Mar 12, 2011

Re-using Old Books - Make Your Own Pages

Ok, this really isn't an old book... but if I had gone to a thrift store, it would have been.

Anyway, I'm part of an altered book swap over at Paper Digital Arts, and one of the required elements for the pages is a super-sturdy substrate. Now, I often recycle paperboard in my art, but Kim wanted us to use something heavier.

I went to the arts and crafts store- nothing. Turns out you can buy chipboard letters and shapes, but plain 8x11 pages- not so much.

So I headed over to a discount store and picked up this:

I wish I could blur out the title and words- but I have NO idea how to do that on my simple little Picasa program.

Now, I looked for something close to the 5x7 size I needed, and this was pretty close. To cut it down, I marked the top page with a straight edge and cut through with a box cutter (BE CAREFUL). The edge isn't perfect, but it will be on the bound side, so no biggie. I kept the binding of the original book intact, and now have a cool little, narrow book leftover to play with.

Next, I sanded the gloss off. This does get messy, as the paper dust is colored.

Then I put a couple of coats of white acrylic paint. I did the first set with gesso, then paint, and I can't really say it made much a difference. To keep it from warping when you paint, put a X on the back side with paint. Now, if you want these pure white, it's going to probably take about 3 coats. Mine, I don't care so much, because I'll be covering over it anyway. Do the back side too, but you won't need to do the X, because you've already painted the front side.

As you can see, I left the upper right corner rounded. It doesn't matter to me if it's different, and you can't even tell here.
BTW, this cardboard is HEAVY. You can't sew through it. So, if you think you're going to sew on your page, make sure you are working on a separate piece of paper, which you can glue down when you're all finished.

So, hope this helps. What have you made lately??
hugs- Lee


Lili said...

What a cool process to learn a little more about. I can see why this would become addictive, so many creative possibilities to just take and run with. Right now I'm on an embroidery kick because I need something to take with me in the car on a long trip.

donna!ee said...

awesome upcycle!! :)

ramsam said...

Oh, very cool. I love the idea of putting those thick great pages to use.
Your page turned out gorgeous, too.

Gigi said...

Very clever! Me - I don't create I just come over here to see what you've done!