myself. I think it will be a good thing to try, though. Just to see.
liberal sprinkles
I've been a fan of Lisa Occhipinti since seeing a photo of her book mobile floating around the Internet. With [[ASIN:1584799099 The Repurposed Library: 33 Craft Projects That Give Old Books New Life]], she has delivered a lovely book with easy-to-execute projects on upcycling old books into new decorative and practical things for the home. While some of them require slightly heavier duty tools like a drill to craft, many can be made by just folding and the use of glue, a craft knife and some pat ...more
Linda
This book is for those of you who love the look and texture of old books. Maybe you like to dabble with mixed media. Or you might enjoy upcycling old things. No matter what you want to do, you will find some ways to craft at the next level.

There are nice colorful photos with simple diagrams that go with the directions for each project. Honestly, some I have seen before presented in a slightly different way. The 'book ledge' is one. The 'book adornments' were another. The lettered wreath is somet
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Erin
A neat book of craft projects to make with books. I've been working on making things out of books (mostly library discards, damaged books and the few books I can bear to cut up) and this book has some neat ideas. Her tutorials are a bit short-- no more than two pages no matter how complicated the project-- but I think we're all spoiled to online tutorials now with multiple photographs for every step. That said, I haven't followed any of these tutorials yet, so I'll have to keep you posted after ...more
Cat
Feb 14, 2015 Cat rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: diyers, crafters, book lovers
Shelves: crafts
We're hosting a community day event in a few months so I turned to The Repurposed Library for inspiration. We have TONS of deselected books and knew we wanted to reuse them. Our theme is sustainability, so this seemed like a great way to approach the topic with our students. I know tearing books apart seems counter intuitive to a librarian's nature, but they're mostly outdated textbooks, some with highly questionable content. They aren't antiques, rare editions, valuable, or anywhere near as pre ...more
Jayme
I thought this was cute. Some of the ideas were really neat, and some of them I thought were kinda lame. My favourites were the journal, the kindle cover and the bookmark. I feel the need to go shopping for some of those old timey looking books so I can make some of those projects. The Symphony sale is coming up in April... I hope I can remember to pick up some books for that purpose when the time comes. lol
Elizabeth
Crafting (LITERALLY- yep, I went there) out of books. All that you need is an X-Acto knife and glue for most of the projects. Once you have the anatomy of the book down: cover/case, spine, endpapers, book block, signature, and gutter you are good to go.

Projects that I want to make:

* bookmobile
* pagework quilt
* bookbursts
* two-book luminary
Kristin
Outstanding to both a library, book and creative reader! I've sold my own book art on etsy and the author has an outstanding etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/theshophouse.... Projects presented were practical and possible for the average crafter. Lots of advice was given for online sources for books and supplies. Great job.
Amanda
Most of the projects in this book are fun and approachable. I marked about 6 projects that I would want to try out. My favorite were the Christmas tree ornaments. The challenge would be finding old books that are pretty in themselves; some of the projects just wouldn't look that good with dull bound books.
Jillian
A ton of great ideas for book crafts. Fun home-made gift ideas for the librarian or booklover in your life.

I bought this for my library in preparation for next year's summer reading theme "Between the Covers". I thought it would be a good source for book crafts for our patrons.
Jennifer
If you are a bibliophile get this book. If you love a librarian or bibliophile buy them this book. If you know anyone crafty give them this book.
Jill
Very awesome book full of crafts you can use to recycle old books. I don't have the qualms that other reviewers seem to have about crafting with books. I love book crafts and feel that if you have a book with damaged pages, turning it into something beautiful or displaying the cover in a unique way allows you and others to enjoy the book more than if you kept the book on a shelf but never really looked at/read it again. The crafts are explained with pictures and instructions. I haven't made any ...more
Relyn
Jul 21, 2014 Relyn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: DIYing booklovers
Recommended to Relyn by: spotted at my library
I love, love, love books and thought I might love to make some bookish crafts. But, I have to admit to myself, I am just not much of a DIYer. Still, if I were, this would be the book. It has very detailed directions and tools lists. There are a few super-cool projects and a few that feel like they were cobbled together quickly to fill a quota of book projects for the book.
Katherine
I had this really great analogy of how cutting up books as someone who loves books was maybe like hunting: I don't have a problem with people who do it, and I'd definitely use the end result, but I don't think I could bring myself to actually kill something with my own hands. Cutting up/gluing together/taking apart books feels criminal and murderous.

