Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Showing posts with label book wall art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book wall art. Show all posts

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! 

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:



Upcycle: Book folding - Free patterns

In defense of making art from old books:

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 I revere authors.  

However, there are mountains of old books out there that will never be read again. Never. It's a truth. Ask your local library about the life-cycle of its books - do not be surprised if you're told that many are, ultimately, sent to a landfill. Why? Because after trying to sell them and/or donate them, only a percentage can be recycled. Why? Because those that are bound in hard covers (especially fabric ones) cannot be recycled. There are also issues with antique binding methods (the glue, the thread etc). Yup. Books end up as garbage.


Besides the waste issue, I also want to point out that vintage or antique status doesn't exonerate poorly written, poorly researched, offensive, racist, sexist, outdated material. It's still unreadable and/or cringeworthy pulp that reflects a world none of us want to go back to. But now it's pulp on beautifully yellowed paper wrapped in a lovely hardback cover (that cannot be recycled). 

How great then that we can still celebrate the artifact that is "the book". With information so 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.  

Finally, I point you to Guy Laramee's Carved Book Landscapes and ask: do we toss mountains of completely useless encyclopedias into landfills or turn them into art? I say ART. 

Rant over. Let's make some art! 

There once was a magazine called Budget Living that folded pretty quickly (ha!). 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 but I definitely inspired by the Budget Living feature. 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. See below for links to actual instructions for folds, which you could then group on a wall like this. How to hang them? Click here


Find more step-by-step instructions for simple folds at:



Frugal Upstate 



Sutherland Shire Libraries (Video Tutorial using a paperback)




Homeroad (folded book organizer)



Creative Tryals (book trees)




Pandora's Craftbox




Instructables (folding a heart)



Inverted heart video 



A Whimsy Willow (some great basic folds)



A couple of great sculpting videos by Johwey Redington and another here.




Book hedgehog video 



Kid-friendly magazine hearts! 

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 on a wall? Click here for my suggestion.