Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Upcycle: DIY book-page gift bag


Happy Sunday! Here's a quick DIY for you. What you need:


  • Old book pages
  • Mod Podge, scissors and tape
  • Hole punch and material for handles (twine, tape, ribbon)
  • A big hard-back book (or a box from your recycling) for sizing the bag


If you've been following this blog for a while, you know I make book clocks. And here's my argument as to why it's ok to craft with old books. 

I don't usually remove the pages to make a clock - I like it to look like a book hanging the wall. But in this case, the pages are so interesting! And they were also falling out of the book. So I decided to try something new: use the book's pages to make a gift bag.


There are lots of great tutorials out there for turning paper into gift bags. Few were useful for this project. First, I was using book pages from 1928. They're so brittle, some are crumbling. So... step one: reinforce the paper and create larger sheets with Mod Podge. I ultimately applied three coats. And yes, that's an old plastic shower curtain under the paper. It's my go-to drop sheet for all messy craft stuff! 


Step 2: Take a look at this tutorial. Instead of any fancy folding, you essentially wrap a book or box the way you would wrap a gift. It's not as elegant as some of the other things I saw, but it was the only way I was going to be able to work with this paper. 



Step 3: Pick your book or box, fold the pages around it TRIM the paper if necessary. It was necessary for me.


Step 4: Keep folding and taping. Even with all the Mod Podge reinforcement, this paper still cracked in a couple of places as I folded it.



Once you have a nice bag shape, punch holes into the top and create handles with whatever material makes sense and looks nice :)




Here's the lovely old book that the pages came from. I handed over this gift a few days ago and the bag was as well received as the clock! So, worth the effort.

Should I build a tutorial around this kind of book clock (with the pages removed)? If you'd like one, let me know in the comments below!