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Category: Book Crafts

DIY Folded Book Tree

DIY Folded Book Tree

DIY Folded Book Tree

Here’s another idea for the books in your life that you no longer want to read, but are not in good enough condition to donate. Like the DIY Curled Paper Ornaments I made last week, this project is straightforward, but requires even less equipment. I’ve seen trees like this floating around the internet, and thought I’d give it a shot, and create a tutorial while I’m at it.

In the spirit of total honesty- this project takes longer than you think it will. The steps are simple, but depending on how many pages you’re folding, it might take a while. As you get farther through the book it also gets harder to make tight folds. This is the type of project where some unevenness adds character, so don’t stress out about it too much.

What you’ll need:

  • a paperback book
  • scissors
  • marker (or other decoration-type things, like glue and glitter if you’re feeling ambitious)

 

Step 1: Tear the covers off of your book. I found this one in the free/reject pile at my local used bookstore, not because it’s a bad book, but because there were annotations in it. Those annotations don’t change anything for this project, so free book for the win!

 

Step 2: Orient the book as if you were going to read it. The top, right-hand corner will be folded towards you, and lined up with the seam of the book.

 

Step 3: See where the black dot is in the photo above? Grab that point, and try to align the already-folded edge with the seam of the book. In the photo below, the black squigly line should be lined up as close to the seam as possible.

 

Step 4: Repeat step 2 and 3 for each page. After a few pages, you’ll start to see a cone shape forming, like this…

 

Step 5: Continue folding until the spine of the book has started to curl around on itself. The photo below shows what the book looks like from the top. I was thinking I would use the entire book, but after about 200 pages, it felt thick enough to hold it’s shape.

 

If you don’t end up using all of the pages, you’ll need to carefully cut off the section that hasn’t been folded. You’ll end up with a shape like this…

 

I didn’t need to secure the front and back pages in any way. The folded pages were full enough that it held it’s cone shape without me having to glue or clip the end pieces together.

 

Step 6: The underside of your cone will have an indentation in it. For the tree to sit flat, you just have to cut off those extra corners.

 

Once you do that, your tree should sit nice and even. I really liked the cream color with the text showing, and decided to cut out a little star for the top of the tree, using a page I hadn’t folded. I slid the edges of the star in between the pages, and didn’t need to glue it in place.

 

Step 7: If you’re feeling fancy, you can color the folded edges on the outside of the tree, or run a line of glue down each fold and sprinkle glitter on. Don’t be a dork like me and immediately pick up your tree before the marker dries.

 

Step 8: Congratulate yourself on a job well done. You saved a book from the recycle bin, and you made a rustic, bookish decoration.

 

 

Let me know in the comments if anything was unclear. Happy crafting!

DIY Curled Paper Ornaments

DIY Curled Paper Ornaments

Curled Paper Ornaments

So a few weeks ago, I talked about gifts that give back, and in that post I mentioned that if your books are not in good enough condition to donate, you might think about using them as crafting material. I didn’t want to suggest that without giving you some ideas, so here is one way to give those old books a new life.

This is a really simple project, but I think the results are adorable.

Disclosure: LiteratureLynx is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This adds no additional cost to you.

What you’ll need:

  • old book (anything will do- I’m using a cookbook)
  • hollow glass¬†or plastic ornaments
  • scissors
  • ribbon or ornament hook
  • decoration details
    • garland with wire in the center (I found mine at Michael’s with the Christmas stuff, but I’ll bet you can find it in the floral section too)
    • berries (I bought one wire branch and pulled it apart with pliers)
  • hot glue gun *optional

 

Step 1:

Find a page without a lot of blank space- I preferred a full block of text but it isn’t strictly necessary. I’m using this crusty old cookbook from the ’40’s because I like the yellowed edges, but you could use anything you have on hand, including picture books, magazines or scrapbook paper. I tore the page out of the book and cut off the blank space from the margins. I then cut the block of text into strips, about 2-3 lines each.

 

Step 2:

Curl the strips of paper into loose spirals. I just bent one short end and started rolling the paper, but you could roll the strips around a pencil if that’s easier. Keep repeating these steps until you have enough spirals to fill the ornament. I ended up using three full pages to fill the ornaments I used.

 

Step 3:

Stuff all the spirals into the ornament. If you use glass like I did, you simply pull the top straight off, and slide the paper through the opening. Be careful when you replace the lid. The two wires on the underside of the top need to both go into the hole and it’s easy to bend the decorative piece. If you use plastic, you might have to fill each side like a bowl and then carefully bring the two sides together to click into place. To decorate, I simply twisted a piece of wire garland around the top of the ornament. The berries I used had wire sticking out of them, so I twisted that around the garland but you could always use a hot glue gun to attach the berries. I didn’t bother to glue the garland to the ornament itself- with enough twisting it seemed secure enough for me. I then tied a ribbon through the loop and that’s it! You’re done!

Step 4: Stand back and admire your handiwork. It’s not super complicated but I think the result looks pretty classy. It would be easy to follow this process for special events too- you could easily use an extra wedding invitation or a graduation announcement to create a memento-type ornament. Personal opinion: I’d much rather put all that paper to use rather than let it fill up a box in the basement.

 

 

This is my very first tutorial- please let me know in the comments below if anything was unclear! Happy crafting.