Wednesday, 23 October 2013

'Book'cycling - things to make with old books

If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll now that I love upcycling. The idea of taking something that would otherwise be ignored or thrown away and turning it into something useful is too good to resist. I collect up many things to re-use but my favourite items are books.

upcycling books

I've got such a huge collection of them I'm running out of space to keep them so I thought I'd better get making. The only trouble is, I'm having a bit of a 'crafter's block' at the moment so I've been looking around for some ideas of new things to try and thought I'd share some here.

I do love books and have many that I'd never cut up, no matter how tatty they got! Just because a book's old or damaged doesn't always mean it's good for upcycling, you have to use your own judgement. These are the little rules I like to craft by; I'll re-purpose a book if:

  • it's clearly falling to pieces or has bits missing
  • it's been drawn in/written in over the writing or pictures (particularly found in children's books!)
  • there are lots of them 'doing the rounds' of second hand shops
  • it's out of date and no use anymore
  • it's damaged, eg, something's been spilled on it

So, to get my imagination working again I've gathered these ideas of past makes and future inspirations together. Enjoy looking through them and I hope you get some ideas too!

Some of My Tutorials

Paper Rose

This one's very easy but so effective. You only need a small piece of paper so it's great for using bits of good paper from damaged pages.

upcycled paper rose 

Gift Bow

Great for using strips of good paper rescued from damaged pages.

Upcycled paper bow tutorial 

Paper Beads

Lots of fun can be had making these with any kind of paper. Even if it's damaged or drawn on as the paper is rolled up this can be hidden.

paper bead earrings 

Inspiration to get over my 'crafter's block'

All of these projects are ones I've found while looking around on the internet. They are ones I'd love to try and will be a great excuse for getting through all my books! The links will take you to the full tutorial if you'd like to try them too.

A Book Pumpkin from Upcycled Treasures

This is a great step by step photo and written instruction tutorial and ideal for this time of year! I'll be trying it with any books that are old and no-body wants anymore.

Upcycled book pumpkin tutorial on Upcycled Treasures

Paper Flowers from Hipcycle

Another paper flower! There are so many paper flowers to make and these are ones I particularly love.

Upcycled paper flowers
Paper flowers from Hipcycle

Paper Feathers from Todolwen

These look so pretty! These are made with sheet music (and look gorgeous) but could also be made with book pages. Great photo and written instruction tutorial.
Paper Feather Tutorial from Todolwen

My crafter's block seems to be lifting now! Off the do some upcycling...