How To Make a Drawer Liner with a Book Page

How to line any drawer or cabinet with pages from a book.

drawer lined with old book pages

This is my very first completed project in my studioffice.  I figured I would start out with a simple project.  You all know that I think the desk is pretty, but the aged yellow finish is just not my cup of tea so I am going to be changing it.   I started with the inside of the drawer and made a new drawer liner for it.  The rest of the desk is going to be painted.

Desk Drawer before decorative lining added

If you haven’t read my previous post – I found this desk curbside. It was a freebie that I put in my basement as I didn’t have place for it. That all changed when I recently cleaned out my basement.  I got inspired and decided the time was right to make the desk my own.

Even if the inside of this drawer gets filled with “drawer junk”, it would bother me that it was not pretty.  I had to make the drawer lining look more attractive.

Here is what the inside of the drawer looked like when I brought the desk  up from my basement.

Where to Find Books With Interesting Pages To Line a Drawer

I find the best books to use to line drawers when I go thrifting – my first destination is always to head to the book section.  It is where I found all of these books that have provided me with decorative paper and prints to use on decorative projects.

Books with black and white letter illustrations

The book on the bottom left is the one I used to line the drawer. I only used 10 pages.  The book cost me $1.50. I also have a file where I keep all sorts of b/w illustrations and drawings to use.

  • These illustrations could be framed, used to wallpaper a wall, wrap a gift, make tags, scrapbooking…are just a few ideas that I can think of.

I simply cut out the pages I liked and used Mod Podge Matte Formula to adhere and seal each page to the inside of the drawer.

Mod-Podge Decorating Ideas for the inside of drawers.

I used a flat wide paint brush to apply the ModPodge to the drawer, not the book pages.  Once I had each page positioned on the Mod Podge covered area, I applied one coat of Mod Podge to the top of the book page.   Doing it this way will lessen any wrinkling.  I did one area at a time until I had the entire surface covered.     I then went over a few areas that I missed with the Mod Podge and let it dry.

How to line a draw with decorative paper

I used a pair of scissors to trim the paper to size to fit into each corner. Made sure it fit perfectly and then applied the Mod Podge.  Took about 25 minutes start to finish. My photos are dark because I did this late last night.

How to line a drawer with decorative paper

The Newly Lined Desk Drawer

Finsihed-drawer-liner made with block letter book pages

All done. The perfect lining for a desk drawer. I love it.

DIY Drawer Organizing Ideas

To make your desk drawers even better, try making dividers to add to the drawers.  I have posted two different kinds:

If you want to see another way I used I used book pages/illustrations, click over to the post I did on how I made a craft cart:

UPDATE:  See how I painted this desk with the glossiest white paint you have ever seen.

How to use pages from books to line a drawer to make it pretty inside. Text overlay says Decorative Ideas using book pages

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  1. Penny LaPorte says:

    I just stumbled across your blog and it is fabulous. Thanks for taking the time to share your creative ideas. With each click I make, I am just in awe! I actually just moved in a new home and I have several areas where I do all my crafting, sewing, floral arranging, and painting. I am just having a hard time with organizing everything. I wish I could send you pictures of my different crafting spaces so maybe you can give me some ideas on how to go about organizing them.

    I have a spare bedroom where I do all my paper and vinyl crafts. I also have another area where I do all my sewing and machine embroidering. In my backyard I have my very own SHE SHED which is something I have always dreamed of having. In my SHE SHED, I do all my floral arranging, wreath making, and painting. I am so grateful have all these areas to do the things I love to do, but I am so overwhelmed with organizing it all. I wish you could spend the day with me in order to pick your brain about storage and organizing. At this point, I may very well pay for your plane ticket to Cajun Country. LOL😉

    Again thanks for sharing all of your creative ideas.


    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Penny – Thank you for taking the time to connect with me and tell me about yourself. It sounds like we have a lot in common. With the many things you like to do, it can get hard to organize all your supplies and spaces to create. When I organize, I try to break down what I use the most and put these things out where I can get to them easy, like the wall where I have my tools, ribbon and gift wrap. The work table under this is the most used area. I place other items in cabinets and in clear boxes, little drawers and label everything. After Christmas my studioffice was a mess. After a day of cleaning it out, it looks and feels much more energized which in turn makes me more creative and productive, so I understand why you want to get your spaces organized. In your spare bedroom, maybe you can refit the closet with shelves and storage drawers to hold and organize your supplies.

  2. Hi, thank you for sharing this information. I have a question, if you don’t mind me asking. Does the surface stay sticky or does it dry good enough for the clothes don’t get stuck on it? Thanks

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Vicky – Once the Mod Podge dry – about 24-48 hours depending on the humidity it will not be sticky at all. Clothes will not stick once dry.

      1. Thank you so much. I tried it. I loved it and now I use it for everything. Thanks again

  3. I love this! I’m going to do this. I actually have two of the three books you have shown. Though I wouldn’t want to cut them up so what I think I’m going to do is copy them onto card stock using my laser printer scanner and then Mod Podge. You have such great ideas!

  4. Dianne, you have the most creative ideas!

  5. I think this is a great idea; however, I do have a question re the Mod Podge. If you were lining drawers that get a lot of wear and tear, you will eventually have to replace the paper, even if you poly the paper. How hard is it to get the paper up at this point? I have some solid maple cabinet shelves and drawers that I would love to try this on (the wood itself has been poly’d) but I don’t want to mess up the wood.

