A succulent read

What to do with a tattered, old book that you just keep for the most sentimental of reasons? Transform it into an unusual plant pot that can double as an objet d’art for your desk or coffee table. The unexpected marriage of a succulent plant and old book pages makes for a good conversation piece.


Hardbound book (must be at least 2 inches thick)

Elmer’s glue

Cutter or X-ACTO knife


Small succulent plant

Garden soil

Small plastic bag


Choose a thick book with a beautifully bordered title page or frontispiece, like an old dictionary or map book.

Echeveria, kalanchoe, and jade plants are good plant specimens for this project.


1. Apply Elmer’s glue to the three sides of the book and let dry. This will seal the pages together, making it easy to cut out a hole through the pages.

2. Determine the size of the succulent plant you want to use. With a pencil and a ruler, draw a square on the first page of the book according to the size of the plant. Add half an inch allowance in depth to allow for root growth.

3. With a cutter or X-ACTO knife, carefully cut the square drawn on the book. Repeat this step until you have a hole deep enough for your succulent.

4. Line this hole with a plastic bag . Cut any excess plastic with scissors.

5. Place garden soil inside the plastic-lined hole. Then transfer your succulent into the book. Add pebbles to keep the soil from spilling.

Position your plant near a window with sunlight.

Place your book planter on top of a stack of other books to highlight your plant.

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