Wednesday, December 19, 2012

New Uses for Bad Books

For the past four days I’ve been home with sick kids. Normally I’d be climbing the walls by day two. Normally, I’d be thinking about all the work not being completed at the office.

Instead, I was a little relieved not to send them to school. Instead, I’ve relished the cuddle time with my sickies. The horrific tragedy in Connecticut certainly put things in perspective.

My time at home also provided a chance to work on a couple projects that keep getting put off. On a recent shopping trip, my friend Dawn and I saw all sorts of lovely crafts made from old books. In the past couple weeks we scheduled and cancelled two girls’ craft days due to sickness and the craziness of December.
Sunday, when I was supposed to be crafting with Dawn but couldn't leave the house, I decided to craft with my daughter. We made these from a copy of Wuthering Heights that I started and stopped before the end of the first chapter.

After she lost interest, I made this.

I’m sure there are directions online somewhere for my wreath. This is patterned after one I saw at Cracker Jax and a picture I think I remember seeing (and probably pinned) on Pinterest. I’m not big on directions. I like to look at something and figure it out for myself. I’m a problem solver like that.

In case you like directions and would like to make one, here's what I did:
An old book
Styrofoam wreath
Pins short enough to not go all the way through the Styrofoam
Glitter spray
This particular copy of Wuthering Heights was perfect for my wreath. It was old enough to have yellowing, vintage-looking pages and it was a perfect size. I didn’t have to cut the pages to avoid having a really big wreath. I tore out about 30 pages to start.

My Styrofoam wreath had a curved front and flat back. I’m not sure if the shape of the Styrofoam is important. It’s just what I had in my craft box.  When you live in the sticks, you make due with what's on hand.

Start by making a circle with your left index finger and thumb. Place the middle of a page over the circle. With your right index finger, poke the middle of the page through the circle forming a messy cone.  You want each one to look a bit different.

Next, bend the pointy end of the cone up and pierce with a pin.

You need the pin to go through several layers of the page, otherwise it will just rip through the single layer of paper. You could put a bit of glue on the bottom of the paper that will come in contact with the Styrofoam to reinforce the bond. I didn’t. My wreath isn’t in a high traffic area so I’m not worried about people brushing up against it.
Then start poking the coned, pinned pages into the Styrofoam. I started in the middle of the ring and worked out. I found it hard to pin pages in holes later, so try to get the pages to the thickness you want before moving out.

Finally, I sprayed my wreath with a clear glitter spray. I’m not sure if I had a bad can, but when I went back in the morning to spray my ornaments the spray nozzle was all gummed up. If you are doing multiple projects, consider spraying them all at once. They spray is fairly pricey for what you get and I’m pretty ticked that I only used about an eighth of the can one time before pitching it.

So there you go.  Next time you don’t like a book, don’t throw it away.  Save it for when you are quarantined with your sickies and need something, anything to do. Next time, we’re making trees!

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