Reducing waste through upcycling, repurposing, refashioning and reloving.

Showing posts with label recycled books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label recycled books. Show all posts

DIY: Wearing knowledge ...


Once upon a time, I went on a virtual quest for book-page jewelry ... or book-paper beads.  I found some great tutorials and gathered them together in a story (post) called Wearable Words that has, to date, been viewed over 25,000 times. Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks it's cool to wear knowledge... !!  So here's wearable words, Part II - mostly not jewelry.  Another 14 ideas for making sure your thoughts are on your shoes / head / arm / nails etc.  (warning: bad puns and corny wordplay ahead...)


Upcycle: Book page pinwheels...



Love this.  Use pages from an old kid's picture book to make pinwheel cupcake toppers ... 


Upcycle: Old book = DIY iPhone charging station


Ok ... I am a big dork.  I saw these book charging stations on Etsy a long time ago and went hunting for a how-to.  Couldn't find it.  Then a couple of days ago I literally tripped over this great step by step tutorial from The DIY Treatment.  Go make one of these ... you need one.  Really.

DIY: Cover that iPad!

So you splurged.  And now you need a cover for the thing.  You could buy a smart cover.  Or sew yourself something, should you know your way around a sewing machine.  Or ... you can be *really* cheap about it.


One bubble mailer, scrap fabric and buttons.  From Creme de la Craft.  

Recycle: Wordy birdies ...

I made a little spring mobile for myself.  This would be a fun craft to do with kids - very easy! The complete instructions (including printable template) are via Joann Fabrics. Their craft is all about promoting an embossing machine.  Without that, it becomes cheap and easy:  you need paper/ cardstock, mini brats, a hole punch and string or ribbon.  Now that I've actually made them, I will add a couple of tips.


Upcycle: Time for a good Book (Clock) ....


You already know how this is going to start right?  Once, way back, when I had a little more time than money, I turned old books into clocks.  I was honored to be able to sell them at The Armadillo's Pillow for a few years!  When I set out, there were no online tutorials to be found so there was a lot of trial and error involved.  The first one was so much work, I kept it ... still hangs on the wall in my home even though it's quite plain (see the last image in this post).  Now ...well, it didn't take very long to find, not one, but six really good tutorials to feature here.

DIY: Wearable words ...


When I was looking around for tutorials on making paper beads, I found some really striking "book beads" and accessories, now collected in this post.  I understand (after all the browsing) that you can make really durable "beads" easily ... very little time, skill or money required.  Woohoo!  Who doesn't need more jewelery?  (UPDATE 6/12: See the follow up post for more wordy accessories)

DIY: Paper-bead bookmark


Christmas 2005 was the holiday of the "book stuff".  I churned out book clocks (something I'll post about one day) and what I called "book-Its" by the dozen, both as gifts and to make a little extra cash.  Turns out those book-Its started to show a little wear towards the end of 2011 and a few friends have asked for another one... because it's their "go to" bookmark.  Since I'm making them anyway, here's a little how to.  They could not be simpler to make!  So here goes ... (Hit "Read More" for the full tutorial)

Recycle: And the tree said, "Take that!"


It seems fitting, that paper be turned back into trees.  Make these lovelies from junk-mail - instructions at A Little Hut

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DIY: Book Planter


Yup - more book altering today.  Wednesday is a beautiful blog full of beautiful DIY ideas.  Lots of wedding-design goodies ... including these book-planter center-pieces.


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Recycle: Magazine trees...



Seasonal way to re-use old journals / magazines ...  :)  Find the full tutorial here.

DIY: Book-paper apple ornament...


This would make a really sweet ornament for a teacher ... perhaps?  In spite of all the "blood" and "despair"!  A really cute, totally pointless project that I cannot help loving. Thanks to NoBiggie.

Recycle: Book page fabric ...


Another recent Design Sponge tutorial.  I love it in theory but don't love this particular end-product that much.   But I can see potential.  Eg, a possible way to use some of the gorgeous magazine pages I often tear out for "inspiration".  Maybe a small waste-paper basket from the slightly-larger pages of Real Simple?  Or a set of storage bins/cubbies?

Book folding: Old kid's book becomes ART!




Etsy and Pinterest are awash with amazing "book art", "book folds" and "book sculpture".  If you can pick up a beautiful used artifact for $1 (25c!) that you can continue to appreciate in some meaningful way, do it.  And when it comes to kids' books, what else are you going to do with the ones that have been chewed on, colored in, ripped or ridden like skateboards?

I discovered quite quickly that you need to start easy and practice. So, this really is the easiest "book fold" possible and it's reversible, i.e. you can unfold it and read it again.  Enjoy!




Old picture books can often look a little worse for the ware on the outside. So this is a great way to re-purpose something that is really colorful on the inside (and often sentimental in general) without ruining it.




This Sesame Street Treasury works really well because the inside covers are colorful - a work of art in themselves.  Get the tutorial after the jump!

A paperback apple a day...


Ok - this is not mine at all. But I had such a strong "wish I'd thought of that!" moment that I wanted to post the idea. Cheeky Magpie has the whole tutorial here. I think a bunch of these would make a great mobile.

Book Folds






Years after first making these "book folds", we still love them. Inspiration came from Mary Bennett, an artist and curator living in Santa Fe. She does the most amazing things with books! The top image (above) is from one of her exhibitions.