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(part 1)

First, a word to those squeamish about tearing pages out of a book:

Get over it.

It's okay. I, Marie, Keeper of the Books, do hereby give you permission to do so without guilt. I mean, please don't take a knife to a first edition Jane Eyre or something, but the printed word is not automatically sacred and there are plenty of books that will live a longer and happier life used in this manner than not. Does the world really need 324783478 copies of James Patterson's books? I think not. If you pick something otherwise destined for the scrap heap, so much the better.

For this travel journal, I narrowed it down to three options: Two obnoxiously cheesy gift books and a slim, slightly larger hardback. I was drawn to the top book because of the ribbon bookmark attached, but I really liked the title of the bottom one - plus it was slightly larger but still small enough to tuck in a handbag. So This Thing Called Life it was.

The first thing to do is to take out some of the pages. This Thing Called Life had 147, way too many for my purpose - plus if you plan to add extra layers of paper (much less objects) you need to remove some of the bulk to keep from ending up with a book several inches thicker than the binding will comfortably hold.

So I used a knife to slice out pages. You could use math to figure out how many pages to remove based on how many pages you want to end up with, but I'd rather guess. Because guessing is easier than math. I usually aim to remove between a half and three-quarters of the pages, but again, it depends on how many you want your finished product to have.

I like to make slightly thicker pages by gluing two (or more) together. And when I slice pages out, I like to hide the slice marks between two glued-together pages. So I sliced out three pages, skipped a page, took out three more, skipped a page ...

I ended up with this: yep, looks pretty sad. Poor skinny book.
Now it's time to hide those sliced-off pages by gluing two pages together. This is purely, purely optional. You could cut more carefully so they're not as noticeable, or you could just embrace the look.

I used rubber cement this time (because it was getting too tacky to use for other purposes and I needed to use it up) but you can use any adhesive, even double-sided tape.

Oh, and all those sliced-out pages? I spread them over my desk to protect it from glue and paint.

After everything's glued, I have this:

It still looks pretty sad (and wavy, and a bit wrinkled), but you can't expect to rip apart a perfectly well bound book and put it back together in a different way and minus many of its pages and still look perfect, right? It gets better, just wait. The fun's about to start!

Up next: making the inside useful.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 8th, 2012 11:20 pm (UTC)
Have I ever mentioned my journals between friends? I used oodles and oodles of notes so it became easier to keep notebooks that we would pass back and forth. I would have a notebook, my friend would have a notebook, and then we'd switch every few days.

My roommate in collej started only writing on one side and filling the other side with random pieces and scraps of things she had.. ticket stubs, gift tags, etc. It reminds me a bit of your books.

Also, my most cherished possessions. <3

Have you seen these hanging book decoration thingies? Quite a few library people have them because there was a workshop. I am thinking of making this for G's room just as soon as I make him This reading tent to go under it. :) Just waiting for the right set of curtains to be on sale.
Sep. 10th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
Aw, that is so neat. I bet you're glad you kept them. :)

I recently bought a book for the library about craft project to make out of books, and that decoration thing was in it! And the reading tent ... what fun. I used to throw a blanket over the clothesline and read under it when I was a kid. It just seemed so cozy. :)
Sep. 9th, 2012 02:29 am (UTC)
Very interesting . . . I'm looking forward to seeing what you put in it . . . and how you cover over the outside title info.

You are using rubber cement, right? Yay! I had been mourning the disappearance of the stuff from store shelves, but recently saw some at a specialty store. Where do you find yours?

Sep. 10th, 2012 09:52 pm (UTC)
Wal-Mart. :) I really do like it. I'd never used it at all until I started helping with some kid's programs at the library, can you believe it?
Sep. 9th, 2012 07:34 am (UTC)
Your post here made me think of something that I cannot BELIEVE I haven't told you about!

There's a girl here in town, she's always at the farmers market, and she sells purses that she has made out of books. They are REALLY cool. She makes them out of the covers of hard bound books, and then you also get to keep the actual book part of the book. She has called them Burses, and many of them are SUPER cute. I think of you every time I see them!

Her website is here: http://www.aburse.com/
Sep. 10th, 2012 09:53 pm (UTC)
Ahh, those are AWESOME!
Sep. 11th, 2012 03:03 am (UTC)
Annnnd thank you for making my Christmas shopping that much easier.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )