Since we humans learned how to put pen to paper (or chisel to stone), there have been book lovers. A good book is a treasure that has the ability not only to entertain us, but remind us that no matter what we are going through in life, we're not alone. And that's not to mention the valuable lessons that society as a whole can learn from history books.

However, as is the case with so many things in life, you can have too much of a good thing. When I moved out of my parents' home, I'd no option but to leave the vast book collection I'd acquired throughout my life in their attic. I simply didn't have enough room for them in my first apartment, where I've now started to build a new collection.

It's no wonder then that the popularity of eBooks is on the rise, but, in my opinion, there's nothing quite like the feeling of a physical book - especially if it's old and musty smelling. And it turns out that we don't necessarily have to let them pile up. So, without further ado, here are 10 crafty ways to upcycle and continue to treasure your old books...

1. Lanterns / Tealight Holders

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The pages of books are perfect for making lanterns because they illuminate so well. You could also stick them to the outside of glass jars to make some adorable tealight holders. You can even create something entirely unique by chopping up the lines to give them new meaning and creating your own little, illuminated stories.

2. Book spine bookmarks

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As any owner of old books will tell you, their spines can be fragile, and in a lot of cases they will fall off. So why not make the most of a bad situation and turn them into a bookmark? They certainly look more appealing than most sold in stores!

3. Book envelopes

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A lot of bookworms absolutely love to write. So why not give your handwritten letters the personal touch with book envelopes? They're better for the environment than store bought ones and they'll save you money to boot.

4. Book feathers

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Want to decorate, but don't want to invest in yet another generic piece of wall art? Worry no longer. With nothing more than scissors, string, glitter, and glue, you can turn the pages of your old books into gorgeous wall feathers.

5. Bookshelf

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Yes, you can use your old books to make way for new ones. All you need is a drill, some string, and, if you chose, wrapping paper to give them a little more aesthetic appeal, then you can create some gorgeous hanging bookshelves in no time.

6. Book art

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Are you a budding artist who never has quite enough paper? Then why not use your old book pages a substitute? As the picture above demonstrates, they can create some seriously cool artwork. Perhaps you can even do it with pages relating to your creation!

7. A book clutch bag

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Have you ever noticed that books are the perfect shape to be used as a clutch bag? Probably not, but it's certainly a novel concept (get it?) and a great way of displaying your impeccable taste in literature when you're dancing the night away.

To discover how to make one of your own, check out the video below: 

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8. Keepsake box

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Do you have personal keepsakes that you'd like to keep in a discreet place? Then a book might be exactly what you're looking for. While this DIY craft is a little bit more on the tricky side, I think we can all agree that the result is beautiful.

This is how you hollow out the inside of a book:

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9. Origami star

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Ever since I was a kid, I've loved making homemade Christmas decorations, and to this day, my mom still hangs up my earliest creations. If you're feeling festive, or simply want a pretty hanging object, why not make origami stars out of your old books?

10. Book letters

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Just like the book keepsake box, this DIY craft is also a little tricky, but, as I'm sure you'll agree, the result is worth it, especially if you've got a book lover in your life and wanted to surprise them with a totally unique and personalized decoration. My sister made one for me with a copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and it's one of my favorite things in my house.

In a world where our living spaces are unfortunately getting smaller (damn you, overpopulation and low wages!), book upcycling hacks like these are a great way to reduce clutter in your home and hang onto those books that you know you're not going to read again, but don't quite have the heart to part with entirely!

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