BUT as I read this book, I think about the books I still have in boxes in my basement - books I don't want to get rid of, but will probably never r
...more
Annette McIntyre
My bibliophiles heart cringes at the thought of destroying books, but this book is full of ideas of what you can do with books other than read them. And as the author loves books she shows you things to do with ones that are damaged so you can still make use of books you would otherwise dispose of
Angela Rodriguez
This books was awesome! I got the chance to do some really incredible crafts all made from books! Unfortunately, I had a hard time with the instructions for some of the crafts but overall, I recommend for anyone who is interested in book decorations. =D
Julie
Not many of the projects that Occhipinti outlines in this book are particularly original. I had seen variations of a number of them online. However, I did appreciate how the book illustrates the parts of a book and how to take one apart to utilize the parts needed for a particular project. I did have some success with the sunburst and hope to attempt making a birdhouse in the near future. It is useful in determining materials needed and the colored pictures are a bonus. Using these instructions ...more
Scottsdale Public Library
Do you work in a library or bookstore and have access to discarded/unreadable/damaged books? Are you often running around during the holidays buying presents and spending money when you'd rather give people more personal and unique gifts? Are you like me and can't bear the thought of throwing out books? This craft book has tons (well, 33 actually) of ideas to use with books, and I mean every aspect, from the hardback covers to the individual pages. Artsy ideas like picture frames and mobiles, to ...more
Sara
I found 4 things I'm intrigued enough to try, if I can find good books that I can bring myself to disassemble.

The top project on my list is an editing pencil box (adapted from the sewing box project). I can't decide if it will be cool or just more clutter on my desk. I'm eying The New York Public Library Desk Reference (circa 1993); Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th edition (I have the 11th edition); or an older version of CMS (my first thought).

I'd also like to try the journal, the writer
...more
Victoria
I knew Lisa (the author) while working at the Palace Theatre in Manchester for the 1994-95 season. She had a studio across from the business offices and was often hired to hand paint signs for up coming shows. At the time she was doing lots of painting and making little books (she gave me one when I went to England with little maps in it). Now the book making has really taken off. It was amazing to find this book on display at Waters Bookstore in Exeter.

All that being said, the book is really ne
...more
Molly
there were some nice projects in this book, but not many i'd ever actually do. the instructions were thorough and clear, which is something i don't find in every project book.
Adriana
A part of me cringed all thru reading this book. While the crafts are creative and look really cool, I’m of a mind that is convinced that even the oldest, mustiest book has value as such.
That said, I really enjoyed seeing how the books where transformed into completely different things, be they useful or just decorative. The instructions are super easy to follow and the “difficult” parts are illustrated to guide you thru the craft process.
As another reviewer mentioned earlier, several of this p
...more
Michelle
Fun ideas for gifts or decorating! Going to go back to this for Christmas presents
Tracy
This is a craft book about crafts to make with old books. I liked it more in theory than for anything I would actually do. The one craft I found online which uses an old book I don't think I saw in this book which is using an old book for a secret hideaway book. I loved using an old cookbook to hold cooking tools and thought some of the other crafts, but I doubt I will actually make any of them. Except the one I found online. It just seems cool to have a book on your shelf that you can hide thin ...more
Slmstanley
Fun projects for old books - while some of them make me twitch (tear pages out and arrange them like a vase? WHY?), others look fantastic and are now on my list of fun projects for the summer - building shelves from hardcover books, making e-reader cases, jewelry, and even a lamp from discarded hardcovers.

On the down side, while the ideas are fantastic, the illustrations are veryvery small and not rendered very well. They needed to be much larger, and the more complicated projects desperately n
...more
Nancy
Some really cute ideas. Plan on trying about 3 of them.
Trish
There are some neat ideas about repurposing books.
Amy Adams
This book has some great projects! It's very inspirational! I love that the author chose to use books related to the topics for the projects. For example, she used a cookbook to make a utensil holder for the kitchen and a book with "time" in the title to make a cool clock. I'm definitely going to use some of these ideas with some yard sale books. The instructions are clear and fairly easy to follow.
I'd recommend this one to anyone interested in using old books in a new and interesting way.
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