Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Showing posts with label book decor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book decor. Show all posts

Upcycle: Book Clocks


Once upon a time ... a friend and I ran a little business called Rebooked. It involved a LOT of work for very little return, but we were unemployed... we had nothing but time. And we learned a lot about upcycling old books! So much, in fact, that I've enjoyed working with them ever since. When we set out to make book clocks (2004), there were no online tutorials to be found. So there was a lot of trial and error (and swearing) involved. The first ones were so much work, I still have one on the wall (above) as a reminder. Today, it's pretty easy to find really good instructions from lots of talented people. Keep reading for my instructions, and a list of my favorite tutorials

Repurpose: Bookish headboards, Anthro style




The Anthropologie store I frequent most is on Southport Ave (Chicago). By "most" I mean I get myself there once every six months, if I'm lucky. And even if their sale section doesn't deliver, some in-store display will make it worth my while. This wonderful version of a bookish headboard was on show a couple of weeks ago and even made my three-year-old stare. 

If you'd like to create some version of this for yourself, I have two older posts dedicated to a book headboard DIYs:  Here and here.  


Repurpose: Old book + Used packaging = Book Planter/Vase





The folk at Woman's Day tweaked my idea a lot, but here's the original (which I have to admit a like a lot more) and tutorial:

Image credit: Julia Brenner


I haven't refabbed a book in ages ... but on Friday a friend shared a link to this designer "book shaped flower pot" and wondered if she could make it herself. I said... um, yes! Then I scoured my office for materials and here's how it went  :)




I obviously wanted to make this entirely upcycled. This meant a book otherwise destined for a landfill. And an internal container that is somehow "post consumer".  I quickly found the dated reference book on the "donate" pile in our office lunch room. Then I had to find a container of some sort that was either the width of the book or narrower. I almost gave up, then I found the rigid plastic rectangle you see pictured. It looks like technology packaging - I'm not sure, I found it at work (yes, I have a day job). So, here's what you need:

1. A large (used!) hardback book
2. Rigid plastic packaging (see below for the modification I had to make)
3. Mod Podge
4. A good craft knife

And what if you find a book that's a perfect size but you hate the title? You don't want to go to the trouble of making something like this if you don't want to display it in your home! Head to this wonderful post full of ideas (and tutorials) for covering old books.



Step 1:  Cut, cut, cut

Ideally, you'd use a plastic box that fit perfectly inside the book cover, like the designer version. However, without going out and buying something, this will be tricky to pull off. So my work around: Create a shelf inside the book to hold the much smaller container I found. I decided approx how low it could sit inside the book (about halfway down) and that's where I cut. If you've done anything like this before, then you know it takes a little time. And perfectly straight lines are hard to achieve. Happily, this is a really forgiving project. And the cutting took about 20 mins. I cut about halfway into the book then started ripping the pages out. After that, I tore them out as I cut.




Step 2:  Glue!

Apply glue/Mod Podge inside the covers. Then hold the book closed and pour in the Mod Podge. And I do mean pour. The stuff is miraculous, but only if you're generous. Rub it into the pages both inside and out. You're creating a seal that will hold the whole block together beautifully. So be a kid for a minute and get your hand dirty. Only one hand - you need the other to hold the book (or camera, if you're me!).




Step 3: Weight and wait...

Once you're happy with your smearing job, weight it all down with a few, umm, books. You see the Mod Podge drips? Immediately after a took this picture, I worked them into the pages.




Step 4: Detour... 

It dried in a couple of hours. And guess what? Without its pages and with all the compression, it was suddenly a narrower space than I'd allowed for. This meant that my nice plastic box no longer fit into the book. So I scoured my home and finally found an almost-dead bottle of body wash that fit the space perfectly. A bit smaller than I really wanted, but fine for the purposes of this tutorial!  I cut off the top and was close to done.




Step 5: Plant a little knowledge...

I love Devil's Ivy (Pothos) because I haven't been able to kill it. And because you can cut pieces off a plant, pop them in water and they live happily. No soil required. So I used a few pieces in my new vase/planter because the repurposed bottle is too small for "real" planting. And because I prefer things that grow over cut flowers.



And there it is! It stands beautifully, thanks to the weight of all the paper still in there. (The little wire spider is from South Africa)





If you object to the idea of cutting up books, give me a minute to change your mind ... read this!




Green Crafts Showcase









Repurpose: Bookish Valentine ...




I took pictures of books to share with you. I never do that! How incredibly novel of me ... :)  Have a happy day.

Repurpose: Bookish Friendsgiving...






When I arrived in the US ten years ago, I gratefully accepted a summer job as a reading instructor (and quickly learned to drive on the "wrong" side of the road, in order to do the job!). That summer position turned into a 7-year job, and the friends I made back then became my local family. We try to gather those friends over Thanksgiving weekend whenever possible - it's getting harder now that there are  small children in the mix! But "Friendsgiving" happens when it can. This year, I thought I'd make books/words a feature ... since a love of books, reading, writing and teaching are the things that brought us all together in the first place. It's also been a big year for ReFab Diaries, so I decided it was appropriate to feature a few things that have shown up on the blog throughout 2012. Tutorials ahead ...

Repurpose: Book-Cover Wallpapering ...


Book decor seems to be the theme of the week. Because I happily stumbled upon awesome things this week and I love it when that happens. If you've ever visited this blog to look for book-folding tutorials/patterns, then you've seen the work of Heather Eddy, otherwise known as Rhymes with Magic. A few months ago, she literally pinned her passion to her walls ... covering areas of her home in book covers. Go take a look! 

Repurpose: Book Headboard DIY


Today I am in awe of this. It's wonderful. It's doable. I want it. Full tutorial at Design Every Day.

Upcycle: Book Folding from Budget Living ...






Back in January I compiled a post on book folding and mentioned that my own attempts (pictured below) had been inspired by a long-ago issue of Budget Living Magazine. In June I was asked to please share the instructions from Budget Living. I couldn't find them. Of course. And then, the other day, there they were!  Folded (!) at the bottom of a box of old catalogs and things I've been storing. So I've done my best to share them ... and make them usable:



Repurpose: Book Page Vases ...



Hello lovely reader folk. You all know I love creating with old book pages etc. Inspired by some things I've seen recently, I wanted to take a stab at creating a simple, cheap-n-cheerful "paper bottle". Today I'm showing you the steps for my first attempt. There's another, slightly more complex version, on the way (see the pic below). Read on for the tutorial ...

Upcycle: Filling cabinet gets re-booked!


Ok - it's another filing-cabinet refab. But she did it with book pages!! And you know me and book pages. And it looks amazing ... right? Complete how-to at The Space Between