content_copy Reusing Old Hard Cover Books – Rescue Recycle Reuse

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Reusing Old Hard Cover Books

Posted by Beverley McNaughton on

You see them everywhere, old hardcover  books that are either out of date, stained, damaged and just of no use anymore.

Now you can reuse them to make great gifts, use them as jewellery boxes, to store your TV remotes in on the coffee table, or to store little bits and bobs that have no home.
So duck down to the second hand store or tip shop and grab yourself a hard covered book.  Think about what you want to use it for,  eg. if it’s for TV remotes then you have to have something larger so you have enough length inside once the pages are out out, and it has to be thick enough to cover your items plus a little extra depth for the structure and support.
Now give it a good clean to get rid of all the grimy fingerprints that have no doubt accumulated on it.  Just spray and wipe with some TSP or White Lightning,
First I  gave the outside cover of the book a coat of paint, extending it around a little way onto the inside edge of the cover so there won’t be any gaps in coverage later.  
Then I glued the outside of the pages.  So grab yourself some good quality strong PVC wood glue, a soft brush and a small dish.  Tip some pic onto your dish, open the front cover, hold your book so the pages are all aligned nice and evenly, then apply a generous amount of PVC to the pages on the 3 sides of the book, and down onto the edge of the bottom cover so the back pages will stick to the back cover of the book.
Place a sheet of wax paper or something that won’t stick between the open top over and the rest of the pages, then close the book so the pages are all pressed firmly together and  let dry.
Next open up your book and using a pencil and ruler, draw in the square or rectangle that you wish to have as the opening into your jewellery box. Using a craft scalpel knife and a ruler, start cutting the pages out in the square.  This will take some time as you can only do a few pages at at a time or else you will end up tearing them.
Stop when you get about 3/4 of the way down through the pages.  Take some PVA and glue the inside edge of the pages you have just removed, like you did on the outside.  Again place a little weight on the area to keep them compact and let it dry.
Now to decorate the inside cover.  I used the redesign decoupage Decor Tissue Paper, which feels more like an interfacing material and is really easy to work with as it doesn’t tear like normal tissue type papers. On the inside cover and the front page area, brush on a thin layer of the Fusion Decoupage and Transfer Gel to seal the paper and let it dry.  Then apply another layer of the Gel and position your paper, making sure that it is positioned so the cover will be able to close later.  Let this dry then using your craft scalpel knife, trim around the open hole and the edges.  Apply another coat of the Gel over the top of the Decor Paper to seal.
Now to decorate the outside of your book.  You can do this using so many mediums like paper, transfers, or as I have done here moulds.
Using the Darwi Air Dry Clay (because it doesn’t crack and shrink) I applied moulds to the front and spine of the book, glueing them on with the PVA while they were still wet and pliable.
When dry, I painted over them in the same base colour I had used earlier (Dixie Belle Drop Cloth).  When dry I used the Dixie Belle Glaze in Grunge and applied over the whole area, wiping back to leave more in the crevices to define the detail of the moulds.
Finally I applied some Art Alchemy Metallique wax in Vintage Gold to the outside of the pages to make them look bright and clean.  Have fun, these are great little projects and you can make them to suit any decor.




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