How to Create a Book Planter




Do you know a book worm with a fondness for greenery? This could be the answer to your next gift. The idea came to me when I was looking for a book planter. The online options were made of plaster and not realistic. Plus, the person receiving it will appreciate it more if its made from you. You can use a few simple tools and it only takes a few days.


1. 2-3 books depending on how deep you want it

2. White glue

3. Polyurethane sealer

4. Silacone


1. Razor Blade

2. Masking Tape

3. Pen/Pencil/Sharpie

4. Drill

5. Paint Brush

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Step 1: Find Some Books

Now choosing the books should be easy. Find out what books your favorite person enjoys. I suggest starting off at a second hand store like goodwill. Occasionally, book stores will have sales and discounted books. Whatever you choose, it doesn't have to be costly. You may also want to consider choosing books that have a complementary color scheme, size, shape, texture, and content. None of those are necessary but it may make the difference.

Step 2: Hollow Out the Book

This part of the process can be tedious. I taped of the edges of the book with masking tape to serve as a guide while cutting. It also helped me to tape the book close so that it didn't shift while trying to cut pages which results in crooked cuts. Although the tape helps the cuts will be crooked anyways because it near impossible to cut this many pages and keep it straight. Good thing is that you will be filling it with dirt and the cuts will be hidden, so don't stress to much on the perfect cut. I cut through the pages with a razor blade. It might be easier with a scroll saw to speed this process up. The books are tougher than they appear. Completely hollow two out of the three books and leave the third intact for now.

Step 3: Form a Drain

The drain will prevent the water from pooling at the bottom. I also added a piece of cloth for a wick. This will allow the dirt to utilize the water when it gets dry. You will only remove a quarter of the pages from the third book. Drill three holes in the cover of the book to let the water pass through. My drain was initially going to be removable so that the user could get rid of excess water but became more difficult. If you have the time it might be fun to experiment with that idea.

Step 4: Glue and Seal

This portion may be the most important in order to keep the water inside the planter and to prevent the paper from rotting. The covers don't need the glue because the polyurethane will seal the outside of the entire planter. Cover the pages of the book with white glue using a paint brush inside and out. This does two things seals and unifies the pages. Using multiply layers helps insure they are going to be waterproof. Next, use the silicone to combine the books together. Once everything is dry, cover the entire planter with the polyurethane spray. Make sure to get every possible surface that will be in contact with water. Again, layers and layers will help keep sealed from water.

Step 5: Fill and Plant

Now it's time to put this planter to use! I choose succulents because they are easy and that's what she wanted. Find some potting soil, choose some plants, and enjoy.

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    9 Discussions


    1 year ago

    But why those books?!?! Although it does look nice with the colorful covers.


    2 years ago

    Nice idea! Although you may have to swap out the cactus as it has different watering requirements to the succulents. Or go for all cacti. Once you start, you might not be able to stop though...I have 60 odd cacti and succulents now! It doesn't help living near to the largest cactus nursery in the UK I can tell you!

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Appreciate the info. I do have a full bag of soil to use. So definitely more to come.


    Reply 2 years ago

    Harry Potter fans could magically repair them. Don't fret


    2 years ago

    Creative and all-natural! :) I LOVE IT. Lots of book stores throw away books - I know, what a waste. They rip off the covers so you can't bring it back and return it..if you find it in the dumpster...those books might be good for making planters out of.

    1 reply