Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Upcycle: Book folding - Free patterns

I love books. I am a "reader" in every sense of the word - I devoured them as child, I have a PhD in linguistics, I was a reading teacher for 7 years, I'm a full-time copywriter, I have a kid's book "in the works"... and so on.  

However, there are mountains of old books out there that will never be read again. Never. It's a truth, no matter how bookish you think you are. Apartment Therapy (Green Living) recently posed the question: Yes or No? DIY projects made from vintage books. Their writer made it quite clear that s/he often found these projects "cringe-worthy". I object heartily, to the sentiment and his/her emotional bias. No book-crafter worth her salt is destroying valuable books willy-nilly. Age doesn't turn a poorly written (poorly researched, offensive, out-dated etc etc) book into a masterpiece - it's still pulp, just old pulp on yellowed paper wrapped in a lovely hardback cover. 

How great then that we can celebrate it... celebrate the artifact that is "the book". Information is now easily accessible in other forms. I think books are coming to be valued for something else ... for their form, for what they represent. They have a life of their own.  

So, I point you to yet another AT (GL) writer who dedicated a post to Guy Laramee's Carved Book Landscapes. Do we toss mountains of completely useless encyclopedias into landfills or turn them into art? I say ART.

There once was a magazine called Budget Living that folded pretty quickly (!). I loved it and ripped out many many pages of great ideas.  

Decorating with books in unusual ways was one of those ideas. Their book folding project was inspired by the art of Mary Bennett:

Thanks to Budget Living, I've made quite a few "book folds" for myself - they decorate a wall in my home (pictured below). For the original BL instructions, follow this link

Note: I cut up an old calendar featuring "maps of the old world" and glued them into the covers of the top two. The book at the bottom already featured graphics on the inside covers.

The kind of folding I've done is simple - no real pattern required. If you'd like to start easy, see my tutorial using an old kid's book. I also have a full tutorial for a hanging book fold.

This pretty display is care of BHG. Please note that they have NO instructions attached to their idea, nor do they credit anyone for this idea (it's "theirs"). I'm only including it here because I really like the grouping.

Find more step-by-step instructions for simple folds at:
Frugal Upstate 
Sutherland Shire Libraries (new Video Tutorial using a paperback)
Homeroad (folded book organizer)
Creative Tryals (book trees)
Pandora's Craftbox
Instructables (folding a heart)
A Whimsy Willow (some great basic folds)
Book sculpture video
Book hedgehog video 

If you want to try your hand at something more complex, clever and ornate take a look at the amazing patterns offered free by Rhymes With Magic:  

And how do you hang your masterpiece? Click here for my suggestion.