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Upcycled Tea Box Made from an old book and an antique knob latch

Last week, I visited Buffalo Reuse for the first time. No, I’m not involved in any reconstruction projects so I puttered around taking it all in. I did have in the back of my mind that I wanted to make another tea box. So, I picked up a couple non-functioning, antique knob latches. I only needed one but for $1/ea. I had to get a second one.

I made a tea box awhile back from a wooden box I garbage picked. I added some fabric and a knob to the top and used foam core to make dividers on the inside.

Since I didn’t have another, perfect box I was thinking of using a shoe box, but that would be flimsy paired with the substantial antique latch knob.

So I went on Google images, a great source of inspiration for me, and searched tea boxes. Most were boring, until several pages in, I saw a fancy tea box that looked like a book. My idea was complete.

Here’s how to make a tea box from an upcycled book:


Canvas or Leather bound book
X-Acto Knife
Elmer’s Glue
Rubber Spatula
Bolts to attach Knob
Nuts or Krazy Glue to Secure Bolts
Step 1: Glue page ends
Mix Elmer’s glue with a small amount of water and apply generously to the page edges with the book closed. Use a rubber spatula to apply.Wrap a rubber band around the pages and back cover to keep them in place while the glue dries.
Step 2: Attach your knob.

Mark the holes using your hardware as the template.
Drilling tip: put a scrap piece of wood underneath so that you get a clean hole all the way through your book cover.
Step 3: Secure your bolts.
I’m using tiny bolts that I Krazy glued in place, that way I didn’t need to cut a recess into the book pages for the nuts to rest.
I also took a blank page from the book and Elmer’s glued it over the ugly bolt ends on the inside cover.
Step 4: Measure and cut.
I took a nod from The Shawshank Redemption and cut recesses into the book pages to house my tea bags: a hole for regular and a hole for decaf. Use a wrapped tea bag as a template for the holes you’re going to cut into the book pages. You want to leave a little extra space around the tea bag so they fit comfortably. Be prepared to go through a blade or two!
Eve of Reduction: Free Seasonal E-Newsletter; Extra tips and wit on Facebook; Reduction Beauty on Pinterest ; The debut DIY lifestyle book (includes 10 upcycling tutorials); and the guide to creative streams of income ebook (only $2.99).

Eve of Reduction: Free Seasonal E-Newsletter, Extra tips and wit on Facebook, Reduction Beauty on Pinterest 

I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

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