Okay, so technically I am posting tomorrow, and shouldn’t be posting this yet, but I don’t care. I’m too excited! I was trying to get these done for Monday’s post, but alas, I did not. So, you get an extra post, you lucky folks! Perhaps you’ve seen book pumpkins, or magazine trees floating around? Well, I wanted book ornaments. Voila!
I tried really hard to take decent pictures, but I don’t know what happened. So I’ll just show you how to make your own. (my camera lens may be a little dirty. I’m looking into it.)
First, get your books. I actually went to the library and asked if they had any they were planning on throwing away. They gave me 3. One was really fat, so I tore it in half and got 2 out of it.
I didn’t take a picture of the books because I don’t want to offend anyone who liked those books, and I go and tear/cut them up. I love reading. Don’t get me wrong. But these books were headed for the garbage/recycler. So I saved them. Plus, I read bits and pieces, and they were really just trashy romance novels. Nothing against those who like them, just not my cup of tea. Anyway, I tore off the covers, and got scratch paper to figure out the shapes I wanted.
I actually traced bowls to get the circles. Then, I wanted my ornaments to not roll off the table/mantel/shelf so I cut off about 1/4-1/2” when I folded the circle in half. Then I drew a little stem thingy on top with it folded in half, that was 3/4-1” wide. Cut out my circles, and there’s my ornament patterns. I also wanted to do a tree, so I figured out how tall & wide my book was, and drew a shape I liked, again with a flat bottom. Kapesh?
I traced them onto the first page, and then did a few different methods. Some I cut out with scissors, a few pages at a time, and some I did with the X-acto knife, a few pages at a time. I used a razor blade/box cutter to cut through the spines when needed. I found the scissors were a little easier, but if you have a sharp, newer blade in your knife, that might work better. After I finished cutting all 4 out, my hubby got home and asked “did you do that on a saw?” I felt sheepish. So I’m planning on making a few more, and I’ll try it on the saw to save
a few hours some time….I’ll let you know.
Next, I was deciding if I wanted to hot glue them into the fan-open shape, or figure out another method. I decided to try a paperclip, and it worked on the silver ornament because the spine was really worn. (Update: look at the picture…Can you see the paperclip holding a few pages together, instead of gluing them together?) The rest were too stiff, so I had to glue them multiple places to get them to stay open how I wanted. The paperclip was a good idea, so then the ornament folds flat for storage, because you can take it out, so if you can get it to work, do it!
They’re not all fluffed the way I wanted them, but I knew I’d be painting them and have to move them around. Okay. Painting them. I had originally planned on doing different methods to show you how they turned out, and let you choose your favorite way. First one was to rub ink on the edges. My only inkpad available was gold. It. did. not. show. up. At all. That’s probably because there wasn’t enough contrast between the page color and the gold, so if you have a different color, it may just work. Next, I spraypainted the silver one. I wanted to use glitter paint, but it ran out just as I was starting. So I just did regular ol’ silver spray paint. I really like how that one turned out.
Next, I dry-brushed some acrylic paint on the gold, since nothing showed up. Just on the edges, and a little tiny bit on the pages. I liked that one too.
Then, I tried mixing a little bit of water into the red acrylic paint to make it bleed just a little into the pages from the edges. That was a disaster. It looked like blood all over the pages, just dripping down. Yikes! Maybe for Halloween….Anyway, it might not have been so tragic if it wasn’t red. But it was. I didn’t get a picture of that disaster, but I took it out and spray painted it to help cover some of the problems. If you look really close, you can see the uneven dripping. And spraying. Because it was running out too. Oh well.
Finally, I watered down the green a lot and put it in a big enough container that I could dip the whole book in. So it definitely bled instead of dripping in, and it took about a day to dry, and the pages curled a bit from being wet, but I like the look for my tree.
See the ripples?
You can kind of tell how the green bleed into the pages. I really liked this one too.
To finish them off, you get mini muffin cups aluminum foil style, and pop them on top. I put 2 holes in them with a needle, and then poked my wire in. I used a 28 gauge, because that’s what I had. I glued the wire into the books, and then pushed the cup down to cover the stem-thingy. I kinda like them.
Whoa, crazy lighting….
Can you tell I’m watching the Nate show? Hee hee. By the way, if you didn’t watch today, it was pretty fantastic. The Real Housewives of Bucks County were on and did a Nate Crate challenge. You should go online and see the amazing holiday décor they came up with. So fun! Anyway, love them, and pretty easy project! By the way, each book was right around 200 pages, and that’s how full they were. I still need to fluff and adjust them, but I’ve already rearranged them after this picture. I couldn’t see the tree or nativity block when I sat down, so I put them on a box and covered it with fabric. Here’s our whole TV stand (aka dresser).
Can you tell my tree is up higher now? Oh, Nate. So attractive. So genius. *Sigh*. Yeah, I only have space to decorate on my TV stand where we’re currently residing, so this is the grand total of my decorating. It had to be kid friendly since they seem to think they need to play with things they see.
Merry Christmas! Go check out the linky parties on the side, since I’ll be linking this up to them!
Featured on Eye Heart. Thanks!
Linked up to the CSI ornament challenge