How To Upcycle a Vintage Book Into A Card Display

card display feature image

If you’re like me, you have a few old books around that will never be read, but can not be thrown away.


Old books are treasures, and even if they’re not my style of reading, their oldness makes them keepers.

You can display them artfully on tables and dressers and shelves.  You can tie them with string, cover them in burlap and try other innovative ways to show them off.  But, after awhile, there is a little over-saturation going on.

This project may fit into that category, but I couldn’t help myself. It’s Save-a-book-from-the-dump Friday here.  Without further excuses, I present

Christmas Card Display

Old books with gilt edges
Beautiful gilt edges on old books.

Pick a book. I wanted a red book with gilt edges, but the best I came up with was a blue book with red gilt on the top edges of the pages only.  The sides of the pages don’t show, and I can position it strategically with the red showing when I’m displaying it.  I painted the edges of the blue book with two coats of gold paint, as shown here:

Paint book edges gold for card display

Fold all the pages in half. I chose to leave the last two without hard creases, because I love the map on the inside cover of my book.  If your book doesn’t have an attractive inner cover, you can cover it with scrapbook paper or wrapping paper.

Rolled and folded pages of book card display

Decorate The Book Card Display

You can stop right here, and use the book as is for your card display.

I thought I’d take it a step further and make it part of my Christmas decor.

I know I’m a wimp, but I couldn’t glue this stuff right on top of that beautiful map inner cover.  I grabbed a piece of card stock, 2″ x 4.5″ and stuck the decorations onto that.

I used:

  1. 1.5″ x 6″ red velvet ribbon from my stash.
  2. Wrapped thin craft wire around a pencil five times, cut it, slipped it off, and carefully folded the ribbon and slid it through the roll. I flattened all the rings one way.
  3. Form another piece of craft wire into three coils, each a little bigger than the other. Mine are from 1.5″ to 2″ in diameter. And this is my mistake: I have silver wire instead of gold, which would match the edges of my book.
  4. Cut greenery with dies. I used Sissix thinlits Tim Holtz mini Holiday Greens. On the package, one of the designs shows up in red, and looks like berries on a branch. I cut two of them from white pearl card stock.  The sandwich I used in my Cuttlebug was A plate, piece of mat board, the rubber mat, B plate, die, card stock, then topped with another B plate.  For the berries and metallic card stock I didn’t need that piece of mat board. Be sure to flip your top B plate after each cut so it doesn’t warp as much.
  5. Glue greenery pieces near one end of the 1.5″ x 6″ piece of card.  Adhere the wire coils and wire-wrapped ribbon.  The white berry branches are glued on top of the wire coils.

old book into Holiday card display

Ready for the holiday cards!

old book turned Christmas card display