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How to turn paperback books into cheap, chic Christmas trees

Posted by Melissa Massello  December 18, 2013 10:38 AM

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DIY_paperback_christmas_trees.jpgPhotos: Melissa Massello/Shoestring

As more and more Americans turn to Nooks and Kindles and iPads to read their favorite novels, paperbacks are turning into little more than craft paper — to the tune of tens of millions of books donated to Goodwill each year, much to the delight of resourceful holiday makers.

A few Christmases back, some DIY-inclined friends and I got together at the suburban Boston home of local blogger, stylist & real estate agent Thais Collins to learn how to turn those paperbacks (yes, even my beloved Sweet Valley Highs) into cheap and chic Christmas trees.


After removing the covers and splitting the paperbacks down the spines, we got to folding — each half in the opposite direction to create a fan. An hour of folding (and gabbing) later, we glued the two halves together using a glue gun, let them set, and then took them outside for a bath in a little spray paint, some spray tack, and glitter.


Gold pipe cleaners were folded into stars to create the toppers and placed into the tree top (in the hole created where the two halves of the book met). Voila! Easy, eco-friendly centerpieces or mantle decor that you don't have to be a literary geek to love.


Find step-by-step instructions and more decorating inspiration over in the piece Killing Books in the Name of Christmas on

Head over to the Goodwill Outlet in the South End (1010 Harrison Ave, Boston) to pick up paperback book craft supplies at 3/$1.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the Authors

Melissa Massello is a newspaper journalist turned startup junkie and lifelong Bostonian who prides herself on her do-it-yourself attitude. From making her prom dress out More »
Tara Bellucci is a Boston-based writer that lives for fonts, food, and flea market finds. Whether decorating jars of her homemade jam for The Boston More »

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