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March 14, 2011

my first book purse!

Most everything I am doing right now is being done on old hardback book covers, or some other item turned canvas. Our local thrift stores throw so many old books into the recycle bin since they are not resell-able (okay may not be a real word, but you get the idea). When I approached the volunteers who sort the books and told them I wanted to experiment with creating art, mixed media paintings, journals, notebooks or something from the old books that were headed for the big recycle dumpster, I ended up with boxes of hard cover books! I get calls every week to pick up more if I'd like, although right now I have probably enough to last a while. These wonderful ladies were so excited that I was going to upcycle an old book that THEY actually inspired me! They graciously gave me so many books that I cannot just let them sit around. So with lots of gesso to set the stage, I began playing around. I have made several paintings, an album for my Artist Trading Cards, a notebook and a front and back cover for my Morning Pages journal.

Then I saw several purses made from classic books and got the idea to try to make one with my artwork on the cover.

From this point I started looking for instructions for the inside. Unfortunately I do not follow instructions well, so I watched several different YouTube videos, read a couple DIY PDFs that creative people shared, and then combined a little bit from everything I saw and made my own inside! It was lots of fun. 

I enjoyed watching and reading the various ways to create a book purse. Every purse I saw was done differently and each were uniquely beautiful! And as for the creators of the videos and instructions out in cyber world, a HUGE thank you for sharing. Please know that I envy the fact you are able to create and follow instructions, measurements and techniques. I'm in my late 40s and still cannot actually follow a recipe or pattern without changing it up to suit my style. I change up everything. Must be the rebel in me, yep that's it.

Note to self for using glue on future purses: E600 glue took too long to dry and is very stinky. Using a hot glue gun left lots of spider-webby strings but worked great for parts that needed to be glued in quickly, like the inside. For most of the gluing I stuck to Aleene's Tacky Glue which I find works great on most everything. 

I kept to my tradition of using recycled or remnant materials whenever possible. The handle was made from an old belt and the inside was done with remnant fabric I picked up. I also used remnant ribbon for the button loop and the loops holding the handle and colored the ribbon with some of the same acrylic paint used on the cover.

Let me know what you think. This was my first try at a book purse and I plan on doing more.


Diane said...

Hi Robin! I love that you are up-cycling old books! I do the same, but I make them into my art journals by gessoing the pages and just doodle my thoughts. Have you used the purse? Let me know!


~Rasz~ said...

Hi Diane! Amazing what we can create from old books, isn't it? How do you bind your art journals?

As for the purse, I used it last weekend (and would be using it now except its raining so much). I received lots of compliments. Several women said they wanted one and to let them know when I had some for sale! I was so surprised.

The only difficulty I found with this purse is that the spine of the book was only 1-1/2" (with the side covers measuring 8"x10")so that does not give much width inside. It works for a slender wallet, a checkbook, lipstick, pen...small items and I did make a pocket on the inside for my cell phone.

This purse would definitely not work for someone who carries lots of stuff, or bulky items. I want to make several more with wider spines.

Thanks for the comment!

tina said...

Cute as pie and I want one! I'm telling you, I just plain need to give up sleep! :)

li said...

What a great idea! There really are a lot of used hardcovers around, and I have always felt awful about throwing a book away, even if it's reduced to tatters. I took the dust jacket off of one (the inside pages were so hi-lighted it was unreadable) and cut the center out to use it as a photo frame. But the purse idea is so great...I could use one, because my purses take a real beating.