Monday, April 25, 2011

Book Wreath Tutorial

When I saw this book wreath on one of the DIY blogs I follow,
I knew that I had to try it out for myself.
Ever since I graduated with an English degree and
have pursued a different vocational field than English,
I've been wondering what to do with all my books from college.
Especially all the anthologies from Brit Lit, American Lit, World Lit,
and all the other ginormous books that look important but will never use again.

There's a few options I've considered about the future of these books:
1. Throw them away. But that just seems wasteful.
2. Sell them. But who would buy these books?
3. Repurpose them.  Make book wreaths!!!

So, I obviously chose option #3 and I am very pleased with the outcome.
Here's my tutorial on how to make a book wreath.

1. FIND A BOOK (or two).
I rummaged through several boxes to find a book that I would no
longer use and that would be great for making a book wreath. 
I found a book and as I began to assemble my book wreath,
realized that my book was only going to cover half of the wreath. 
So, it's best to have a backup incase you need extra sheets of paper to make this wreath.  

You can choose whatever color of paint you want
to grace the edges of your book pages. 
As you can see, I chose brown. 
I watered down the paint and then took a paper towel
and rubbed the paint on the edges of the book.
The paint will dry in about 30 minutes.

This was the fun part, but a little depressing at the same time.
It almost felt like a crime for me to rip out pages of English
Literature from great writers like William Blake and Lord Byron.
But I feel that creating a book wreath out of their writings pays better
homage to them then letting them collect dust on the bookshelf or box. 
So, I eventually allowed myself to rip out all the pages. 

This next step is a bit time consuming, but if you do all this work beforehand,
then gluing the pages onto the wreath won't take so long. 
You want to fold your paper on the edge that has been ripped from the
book.  The ripped side of the paper will be glued to the wreath, so that the
crisp and clean edges can be showcased on the wreath. 
You will fold the ripped edge in an acordian style, folding back and forth every
inch or so.  You can also make larger folds to add some more volume. 
Please note that you just want to fold at the ripped edge.
Don't press down on these folds because the other end will have straight
linesrather than curvy lines.  The pictures will show you what I mean.
After you've folded your paper, you will want to staple the end of paper to
keep all of the folds in place.

Once you have all these fan-like pages stapled, you can then glue
then to the wreath.  I left the plastic wrapping on the straw wreath just
because I knew that I would have straw everywhere. 
There's more than one way to glue the fans onto the wreath, but
as you start doing it, you will quickly learn what works for you. 
The started from the back and glue the fans in front of each other. 
I did not complete a full circle with the fans because it was unnecessary
and you're going to want the back to be somehwhat flat so that you can
hang this on the wall without it sticking out several inches. 

This thing is huge and I'm still deciding where I should put it. 
I've also been thinking of more ideas on how to repurpose
the books I will never use again.
I'll do a little experimenting between now and then!

1 comment:

  1. Ash! That's awesome!

    I love how you are using books from college! I don't know what to o with mine!