A little blog about the life of a somewhat lost dreamer....looking for my grace in this crazy world.

02 May 2011

Let's alter a book...

Not like I haven't done that pretty often, eh? I am somewhat obsessed with it aren't I? This time I have a twist though... instead of making another journal, how about we turn a book into my current fancy... a frame?

I seem to have caught this particular bug (for making frames) while I was working on the woven photo frame. (You know... the one that I've got up for grabs as the current give away...over there on the left) Since you can alter books into so many other things, surely I can alter a book into a frame, right?

First is the deconstruction phase. One of the most interesting things I have found since I started altering books is how very simple it is to deconstruct one. I have always thought of a book as something that is rock solid, but all it takes is two carefully created incisions and you have a book cover separated from the book pages. My only caution here is that you be very careful (if you follow along and create your own) not to puncture the spine of the book while you make the incisions.

Once the book is taken apart, mat board was cut to make the shape of the frames (measured to fit inside the book, of course), many of the pages were cut to 1 1/2 inch strips, and a 1 1/2 inch strip of the inside cover page was cut. The strips of paper were folded in half lengthwise, and torn to give a bit of a texture to the edges, and the torn pieces were folded in half (lengthwise again) to create thin strips.

The first thing I wanted to do was cover the area in the book where I had removed the pages. You'll notice that there is a curve in that area, so the flat piece of cover paper that I cut is going to have a difficult time covering it. The fix? Wrap it around a pencil to put the same sort of curve into it. Once done, glue that into place, making sure that it is very secure and that the edges are firmly attached.

Set that aside to dry while the frames are created. Since there is going to need to be a bit of space between the book and the frame, you have to have somewhere to slip the photo in, add 1/4 inch strips of mat board. Cover the edges with sections of book pages so that the edges will look finished.

The folded strips were then woven (and glued while being woven) to the frames. All of the edges were then folded to the back and glued to make finished edges.

When the weaving was finished, the frames were glued inside of the book covers... and voila... a book frame. How's that for cool?

So... now, a couple of bonus tips I found out while doing this, you know, so you don't make my mistakes but can make you're very own...

It takes a bit longer than expected to create the frame, most of it involved in the folding, tearing, creating and weaving of the strips.

You have to use a book that is not terribly thick to begin with. If you use a larger one, it just looks gutted, and no one wants that.

To protect your photos add a sheet of clear acrylic or glass... but leave them off when photographing, you just get lots of glare if you don't.

And, while it took a bit longer to finish than I had planned (y'all know how much of an immediate satisfaction junkie I am... so my perspective may be skewed), if you wanted to, there's plenty of time between now and Mother's Day to get a couple of these made.


Nancy said...

What a great project! It turned out beautifully, and is the quintessential illustration of "re-purposing". Lovely.

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

This is such a labor intensive project but the rewards are so wonderful...you should be so proud ! Lovely. Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Eileen Bergen said...

Way cool, June!

You left the outside cover of the book intact, correct?

A Creative Dream... said...

Left it exactly the same Eileen, when it's closed it looks just like it did before it became a picture frame.

MB Shaw said...

This is fantastic! I fear I don't have the patience to make one myself, but I adore it. Good job!! And great blog :)

Kim said...

I love this- another really great tutorial June!

Cyndi L said...

That's a great project! I can just see matching the titles to the contents of the pictures... :-)

Cherie said...

I must have missed this the first time. I LOVE it! I'm pinning it on Pinterest right now.


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