(Warning: if you’re horrified at the idea of ripping a book to shreds in the name of a cutesy DIY project, you should maybe stop reading right about now.)
As a book lover but not a literary purist, I’ve been wanting to try my hand at some kind of book art for ages. I have my sights set on beautiful (and intimidating) Christmas creations, but somehow the stakes seem much lower for fall crafting.
Fall, as a general rule, is forgiving. And pumpkins are round-ish. And with those two encouraging thoughts, I dove in.
I started by picking up a copy of Shopaholic Ties the Knot at my library’s book sale for $0.25. My first choice—based on size, shape, and my visceral reaction to gutting a perfectly decent paperback—was a trashy romance novel. But then I realized that even if you hack a book to pieces and stretch it like a fan, you can still read the words. My little book page pumpkin could very well end up on the kitchen table if it turned out cute enough, and I didn’t want my kids reading sex scenes—even fragmented ones—over breakfast.
(I still haven’t read anything by Sophie Kinsella, but I fully intend to one of these days. Sounds like summer reading to me.)
Once I had my book in hand, I free-handed a pumpkin template, based on that little ceramic pumpkin in the picture above.
Then it was time to get started in earnest.
I splayed the book out wide, right down the middle, and traced my pumpkin template onto the book’s pages. Working 10-15 pages at a time, I used sturdy craft scissors to cut out the pumpkin shape.
(Note: remove the book’s cover first. I didn’t, because I expected the cover to give my pumpkin shape and body. It turns out that the cover just gets in the way.)
It worked just fine, but took longer than I thought it would. If you’re the planning-ahead sort, I highly recommend a little $4 X-acto knife instead of scissors.
(Related: I found you can really manhandle the book and it still won’t fall apart.)
When I was done cutting, I stood the pages on end and fanned them out to form a globed shape, then used a hot glue gun to secure. (Basically, I used the hot glue to attach page 1 to page 300.) Photo squares or glue dots would also work just fine for a book this size.
My newly-formed pumpkin looked a little lopsided at this point. I fluffed it a bit by using my fingers to spread the pages out evenly, then reinforced my work in a dozen or so places with thin lines of carefully applied hot glue.
To tint it gently orange, I gave it a quick spray with Krylon spray paint (in Bauhaus gold, because that’s what I had on hand).
After I finished with the spray paint, I grabbed a twig out of the backyard, snipped it down to size, and attached with hot glue. Then I added a bow for good measure.
This little pumpkin is now happily sitting in my entry, with a velvet pumpkin and a real one from Trader Joe’s, on a little demilune table the Nester inspired me to drag up from the basement. (I am loving her 31 days series on vignettes. This is my favorite post so far, for obvious reasons.)
Now I have Christmas book crafting on the brain. Trees, angels, and ornaments here I come. Wish me luck?
Have you seen any book are projects? I’d love to hear all about them in comments.