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DIY Bookish Gifts for Your Friends

The saying goes that Christmastime is the best time of the year… but it can also be one of the most expensive. I’m a girl who loves a good DIY project and the fact that I can customize the gift to my friend’s specific liking. My sister was thrilled last year when I made her a wreath for her first apartment as part of her gift. When she hung it on her door, she texted me a picture of it. When she later moved to a new apartment, I received another text from her showing me that she was still enjoying it in her new place.

It felt so, so great to know that my sister loved the gift I spent a few hours making for her. It was a way we stayed connected and it helped me (much to my husband’s surprise excitement) stay on budget.

I’ve pulled a few DIY bookish gifts you could make and gift your friends. If you’ve seen something that you love (and maybe have pinned on pinterest), please share the link below!

*Please note — all images taken of the projects are borrowed from the sites linked with the instructions below.

DIY Bookish Projects

01. Decorative Wreath Made Out of Book Pages — I need this in my life. I think I would flip a lid if someone gifted me with this. Lindsay, the blogger who posted this wreath tutorial, spent $2 making this wreath compared to the $40-50 she saw it being sold for. Ah-mazing! 

02. Vintage Book DIY Garland – I’m pretty sure I should make my Christmas tree book-themed next year. This would be spectacular. I love this garland because it could really be left out all year. I would love to have it draped over my bookshelves in my living room.

03. DIY Telephone Bookends — I don’t know about you guys, but bookends can sometimes be a little underwhelming. Finding an item your book-loving friend loves and turning it into a bookend is a fantastic idea. Love the vintage feel of these telephones. And the fact that I just said vintage and remember using them growing up makes me feel super old.

04. Yarn Ball (Pom) Bookmarks — Ok, so I always, always lose bookmarks. Always. If I received a bundle of these, I’d be a happy girl. A skein of yarn is a few dollars and will make tons and tons of these guys. I want some of these just to be cute and decorative in my books on the shelves.

gift ideas for book lovers

05. DIY Kindle or Nook Cover – Every e-reader owner I know (myself & E included) is always on the lookout for an adorable cover. It’s hard to find one that’s not overly priced and super chunky. Why not make one for your friend? You could have a field day with fun fabrics. I know if a friend made one for me, I’d be over the moon. That’s thoughtful, friends.

06. DIY Pillow with Stenciled Quote – I don’t think this project was originally suggested as a bookish project, but if you knew a quote from one of your friend’s favorite books, you could easily stencil it on burlap and whip together a custom pillow for him or her.

custom note cards and DIY magnet board with scrabble letters

07. Custom Watercolor Note Cards – This photograph is for cards that say “Will You Be My Bridesmaid?” BUT I think they’d make awesome custom cards for a friend. Make a series of cards from one book or a set of random favorite quotes – any way you do it, this is awesome!

08. DIY Magnet Board with Scrabble Piece Letters – Is anyone else super obsessed with scrabble letters? This project seems so simple and so impactful. What a fun way to incorporate book pages and make it a useful gift too!

December 21, 2012 - 4:13 pm

loving >> week 56 | Ciao Bella! - […] Today’s holiday bloggers are Estelle and Magen at Rather Be Reading! They’ve rounded up some bookish DIY projects for any last-minute presents you need. Checked […]

December 19, 2012 - 7:16 am

Lori - My goodness! I want to make all of these…or just receive as gifts. ;)

December 18, 2012 - 10:21 am

starryeyedjen - Oh my gosh, I love this post! So many great ideas. I might have to send it to my siblings. :P Or I guess I could make this stuff for myself since I’m really the only bookish person in my family. :)

December 18, 2012 - 2:24 am

VeganYANerds - These are such lovely ideas, Magan! I really like the e-reader cover one, I see them being sold on Etsy and always wonder if I could make one myself, now I might!

December 17, 2012 - 8:34 pm

Sara (of the Page Sage) - Thanks so much for this post! I’ll definitely be using one of more of these ideas for presents!

December 17, 2012 - 7:42 pm

Kelly - If only I were crafty…

I’m awful, because I want to make all of these things for myself!

Great ideas Magan!

December 17, 2012 - 7:02 pm

Jess - I want/need that wreath, garland and bookends. What great DIY gift ideas. I’m going to be sure to pin the sources!

December 17, 2012 - 6:58 pm

Leela - Oooh, I ‘ve fallen in love with these creations. I think I’m going to make yarn ball bookmarks, My books will look lovely with the bookmarks.

Thanks a lot for sharing this great ideas :)

December 17, 2012 - 12:00 pm

Stormy - I love the book wreath, but I don’t know if I can handle tearing a book up to make one. In theory, I have nothing against the idea, but I’ve learned that maybe book crafts are not to me. I once got a free book at a used book sale for the sole purpose of crafting with it, but every time I try, I just can’t. Maybe the book wreath will be the craft I finally want to try enough that will force me to take some scissors to that book.

December 17, 2012 - 11:10 am

Brie @ Eat Books - Ohh, I LOVE the scrabble magnet board! Making it a framed photo would be a great gift too!

December 17, 2012 - 10:18 am

elena - I am not a particularly crafty person but these are SO QT.

December 17, 2012 - 9:18 am

Cynthia - Love all of these! I’m definitely going to try the bookish wreath, I always wanted one of those! =)

December 17, 2012 - 8:36 am

Ginger @ GReads! - The magnet board & book ends are such a cute idea!! Thanks for sharing all of these :)

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