    Is this a dumb question? I’ve never used this stuff, so I have no idea.

    1. Hi Jo-Ann
      It is not a dumb question at all. My drawer originally had a paper lining in it that was ripped and was glued on. I covered it with the book pages and Mod Podge. If I ever tire of it, I would need to spray it with water and rub it with a lot of elbow grease to remove it. I would just cover it with a new layer of paper. If you think you may want to change your paper someday, you can make a liner for the drawer using foam board or very thin plywood cut to the size of the inside of the drawer. Cover that with the paper and Mod Podge. If using foam board – it may warp a little when drying. If it does use glue dots or Velcro squares sold at crafts stores to hold it down in the corners of the drawer. When you want to change the look of the drawer it will be easy to remove and your wood will not be damaged.

  6. Mod Podge Amy says:

    Diane you are a brilliant! Love the paper (book pages) that you chose!

  7. Kathryn Griffin says:

    How lovely is that! I so need to do that in a chest I repainted. Thanks for sharing. Hope you have a grand evening. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  8. What a fabulous idea and a great tutorial. Your instructions/technique are most helpful!

  9. What a cool idea! Roadside finds are my favorite :)

  10. Rita@thissortaoldlife says:

    Hi Diane–
    Just found you via Thistlewood Farm, and am so glad I did! I’m working on refurbishing an old desk for my son, and the main drawer is all yucky inside and this is the perfect solution! Going to the thrift store today to see if I can find some great boyish pages for his desk.

    1. Hi Rita-
      Finding the book is harder than the actual project, I hope you find a good one. Comic books, sports, or a even a technical manual would work perfectly. Thanks for connecting. xo

      1. Rita@thissortaoldlife says:

        Found a great book with old black-and-white sports photos at Goodwill yesterday! Hope to be posting soon. I’ll let you know when it’s up. Thanks again for the great idea.

        1. Hi Rita. Looking forward to seeing post.

  11. Laura@Ms Smartie Pants says:

    This looks great! I just bought 3 big books at Half Price books for projects. One was an atlas, I’m thinking that could make some pretty drawers!

    1. Hi Laura –
      I love maps – so colorful and visually interesting. They would look great lining drawers. Oh! the possibilities :) I did a Google search once on decorating with maps and a ton of great ideas came up. Have you checked that out?

  12. Diane–your book page drawer looks fabulous! You are such a smart cookie to keep all your pages and stuff organized! I need to do more mod podge projects.
    thanks for the inspiration!
    so happy you linked up and linked back to catch as catch can!

    1. Hi Gail – I love Mod Podge and do use it on a lot of projects. I remember my mom using it when I was growing up so it is a bit nostalgic for me, too.

  13. This looks awesome! I love this treatment. I am doing this to the inside backing of some bookshelves. They are dark wood and the stuff I have on the shelves is dark so it all kinda blended. Now with the light color of the vintage book pages it makes everything on the shelves stand out. I never thought to line a drawer this way though. Love it!

  14. This is great diane. Already a follower! I love that you found inspiration from books. I was convinced it was wrapping paper. Love it! laura

  15. Sheryll & Critters. says:

    Again, another fabulous make over. I just love this.

    I have a new found respect for your creations/make overs (like the buffet), I just love that one.

    I decided to make a trial experiment, using a mashed potato box and some WWF wrapping paper. I did not do well at all. When I put the paper on the box it looked okay, then immediately as it started to dry, it wrinkled like crazy. I am using it anyway, for a paper or bill divider on my desk, but I am not proud of my job. Is the Mod Podge that much better to work with or is it me? I used Elmer’s Glue, cause I did a search on Mod Podge and found that Elmer’s was supposed to work….. ? What I really, really want to do is two tiny nightstands in my bedroom. I only want to to the top and was considering using fabric…… but I am scared now. I don’t live close to a craft store or Joann’s, but am planning to make a trip there when I get up enough nerve to do this. I do live close to a Dollar Tree (thank goodness).

    1. Hi Sheryll – White Glue or Mod Podge will wrinkle thin paper. The trick is to put the Mod Podge on the surface you are applying the paper to first. Then use your finger to smooth the paper down to make sure you have the paper adhered flat and no air bubbles. Press any air bubbles out with your brush. Then apply one light coat of Mod Podge on top of the paper. Thicker paper – book pages do not wrinkle like a thin sheet of gift wrap might. White glue is not exactly the same as Mod Podge. Mod Podge does have a sealer and comes in gloss, matte, sparkle, outdoor, and a paper on paper formula. Keep experimenting – you will get it right.

      1. Sheryll & Critters. says:

        Thanks Diane,

        I was just thinking that the World Wildlife Fund probably uses only recycled paper. I have always been one to save the paper & ribbons along with the gift.. SO, I am convinced that book pages are absolutely the beat to use in more ways than one. Old, probably the best paper, and solid weight. I am going to go back out to my work shop and see what I can find now.

  16. You amaze me with your ideas . . . I am always telling someone about you or sending them your link.

    Today I am going to do a post on my new “inside the door” fabric, ribbon organizer . . . Idea . . . YOURS! . . . and I will mention you . . .

  17. I love this! What a fun and pretty project.

  18. Wow! Really looks good with all the oversized lettering. You should send it over to Modge Podge Rocks.

  19. What a great idea! Very pretty!!

  20. Hi, Diana

    I love this idea! Its awesome. Have a great weekend.


  21. linda (burlap+blue) says:

    LOVE! This looks amazing! Thanks for sharing. xoxo