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TxLA: Recycling Books!

Do you have too many books that no one wants? Is your ‚ÄòFriends of the Library’ bookshop overflowing. Consider promoting some book art. Julie Ousley gave the ‚ÄòRags to Riches: Recycling Books for Fun, Fashion, and Furniture’. Pinterest is a great idea for book art ideas. If you have access to artists consider sculpture of book in the vein of Brian Dettmer.

These may be beyond many of our abilities, but Julia showed us many ways we can recycle our books into creative and useful ways.

Altered Books!
Channel your inner artist and paint, stamp, cover, etc. the pages of a book in interesting ways. There are many books available to start you on the process.

Use a band saw to alter the shape of a book. These can be used as is in the shape – cut out letters to make library signage!!! Or cut out interesting shapes in the book and then decorate the inner bits, i.e. cut a teapot shaped book and turn it into a recipe book. Just don’t forget to leave the spine and look for bilateral symmetry. Those make nice images when opened up.

Alter books in layers like artist Mark Bernal. These books are cut into layers with a cutout in the cover showing the layers of various images.

Use clock workings and turn books into clocks!

Make a Book Safe similar to what you can see on bookboxcompany.com
Cut out your shape and glue together at the cut edge using watered down wood glue.

Make Christmas Ornaments – cut out symmetrical shape from a paperback and bring back to front and glue. ~150pages Suggested shapes: snowman, ‚Äòchristmas tree shape’, apple shape

Bird houses – decoupage paper on purchased houses. Use the cover as roof.

Lamps- drill holes through books and thread a rod through the books and wire up as lamp.

Shelving – Take the “stuffings” out of four books. On the end two books leave just a strip of the book pages. Cut a piece of wood the size to fit the length of books and width of the spine of books. Glue the board inside the book covers with gorilla glue and clamp it in. Make two triangles supports like above and attach to the shelf.

Create a coat rack using a base board to attach books to. Then attach coat hooks to the books. Or make a single hook on a single book.

There are a lot of examples on the internet showing how to make paper flowers. See my example in the picture. The easiest method is to cut 10 4” circles. Staple them in the center and scrunch them up into a was by layer. Unscrunch the layers to make a flower. 20150415_170219-1_resizedThis is especially pretty if your circles have scalloped edges. You can tint/color the paper before or after making them. These make great accessories for headbands, hats, pins, etc. I you make a lot of these, they can be used to make a bouquet of flowers or to decorate a wreath.

Use parts of books to make jewelry – Make earrings using book pages wrapped with wire. Create a bowtie out of paper. Bracelets, necklaces… the options are limitless.

Decopague shoes with paper and mod podge!!!! It should be clear at this point what shoes you will see me wear at the next library conference.

See Julie’s pinterest page for lots more ideas: https://www.pinterest.com/mcjulieo/book-crafts/

Read more by Joy Nelson

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