Design your own book cover of your bibliophile’s favorite book.
For a while, Penguin had a series of out-of-copyright books that had blank covers so that people could design their own covers, which was a brilliant idea! Unfortunately, the series is no longer in print, but that does not mean that you can’t give your favorite bibliophile a book with a custom cover. Pick your bibliophile’s favorite out-of-copyright book (a good resource is Project Gutenberg) and then design your own cover for it. If you know a bit about bookbinding, you could print the book and bind it yourself, but there are many self-publishing venues such as CreateSpace or Lulu through which you could also publish your gift.
Create a mini version of your bibliophile’s favorite book.
Why is it that mini versions of things are so adorable? If you can find the text for an out-of-copyright book that your favorite bibliophile loves, then printing it and folding it as a mini version can be a lot of fun. This is easiest to do for very short books (such as picture book length) where you can print sixteen mini pages per one A4 or letter size page (click this link to learn more about printing and folding). You can give the mini book to your favorite bibliophile as is or you could tie a string to it, making the mini book a Christmas tree ornament!
The key to making homemade bookmarks that don’t look cheap or homemade is to be creative. Go beyond printing words or images on cardstock and think outside the box. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Think different format. Instead of doing a traditional long, rectangular bookmark, create corner bookmarks, perhaps bookmarks look like monsters or animals who are eating the pages.
Think texture. Utilize fabric, ribbon, tassels, beads, bows, and other textual elements to make your bookmark unique.
Think personalized. The best bookmarks are ones that speak to your friend specifically. Utilize quotes from your bibliophile’s favorite book or shapes, designs, and references from things they love. For example, if your bibliophile is fascinated with Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster, maybe you create a Nessie bookmark!
Make book page roses.
What book lover wouldn’t appreciate a bouquet of roses made from book pages? Visit your local thrift store to purchase some old books from which you feel comfortable tearing pages. With scissors and a little bit of glue from a hot glue gun, you can create some beautiful paper roses. The flowers pictured here were made from sheets of music, but book pages would be made in a similar way. You can see a great tutorial on book page roses here.
Devise a hollowed-out book.
If you want to help your favorite bibliophile fulfill his or her lifelong dream to feel like a spy (let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to feel like a spy?), then you can do so by creating a hollowed-out book. Use hot glue to glue two books together, one on top of the other, and then open the front cover and use a sharp knife to cut out a large hole in the middle of the two books. For fun, you might consider stashing a small water gun in the hole before shutting the cover, wrapping it, and surprising your favorite bibliophile.