Creative Decorating Ideas With Books

Creative ways to use books as decorative objects and accents around your home beyond simply books styled in bookshelves or displayed on coffee tables.

decorating bookshelves

Books on a bookshelf, either stacked or filled in library-style look nice, but they are only 2 ways to use books to decorate your home.

When you decorate with books, you are rewarded with fast, easy and an inexpensive way to add style and color to any room in your home. Interior designers use them all the time as accents.

In this post are my favorite and easy DIY ideas on how to decorate with books, both old and new beyond the bookshelf. When placed strategically, stacked or covered, they can change the look of a room in an instant.

Where to Find Books to Decorate With

If you don’t have any books on your bookshelf to use to decorate with, then for a few dollars you can find books inexpensively at:

  • Thrift stores
  • Church bazaars
  • At your parents or grandparents home
  • Flea Markets
  • Ebay
  • School or local library book sales

Decorating With Stacks of Books

When decorating with books in any room in your home, one of the simplest ways to add impact is to simply stack them.

Stack Cookbooks On a Kitchen Counter

Tin can vase on a stack of books on a kitchen counter.

Don’t hide your favorite cookbooks in a cabinet, use them to add color to the space. Here I stacked red and pink cookbooks on my kitchen counter and added a DIY vase on top.

Stack Books as Risers for Decorative Accessories

how to create open shelves in a kitchen

Or create a rainbow effect on open shelves by stacking a few colorful books topped with a collection of kitchen ware.

Cover a Stack of Books With Paint or Paper

Free Fall Printable

When you display books by covering them with paper and then add sayings to the spines of each books creates interest.

White hydrangeas on a stack of white books on a table in front of a wall of mirrors.

Paint old books found at a thrift store to coordinate with your decorating color scheme or for a clean line modern look.

Modern decorating for fall in white living room with pops of fall colors.

Stack books to add height to a low object or to raise a lamp on a table. Choose the book colors that you would like to see in the room.

Rustic Red and Plaid Christmas Living Room

This is one of my favorite ways to use books in decorating. Cover a stack of books with holiday or seasonal gift wrap, fabric or craft paper to create budget-friendly holiday decor on a sofa console table or side table.

In the fall, cover books with burlap to add a rustic texture to the stack.

Stack Your Current Books You Are Reading

If you like to keep the books you are currently reading or plan to read nearby on an end table, stack them by size or color and place a decorative object on them.

Books can become the decorations in a room themselves.

Display Coffee-Table Books on a Spinner

Spinning book table stand to use for open books. Painted black on coffee table.

Place one of your favorite books as a coffee-table display. Open a book to a favorite page and place on a DIY open book spinner to create a unique focal point on a table.

Remove the Covers of Books to Make a Planter Cover

Home Decorating idea using thrift store bought books- a mum planter pot cover.

Remove the cover from two similar sized books to make a pretty cover to hide an ugly vase.

Sometimes the cover page in a book, especially in antique books is more interesting than the cover.

Two old books without their covers.

If this is the case, remove the covers and place two or three books on a table. Place a candle or small decorative items on top to create a pretty vignette.

How to Decorate With Book Pages

When using books to decorate, you are not limited to using the whole book or the covers.

Look for books that have interesting type and fonts on the pages and use the pages in these creative ways when decorating the rooms in your home.

1. Use Book Pages As Wallpaper

Use the pages from the books to wallpaper the inside of a cabinet or hutch. This looks best when done with the pages of vintage books.

Slightly overlap the pages until the surface is covered. Use matte Mod Podge and a paint brush to attach and seal the book pages to the surface.

2. Make a Leaf Garland or Banner


Make a festive garland by cutting out holly shaped leaves from the pages of books. You can also use sheet music to do this.

Learn how to make this book page garland and get the free leaf printable to use as a template.

3. Create a Crafty Cache Pot or Planter

Tin can recycling project ideas

These containers are made not only by using recycled book pages, but also tin cans. When combined, they make cute little cache pots to hold your pens and pencils in style on your desk or craft area.

4. Line Drawers

drawer lined with old book pages

Use the whole page or cut the sections from the book pages you like to line drawers. Use matte Mod Podge to apply.

As you can see using books as decoration will add style, color and interest to any room in your home.

creative decorating ideas using books - 4 images in photo

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  1. Diane…LOVE the book ideas! I especially love displaying my cookbooks in the kitchen. I see you are a fan of Ina Garten. Me too😊. I had the joy of meeting her early on in her career. I have her first book with her autograph. Did you know if you order her books directly from her website you can have them autographed? Books are not the Amazon price but I love knowing she has signed them. I also love the writings of Alexandra Stoddard. Such an amazing decorator with a great heart when she writes. Her books are full of great ideas and wisdom about living a life full of joy..and they are colorful too! She also has a website if you have not stumbled upon it. She posts a newsletter the first of every month.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi June – Thanks for taking the time to connect with me. I love being able to meet readers, even if it is only virtual – we are kindred spirits. :-). I have been to a few Ina Garten events, but have never met her personally. I like her laid-back casual style.

      I have met Alexandra Stoddard a few times and was even invited to her home in CT many years ago. She is one very gracious woman who lives in her own style. She was a great inspiration to me. I still have all her books, my favorites are Living a Beautiful Life and Feeling at Home. I used to buy them to give as gifts to my girlfriends.

      I didn’t realize she had a newsletter – thanks for mentioning it. I have signed up. :-).

  2. I want the binky bub and the nunnie bub!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      My real life dollies when they were little ones. XOXO