chal-lenge: noun a calling to account or into question

Follow along as I challenge the tricks, tips, clever craft and decorating ideas and "simple" recipes that we clip, bookmark, and "pin" for trial at a later date.

Are they really worth the effort? Time (and I) will tell!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Old Books

I don’t know what it is about old books that attract me. Maybe it’s the worn covers in a variety of colors that feel so soft in my hands. Or maybe it’s the interesting topics and titles like “The Mind of the Adolescent Girl” and “Commodore Hornblower”. Maybe it’s the nostalgia of an old text book like the Dick and Jane books in elementary school. Anytime I stop at a yard sale, attend a book sale or visit an antique shop, I always check out the old books. I do actually read some of them but mostly I like to decorate with them. I love to see stacks of old books on desks and shelves. The sight of them is so warm and inviting.

Old books are receiving a new life these days in the crafting world. Maybe it’s all part of the repurposing movement. A local bookstore is sponsoring a book crafting contest ( I can’t wait to stop by and check out the entries. In anticipation of the event, the library held a book crafting workshop. The session was unstructured which really freaked me out, but I managed to pull myself together and decorate a little box. It was fun to see the projects the other participants created.

My interest piqued, I started to search online for more book crafting ideas. That’s when I came across the instructions for a book vase. It looked pretty simple and I decided to give it a try. I had just dropped off a load of books for the library book sale but another look around turned up a romance novel that was passed on to me. I really have to think hard before I choose a book to “use creatively”. I’m sorry, any book entitled “The Summer I Dared”, deserves to be cut up and it was an easy choice.

The instructions are simple. Cut your design out of a piece of cardboard. Transfer your design on the pages, cutting out three or four pages at a time. The instructions said to use a craft knife but I found that scissors worked much better. Once all the pages are cut, it’s time to cut off the cover. Make sure you leave the spine of the book intact. Glue the first and last page together and separate all the pages. Voila! You have a book vase! The center is pretty small, but a stem or two fit quite nicely in the center.

This was a fun little project and only took about an hour. A collection of a few different designs would make a nice grouping on a table. You can be sure I’ll be looking for similar titles at this year’s book sale to increase my collection.

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