How To Make an Easy Book Tree

Create a tree with stacked books.

It’s time for another Thrifty Chicks Challenge! My group of talented friends and I challenged ourselves to create something with books this month and I can’t wait to see what everyone came up with! I’ll share the links to their projects at the end of this post.


Since we’re a couple weeks shy of Christmas, I’ve been in the “tree” mood, so I decided to create a Christmas tree out of books. Of course we’re all busy with last minute preparations, so I made sure this was an easy project. I think these Book Trees will actually look pretty cute throughout the winter months, since they turned out to be a cross between a birdhouse and a Christmas tree. See what you think…

Start with a 3′ thick, fairly straight birch log (preferably with some awesome lichen attached;) Or use whatever wood log you can find laying around, but more texture is definitely better. Our logs were cut at 5″ and 7″ in length.

Next cut one end at 45 degrees on either side, leaving a small flat spot in the middle.

Drill a 5/16″ hole 2-3″ deep.

Cut a 5/16″ wooden dowel to fit into hole. We cut ours at 7″ and 9″ lengths.


Birch log

Birch log

Next, drill a 5/16″ hole in 3 or 5 old Reader’s Digest books, or whatever books you want to use for the tree (Sorry book lovers, I know this is painful for you). I love decorating with these patterned books, {see “Decorating With Books 101 and Beyond”} but I never show the binding end, so I won’t glue these in. I’ll easily be able to take this tree apart and use these books to stack around my house wherever, showing the pages side.

Reader's Digest book

Start stringing your books onto the dowel. Three Reader’s Digest books fit nicely on the shorter length log and 5 on the taller log.

Book Tree creating

Book Tree

Color coordinate your books to be appealing. I grouped the blue/aquas together and the greens, planning out which patterns looked good next to each other, and also which book I wanted on top.

You should have a 1″ dowel left at the top after stacking the books 1/2 way open. Hot glue some type of star at the top. I still had my vintage tart molds out from my last project {“How To Create Vintage Tart Mold Wall Art”} and liked the addition of some sparkle. I hot glued the mold upside down to the dowel and added a metallic bell to the top also. A couple extra pine branches hid the little extra length of dowel I didn’t want to see.

Book Tree

Book Trees

I created 2 shorter trees with 3 books and one taller tree with 5 books.

Book Trees

They kind of look like birdhouses, don’t you think? I think they look like they should be in the front window of an Anthropologie store with fake snow all around and woodland animals gathering.

So I worked them into my kitchen cupboard display and created a whole winter woodland scene around them.

Book trees

Book trees

Book trees

These easy Book Trees became more winter friendly than just Christmas-y. But they could completely change styles and seasons, depending on the color books you use and what you top them off with.

Hopefully you’re inspired to create your own version!

Book Trees Pin

Now let’s see what my friends came up with for their book-themed projects!

Here’s their befores:

Thrifty Chicks Junkovers project

  1. Debra from Shoppe No. 5, “How To Create A Holiday Vase by Recycling A Bottle”
  2. Diana from Adirondack Girl @ Heart, “Vintage Christmas Card Artwork + Free Printable”
  3. Me;)
  4. Tania from Little Vintage Cottage, “DIY Secret Book Safe”  
  5. Tuula from Thrifty Rebel Vintage, “Book Wreath Made of Vintage Mini Books”

Sharing at these lovely parties:

Wow Us Wednesdays

To Grandma’s House We Go

Talk of the Town

Farmhouse Friday

Remodelaholics Friday Favorites

DIY Salvaged Junk Projects

14 thoughts on “How To Make an Easy Book Tree

  1. I absolutely love your book trees Lora! So fun! I made a version years ago by just stacking books of different sizes on top of each other from big to wee, but I like yours so much better. Very cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think Reader’s Digest books are the ONLY ones I don’t mind cutting up! The old ones have such marvelous end papers, too! Our doll house club used to gut them to make boxes (cardboard or better yet, foamcore sides and made scenes with miniatures! I love how you “styled” the scene with the greenery and raccoon! It’ll be good till February!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kathy, I love all the varieties of papers on these old RD books & seems like there’s always ones I haven’t seen! And yes, the woodland styling of the book trees spread to my whole kitchen, which you can see next week when I share my house tour! Thanks!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s