If you think ripping a book apart is blasphemy, you’re not going to want to read any farther.
But if you’re perfectly happy with repurposing old books, this post is for you.
I’ve been eyeing these great book page wreaths for a while now, and finally got around to making my own last weekend.
All you need is a book (or several, if you’re using skinny paperbacks), a stapler, a foam board or wreath, and a glue gun.
I used my old Norton Anthology from high school. It’s been sitting in our Book Box of Guilt—those perfectly good books that we don’t want and nobody else does either—so it was a good candidate for ripping to pieces. (I was afraid it wouldn’t work because the pages are whisper-thin, but it was fine. Just in case you, too have been hanging on to your old schoolbooks out of guilt.)
I used this tutorial as a starting point, but didn’t exactly follow it.
• I started by rolling a rubbermaid container’s worth of paper cones while watching Parenthood, stapling them to hold. I rolled the cones for the outer layers fairly loosely, and the cones for the inner layers a little tighter.
• I used a foam board instead of a wreath as my foundation. I used a dinner plate charger as a template, and cut a circle 13″ in diameter. I then cut out the center of the circle. My center was only 4″ wide, but I recommend making yours a little wider, say 6-8″. (There wasn’t enough space to work the glue gun in that tiny center circle, and I still have the glue gun burns to prove it. Ouch!)
• When it came time to actually start gluing, I was really intimidated. Here’s my advice: just get started. It will be fine.
• Glue your layers in concentric circles, working from the outside in. Start by glueing the first layer around the outer edge of the foam board or wreath, then flip the wreath over and glue a layer or two to its back side. This gives you added dimension and fullness.
• Tip: your first layers won’t look good. Don’t worry about it.
• As you move toward the center of the wreath, your paper cones will start to hang into the center of the circle. Fold those tabs back over the back of the foam board and glue in place.
• For my final layers in the center of the wreath, I shortened my paper cones with scissors before glueing. Do what you need to do to get those last layers in place.
• When you’re done and the glue is dry, attach a binder clip to the wreath to use as a hanger.
the back side. it doesn’t have to be pretty—nobody’s gonna see it.
I made this for the holidays, but now that it’s on the wall I think it’s gonna stay put. And I definitely need another one for my office.
I’ve had my eye on a few more bookish art projects. I haven’t tried them yet but hope to soon.
Adorable origami dresses as Christmas ornaments.
I think the girls and I might try these.
For the mantel, or the tree. I’ve made these before using a paper punch and my sewing machine. (Or, you could save yourself the trouble and buy them on Etsy.)
I love this one on display at the Gleeson library, but a smaller scale one would be lovely at home.
I’d love to hear about book art projects you’ve tried—or want to—in comments.