How To Make Postcards From Vintage Book Covers

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

This idea for repurposing the covers of vintage pulp novels (or any beautiful paperback book covers) comes from Jason Thompson of Rag & Bone Bindery. He kindly shared the project, which can be found in his new book, Playing With Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book, coming this spring and sure to provide tons of inspiration for using the pages you have left over after making your postcards.

Jason says: The idea for this project comes from a set of postcards I sent to a Swedish friend more than a decade ago. I mailed him a handmade postcard made from the paperback cover torn from a copy of Ian Fleming’s Moonraker. He mailed back a postcard right away written on the back of Ian Fleming’s Thunderball, and a tradition was created.

What You Need

Paperback book covers

Utility blade (optional)
Corner cutter (optional)


1. Most paperback covers will tear away easily from the book pages. Covers that are old or firmly adhered might require the use of a craft or utility knife.

2. Once the cover is removed, clean away any glue residue.

3. Use a corner cutter to create clean, rounded corners.

4. The printed side of these science fiction postcards was designed on a computer and printed using a desktop printer.

Additional Notes: Follow postal regulations when mailing paperback postcards — they might require additional postage or hand stamping by a postal worker to enter the postal system. Be clever and choose a paperback title appropriate to the location and circumstances from where and when it will be sent.

This project was excerpted with permission from Playing With Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book by Jason Thompson. It will be published in the spring, but is available for pre-order on Amazon now. Visit the Rag & Bone website and blog for more information and updates.

Want more smart tutorials for getting things done around the home?

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

We’re looking for great examples of your own household intelligence too!

(Images: 1-3: Karen Philippi, Pawtucket, Rhode Island; 4: Jason Thompson)

We support our readers with carefully chosen product recommendations to improve life at home. You support us through our independently chosen links, many of which earn us a commission.