15th July 2020
12 Do-able Book Crafts
Books - such wonderful things! They capture our hearts, stretch our imaginations, and make fantastic pot plants!
Yes, you read correctly – pot plants. This week’s blog is all about the wondrous things you can do with books that don’t include reading (or attacking pesky siblings). So if you have some spare/old books lying around, read on for some indoor crafty ideas you can use this winter break to keep yourself occupied!
p.s. yes, it’s ok to repurpose books sometimes – if they’re ruined, or old, or out-of-date, sometimes they do have to be retired.
p.p.s. please never destroy, deface, or microwave books from your local library (SURLY included!) – trust me, you do not want to see an angry librarian 😳
These days most of us can easily name the Plant Mama in our lives (it might even be you). If you are tired of the same old beige planters, why not use your favourite book. The process is pretty simple – it’s just like the classic hidden jewellery box you might have made as a child (although of course this is way cooler). Glue together the pages of your chosen book and after letting it dry, use a craft knife to remove a portion of the centre. You could use the classic rectangular shape or get creative with circles and maybe even an octagon (:o). I recommend coating the inner surface with Mod Podge to provide waterproofing, or use a plastic lining before you plant your leaf babies in their new home.
This one is super easy – all you need is a texta and tbh you don’t even need a book for this one, you could use a sheet of newspaper. Start by circling words of interest with a pencil and then when you are happy cross out all the words you don’t need. BAM! You just wrote some poetry. If you are feeling particularly creative you could try and incorporate artistic designs into your work. There are plenty of variations you could use and lots of potential inspiration online.
Perfect for those really old books you have but never read (you could even use one of those textbooks you have lying around). Use a craft knife to carefully remove the spine from the book. Cover the back with a piece of card or felt in a colour of your choosing. Then use a holepunch to create a hole at the top of the spine. Thread through a piece of ribbon or string and you are done. Easy!
Whether you are a skilled artist or can’t draw a stickman to save your life, we’ve got you covered. Instead of using plain white paper as the medium for your art, using book pages can add interest to the work. But if you aren’t comfortable with drawing your own artwork, don’t worry all you have to do is use your printer at home (no one will know the difference 😉).
You may have seen these online and thought you would never be able to do something that looks that complicated, but fear not Doodle and Stitch has an easy how-to guide to walk you through the process. You’ll be a master book folder before you know it!
Bookends are the single greatest invention, but sometimes you just can’t find one that matches the style or colour theme of your bookshelf (or maybe like me, you just wish books could defy gravity without them). So why not make your own to suit your needs. A Beautiful Mess explains the simple process of making these invisible bookends – practical and beautiful!
What better way to show your love of books to your friends, than wearing a teensy tiny book! You might have seen these on Etsy and you will be surprised to know that they actually aren’t that difficult to make. Wonderly has a super easy to follow video tutorial for necklaces, but you could easily convert them to earrings.
If you already know how to fold a piece of paper into an envelope, then you already have the skills for this craft. But if you have never had a go at this origami head over to The Spruce Crafts and follow their tutorial – all you have to do is substitute out the paper for a piece from a book. This one is particularly useful for those of you participating in the MSA letter and gift exchange program – whose penpal wouldn’t love a customised envelope!
If you feel like your Zoom backdrops are just missing some pizazz then head on over to the tutorial video by Oh You’re Lovely to follow along and make one of these fantastic wall decorations.
Monograms are single handedly the most aesthetic thing, but you might be sick of seeing the letters made of lights – so we have a few alternatives for you. The easy version: purchase a wooden letter and decoupage it with pieces of book paper. The difficult version: stencil out the latter on the cover of a book and proceed to cut out the shape – you could do this with a craft knife but it may take some time, if you have access to a jigsaw or similar that may make your life a little easier.
This one looks harder than it really is – but there are a few different options. Either you decoupage some pages of the book onto the birdhouse surfaces (2 Bees in a Pod provides a useful tutorial) or alternatively you can nail a complete book to the sides of the bird house and then simply glue the front cover down so that you no longer see the top of the nail. So if you already have a birdhouse that needs a revival, why not give this a try.
MAKE A ZINE
So this one isn’t about using books, instead you will be making your own! You may have seen the SURLY zine back when you could visit campus, but if you are unfamiliar with the concept, zines began as a way to spread art, writing, and ideas without having to go through big corporate publishers. So why not get together a group of friends and make your own zine. It can be big, small, filled with poems or just abstract art your doodle during class on day – there are no rules!