Teaching old texts new tricks by turning books into planters

April 13 |

In our prep for Library Week on the Empire, we came across a mess of upcycled books on Dornob the other day:

The process is straightforward: find a thick book, carve out a niche, seal the inside and pot away! But are you bold enough to pervert a book in the name of stylish plants?

  1. Only if it's a horrible book. I plan on cutting some up to make paper vases for a friend's bridal shower soon, but I feel like an ass for doing so. Maybe if I only cut up romance novels?

    3 agree
    • I agree, only if it is horrible. But why would I want a horrible book to display as a planter? I would then reword this to be "Only if it is a horrible book with an awesome cover!" <3

      3 agree
  2. This could also be included in a centerpiece post on OBB. It's a creative enough idea combining things people love. Perhaps you could even suggest replicating the covers of their favorite reads instead though…that way they don't destroy their prized books.

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    • I am totally using this for centerpieces at my wedding now :) (Please re-post to OBB!)

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    • Alternately, at least if they're living authors, see it as an opportunity to support them. Buy an extra copy! They print more if you buy more! Etc.

      Or just collect old, trashy books with dignified-looking covers. :D

      2 agree
  3. I could see myself doing this with certain books. It'd have to be something old and useless but also highly unlikely to ever be rare or valuable, like an idiots guide to Windows 95 or something.

    Trouble is all the ones I can think of are pretty ugly books, so I'd have to paint the cover or something first.

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  4. Holy cow this is a stunning idea!! Makes me wanna go to the used bookstore and give some new life to an old book!!

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  5. I may just use my Twilight books… I was going to throw them into the recycling anyway. And the covers are at least decent.

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    • You know, I keep pulling mine out to donate them, then stop and put them back because I feel wrong putting that crap back into the reading pool, but I can't bring myself to throw away a book even if it is drivel. Great idea!

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      • I've felt that way with a few books: Do I sell them? But then I'm gaining from someone else's ignorance/distaste/future-misery! Then recycle them? Maybe, but I hate throwing away books.. reminds me of multiple dictatorships. Donating? Then no-one's gaining from these stupid things! Well maybe the charity is.. hmmm.

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      • I know exactly what you mean. The best thing to do with something as terrible as Twilight is to make something beautiful out of it that will keep it from being read.

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  6. I'd hit up a public library sale and buy some nice looking $0.25-0.50 books to do this to. Those public library sale books tend to be good looking on the outside, but old and a little worn on the inside.

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  7. Also, I want to second the library sale idea. Speaking as a librarian, you guys do know that we *gasp* throw the books away if no one takes them, so please just take them and give them a second life.

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  8. Any ideas on what the best way to seal the inside of the book would be?

    1 agrees
    • I was wondering that, too. I thought about getting glass or plastic containers, then cutting the cover a little narrower than the main hole, to cover the lip of the container.

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  9. My apartment building burned down a few months ago, and I grabbed all the water-damaged unreadble books I had with sentimental value. I think I'll use them for this, and buy new copies to replace the ruined ones.

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  10. I showed this to my husband and he said "I can't decide if it is cool, or blasphemous."

    Then his eyes wandered across some ancient Oracle manuals on the bookshelf behind the computer, and he decided that might work for his office at work.

    Old school textbooks strike me as another prime source of material.

    0 agree
  11. If it's a horrible book/you don't want to promote or discuss it you could get some pretty patterned paper at the craft store, or use wrapping paper and give it a decorative cover.

    i would def use a glass or plastic container inside the hole- both to protect the book from water and to protect the soil from whatever sealer you used…

    my question is, how do you cut the hole— the only thing i could think of is using an exacto but it seems like it would take forever!

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  12. I went to look up more about this and it seemed like there is more worked than i thought.

    this video was helpful though.

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  13. I think I'm going to do this next time my University book store has one of their book sales. They always have a box of REALLY outdated law textbooks with rockin' bound covers that they try to give away for a dollar or two….they would make an excellent pot :D

    0 agree

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