book vases

To tie in with the literary theme of our wedding, I made these cute ‘vases’ from old books. Here’s how:

Atypical Type A - book vase materials

You will need:

  • old, unwanted book
  • piece of dense cardboard
  • scalpel
  • pencil
  • double-sided tape


Atypical Type A - book vase tutorial1

1. Trim the piece of cardboard to the height of your book and the width of the margin (if you go right to the edge of the page, you’ll see a blank strip at the widest part of your vase, ruining the effect of the text).

2. Freehand draw one half of your desired vase shape.

Atypical Type A - book vase tutorial2

3. Cut out the vase template.

4. Place the template against the spine of the open book. Cut around the template with the scalpel until all pages are cut through. Try to keep the blade as vertical as possible to keep the shape uniform the whole way around.

Atypical Type A - book vase tutorial3

5. Slice between the front and end sheets to remove the pages.

6. Apply double-sided tape to the front page; fold back and attach to the back page. If your book has quite loose signatures (that’s the lingo for a stitched group of pages) you may need to bend back the pages to make them a bit more flexible.

I picked up the books for small change at a local op shop and the rest of the gear I had on hand, so it was an incredibly cheap project for a rainy afternoon.


144 Responses

  • Jo

    They are awesome Alicia !!
    But I fear my other half would have a mare if I did such a thing to an old book.

  • I have tons of book-related projects for my wedding still to come. Look away Bill!

  • Jo

    I showed him your post and he’s gone to hide behind the sofa and says he won’t come out until it’s all over. ;o)

  • What a great idea! I’m finding it difficult to find centerpieces for my wedding, I like the idea of something unique and handmade like this! You have a wonderful blog Alicia!

  • Thanks Kate, happy crafting!

  • The Man

    Jo – just like there are books worthy of the trash today – there were old books just as worthy at the times these books came out.

    Assure hubby it’s more like finding the books a new purpose in life :)

  • I saw these in a magazine, great idea, I’ll make one now! Thank’s

    • Glad you like – happy crafting!

  • Tara007

    I just made one vase and it’s great!!! Tank you, very much!!! Kiss

    • Thanks for letting me know, Tara, I’m happy you liked it.

  • Back in the day we use to make similar items, from Large phone books, Christmas trees and spray paint them.

    • Ah yes, I remember doing that at primary school!

  • Delores

    I remember the Christmas tree out of the large phone books, too. I also remember doing the Santa Claus using 4 Reader’s Digest books. I have been wanting to do the Santas each Christmas, but cannot find the Santa faces anywhere. I need the face-only to attach to a styrofoam ball. Can only find the Santa heads.

    If anyone knows where Santa faces are sold, I’d love to know, so I can do these with my grandchildren this year.

    • That brings back memories Delores! I remember making Christmas trees out of phone books. I don’t know how well it would work these days though – since so much has gone online our phone book is now so thin!

      I’m not familiar with these Santa faces. Perhaps you could get some googly eyes, cotton wool and a circle of card and have the kids draw the face themselves?

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