I was intrigued when my local library advertised a pre-Christmas paper crafting night that would feature the use of old books, otherwise destined for the recycling heap. Being a keen recycler and a curious “newbie crafter”, I decided to attend the event and invited a friend to join me. The weather was terrible that night and snow storms kept most people away, which not only made it very easy for my friend and I to chat as we crafted, but also to have free access to all the materials on offer. Many of the paper crafts suggested in the tutorial print-outs on the table revolved around paper-folding/origami and the use of paper punches. The time went quickly (far too quickly, especially as we arrived late!) and so I continued working on my little projects when I returned home.


Included in the 40 SEK cost (approximately 6 USD) was unlimited use of paper (origami/wrapping/card/old book pages), glitter, string, glue, beads, activity instruction sheets, etc., plus the usage of all paper punches/other tools… and cookies and drinks! Not bad, huh? As the night ended up being so quiet, in appreciation of the fact that my friend and I had braved the weather, we were charged only 20 SEK and were allowed to take home extra supplies to continue our work. A true bargain… and a great night to boot! Thus I feel it is still a blog-worthy event, despite being rather “old news”. 😉

My friend, J, crafting with pages from a colourful Dr. Seuss book

My friend, J, crafting with pages from a colourful Dr. Seuss book

L getting in on the act by hanging the very first decoration on our tree; a lovely snowflake that he made at nursery school

L getting in on the DIY act, hanging the very first decoration on our tree; a lovely snowflake that he made at nursery school


Searching around online, I came across this tutorial with very clear pictorial instructions for how to create the same sweet and simple paper wreaths that I made for our tree. Mine were constructed from old book pages, wrapping paper scraps and origami paper.



This lovely design is deceptively fiddly to put together, so although these were not the exact same instructions I used on the night, I am happy to share this very clear tutorial for the same design that I found at with you! I made the decoration below using old book pages.



Essentially I made these using a variety of papers and paper punches; large scalloped, small snowflake, heart, angel and text (“God Jul”, meaning “Merry Christmas” in Swedish). I highlighted certain elements of the tags with translucent or silver glitter. This really was a great way to use up little paper scraps to create something colourful, personal and whimsical with which to adorn Christmas gifts (this year we wrapped our presents in red paper with white polka dots, tied with red and white gingham print ribbon).



33 thoughts on “CHRISTMAS CRAFTING WITH PAPER SCRAPS & OLD BOOK PAGES (upcycling vs recycling!)

  1. So pretty! You could make decorations for any occasion really by changing colors. Paper mobiles with hanging folded paper shapes would be beautiful. Thank you for the link to the tutorial!

    • Thank you… and you’re welcome 🙂 Yes, very true… it would be so easy to apply a festive motif to these designs for any special occasion! Might have to bear that in mind with Valentine’s Day looming 😉

  2. I already make my own retro gift tags and am very thrifty in my recycling for the decoration of my presents. However mine are very retro and 80s! Nothing wrong with that however this is very inspiring and full of good ideas. Love it alot and will have a go at some of these things!

  3. I love Christmas and you can never start too early. You reminded me of the famous quote in A Christmas Carol:

    “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”
    ― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

  4. Very special craft projects. I don’t know if our library had a similar craft evening but when I was in the library just before Christmas I noticed that the library desks were decorated with mini Christmas trees made from old book pages.

  5. Wish I’d seen this before Christmas! I work at a library and have the opportunity to take home old, unwanted books all the time. I have a few kicking around at home that I wanted to do *something* with, but just haven’t figured out what that something is quite yet. As one commenter said, these would also make great mobiles (…and perhaps that’s what I’ll be doing with mine…). Thanks for a great post!

    • I wish I’d had a chance to post it before Christmas, Coco! A shame but there was just so much going on and this post just kept getting away from me. I hope you are able to find some fabulous uses for those books you have access to. Enjoy your crafting 🙂 And thank you! x

  6. Never too early for next Christmas. And calling yourself a newbie crafter does not fit on this blog. You definitely look as though you have been mastering the arts forever! Loving the origami 🙂

    • You are too sweet 🙂 I really think I am a newbie… this blog has been running in conjunction with my little experiments around the home 🙂 And you are right… never to early to prepare for Christmas 😉 x

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