Friday, July 18, 2014

How to Cut a Book Into a Vase

I've been wanting to make a vase from a book for quite some time.  I first saw this idea on Country Living magazine's website a long time ago.  I love that magazine and have a subscription.  It features really unique craft projects with each issue.  But before I get started with the tutorial, I must apologize to my sister, Sandra, who was a librarian and my son, Adam, who is a freelance writer and anyone else with a love for books for basically destroying this book.  No harm to a good book happened here.  I purposely bought the book for this craft at the dollar store and stained the edges with black tea to give it a worn look, although I do regret not reading it first.  I'm all about recycling.

To make the vase, I found that the easiest way to shape a book into a vase is to cut it by hand using an xacto knife. Someone suggested using a band saw.  Can't imagine doing that. 

Anyway, let's get started.  

I use one of my vases as a pattern and drew around the side of the vase onto a white piece of paper the size of my book and then traced it onto a piece of cardboard.

The design of the vase should fit the height of the book. Too bad I couldn't find a really tall book to capture the lovely curves of my vase.   Keep in mind that the width of the vase will be twice as wide when finished so your template should be narrower when drawing the overall shape. 

Next, cut your pattern you just drew out of the cardboard.  Tape or clamp the cardboard template to the front portion of the book against the binding and around the back cover to prevent movement of the cardboard while you are cutting.

With a sharp xacto knife, cut along the template, slicing though several pages at a time, removing as many cut out pages as you can until all are done. 

Apparently I can't cut straight even though I was following the template.  I had slivers of paper all over the place.  I suggest having a trash bag beside you for clean up.  It was easier for me to cut and see the pages by turning the book upside down. Midway through cutting, I repositioned the template on the remaining sheets which made it easier to finish cutting them out. 

Once you've finished cutting out the vase pattern, remove the outside hardcovers leaving the spine binding intact. 

Next, take the front page and the last page and fold them with the rest of the book backward. It helps to crease along the spine to help with gluing the pages together and making the shaped pages more flexible.  Place glue on the first and last pages and along the binding and press together.  Hold or clamp for a few minutes until dry and secure.

As I mentioned before, I dabbed tea on the pages to give it an aged look.  The tea also helped to swell the pages a bit. 

Now step back and admire your work!     What an adorable book vase!

I just had to make spiral flowers out of some of the left over pages to go in the vase!  More recycling, folks!

I guess the glue was still drying because once I put the stems in between the binding, I couldn't pull them out

Don't know which view I like best.

The possibilities are unlimited for designing and cutting out a book vase.

And the best part is that it's quite simple, cheap, and easy to do in no time!

You just have to make one!

Take a little time to enjoy


Happy Crafting!



  1. Hi Gail, you the craft queen. Great projects.....

  2. wow, wow, this brilliant re-purpose of a book is so impressive that I'm speechless.

  3. I love this it came out beautiful! A lovely way to recycle a book.
    Have a great weekend, Kim "This Ole Mom"

  4. Such an awesome way to upcycle a book! You are very creative!
    Stopping by from Create, Simplify, Inspire.

  5. I love your book vase Gail, and the flowers are really sweet.

  6. Gail this is so very cool! I've seen these kinds of things made from books before and always found them intimidating. Your tutorial makes it look so much easier than I thought! Thank you for that lady!

  7. Thanks so much for joining the Say G'Day Saturday linky party. I just pinned your post. This is such a great idea!

    Have a great weekend!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  8. Gail, I love your book vase. You always come up with the best crafts! I have several "trash" books but haven't been able to make myself cut them up yet. I think it's time for me to take the plunge! Oh, love the flowers too.

  9. That is so pretty! I love it!

    Gigi @ Old World Patina

  10. Wow that is unbelievably amazing

  11. That is AWESOME, and much better $1 than the crazy price of flowers at the moment! I'd gladly do a book in, :)

  12. Clever and crafty. When I was young we made Christmas angels from Reader's Digest books. When I need a new inspiration, I come over to see you.

  13. Another amazing project. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing at Tuesdays at Our Home! Have a great week! Maria

  14. Very very clever, and it looks great too!!


  15. So creative! And I love the flowers too. Thanks for linking up :)

  16. Very creative! Thank you for sharing this post at City of Creative Dream's City of Links on Friday! I appreciate you taking the time to party with me. Hope to see you again this week :)

  17. This is so creative! I would love to have you link it up to my Feature Friday Link Palooza!

    Danielle @ Blissful & Domestic

  18. Really cool! It also gives me the idea how to cut books into letter shapes.

  19. i love this vase and the flowers just add that perfect touch!

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