Friday, August 10, 2012

Let’s get Crafty! Giving Old Books a New Lease on Life



 Savvy Housekeeping
I really enjoyed Lauren’s post on weeding back in July. Coincidentally, I witnessed someone in my neighbourhood weeding out items from their own personal collection. I passed by a house that had an assortment of books piled up on their lawn with a sign above reading “Free Books.”  As I walked by each day the books never changed and no one ever picked them up (myself included). 

I started thinking about libraries and weeding and what happens to materials when they’re sent off to the land of misfit books. As Lauren noted, while weeding may come easy to some libraries, others may struggle a bit. 

One issue is the belief that the item will be sought after once it has been removed.  Every book its reader, right? Another concern is what to do with all these old books.  Book sales and donations help to find homes for these gems. Some items, however, never make it into new hands. Enter the 21 Uses for Old Books.  

These are my three favourite uses from this posting. I believe that some of these ideas could even become artsy programming ideas at a public library.

Warning: These require patience and a crafty approach. 

eReader Covers:  Ever hear a patron say that an eReader is just not the same as a printed book?  Well, hand them over a weeded book and put that person to work.  If the dimensions are right, you can detach the cover, glue in felt padding, sew in a couple elastic bands, and voila you have an eReader book cover. 

Secret Piggy Bank: This craft requires you to hollow out the pages in an old hard cover book so as to create a hidden space for money and other valuables.  I personally think this one has potential for those going to the beach. While you’re taking a dip in the water, thieves will never think to look in your hardcover copy of War and Peace, secretly hiding your watch and wallet (oh so clever).  

Greeting Cards: I’m partial to this idea because I come from a family who likes to make their own cards.  One can take the pages of a book and use them to design a cover or background on a card. This is a really nice and doable way to personalize greeting cards and can be used for all types of occasions.  

Coasters: glue page excerpts onto ceramic tiles and cover with a sleek varnish. A one of a kind housewarming gift! Or, keep them for yourself.

For those still seeking out ideas for weeded books, check out some of these neat ideas. 



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