Create A Bookshelf For Your Mini Books With An Old Book

There are many ways in which you can alter old books. You can take a book (old, new, recycled or multiple) and cut it, tear it, glue it, fold it, paint it, rebind it, create pop-ups… You can add pockets and niches to hold other items. Or, like Crew Member, Lena Holmstrom, you can turn it into a shelf to hold your mini-books. How to make mini-books you ask? Well, Lena can show you that, too, but today we are going to show you how to alter your book into a bookshelf with handmade mini-books.  Now the word mini books is used quite often to define a smaller size book that is altered, decorated or crafted.  We have to say these books are teeny-tiny, itty bitty books, no more than about 1.5 inches each.  So finding a nice size book for your mini bookcase is a good idea.  

‘I love old books and mini albums so I made a bookshelf for my 25 mini albums and each one is unique and fun to look through, each mini album has 34 pages.  This bookshelf is a great way to display them and I can easily take a peak inside any of them.’ – Lena.

Materials used:
7gypsies Mixed media pages: Ordre Du Jour
7gypsies Gypsy moments paper pad (8×8)
Kaiser Craft upper metal corner

Black gesso
Viva Rusty Patina
2 x Old books ( 8 x 11 inch)
Everything else is from my scrap box.

Craft knife
Hot glue gun


Making mini-books is so fun.  Here is the blog post we did on Lena’s mini books, so you may want to start your collection first and then build your bookcase or you might want to make it and begin to fill it up one at a time.  Just make sure the openings are large enough to hold your little books, so making one of them first is a great idea just to be sure they fit.

The intended album size is 1.5 inch x 1.5 inch out of a variety of papers, cut rectangles 1.5 x 3 inch size. You can use your scrap paper for this – we all have pieces of ‘I-might-need-them’ scraps lying about – now it’s their time to shine! Fold each rectangle in half and punch a hole in the centre on the folded edge. These are your book pages.
For the covers, cut out rectangles size 1.5×3.5inch and score at 1.5 and 2inch. punch holes on the scored ends so that you can draw a string through and hold all the pages in place. 
To assemble, put as many pages as you can fit in between the covers, draw the string through the holes and tie at the back. You can make as many books as you wish. As titles, use words from the 7g Gypsy Moments Express Yourself paper.


For the ‘bookshelf’ you need two of the same size books (remove their front cover):

Measure and draw the outlines of the intended ‘shelves’ – remember that your books are 1.5 x 1.5 inch so each shelf needs to be approx. 1.6 inch tall.

Using a craft knife, cut out the shelves through the pages of the book.  It is ok for them to be a little rugged, that makes it fun.  

Paint the front with black gesso or black acrylic paint – once dry, it will also work as a binding agent and minimise the pages layering off. Finish by adding Viva Rusty patina and some metal pieces from your scrapbox.

Before the final assembly, put the books next to each other with the spines facing out. To reinforce the structure, screw on one of the spare covers in the middle of the back, joining both books together. This will make your ‘bookshelf’ very sturdy and ready for moving about.

Using screws, attach the hinges in the centre of the book – that way you will stop the pages from ‘opening’ and keep them in place. You can also screw other embellishments on to make the bond stronger.

Slip in one or all your mini books and show off your collection.  Just a thought, make a book after each project that reminds you of the project, jot a note down, maybe who you gave it to, what inspired you to create it, etc.  This is such a powerful piece of art and a true way to store your memories.  

For more inspiration from Lena, visit her blog and Instagram.

Happy crafting!


Canvas Corp Brands is the home of Tattered Angels, 7Gypsies and Canvas Corp (Canvas Home Basics). We are a manufacturer of surfaces, paint and vintage reproductions coming to you from Springdale, Arkansas.

'Create A Bookshelf For Your Mini Books With An Old Book' have 5 comments

  1. February 20, 2017 @ 3:20 pm Cathy

    So I’m confused – are the pages not separating because of the metal corners holding them all together or did you glue them together? Are the 2 books held together by the metal pieces or are they also glued together? The instructions aren’t very clear. But it is very cool & definitely my style!


    • February 21, 2017 @ 8:58 am Ewelina Gryglak

      Cathy, We are so happy that you like the project! Isn’t it amazing?! We have added a little bit more information on how to reinforce the back of the ‘bookshelf’ and stop the pages from separating. Hope it makes the process clearer. Thank you for your feedback. Happy crafting!


      • February 21, 2017 @ 1:16 pm Cathy

        Thank you – it’s much clearer now!


  2. February 20, 2017 @ 6:40 pm Kathy Adams

    WOW! That is an amazing project! And those little mini-books are so cute!!


  3. February 21, 2017 @ 10:41 am iris

    This is a wonderful and unique project. I have sculptured/cut up books to make art and can appreciate the work that goes into it. Great job.


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This blog is a compilation of inspiration from the Canvas Corp Brands family including Canvas Corp, Tattered Angels and 7Gypsies.