As much as book lovers are loath to admit it, there comes a time when a book has outlived its usefulness. The cover has fallen off. Pages have gone missing. It’s so hopelessly out of date that it’s not even interesting as a historical item. There’s 200,000 of them out there and they’re all in better condition than this copy. It’s time to say goodbye… but goodbye doesn’t necessarily mean a trip to the trash heap. Artists and craftsman have done some pretty amazing things with old books.
Click any of the photos to see larger photos and photos from different angles. Most of the artists showcased here also have other works featuring altered books, so check out their websites for even more book crafts.
ABC Origami books by Rhymes With Magic
A three book set where the pages have been carefully folded to form a 3-D alphabet.
Book Mobile by The Shop House
A book folded into a hanging sculpture.
Confessions of Rousseau by Dana Milton
Book cut apart and totally reshaped.
Mechanical Jesus by Alexander Korzer-Robinson
These are all illustrations that were already in the book. It has been carefully cut apart to remove the words and just show the images inside.
And it’s not just art. Books may live on as functional objects too!
Book Purse by Novel Creations
The insides have been taken out and the cover forms the rigid outer sides of the purse.
Jacob’s Ladder by Isosc
Jacob’s Ladder made out of old textbook covers. A classic toy made from vintage books. (this one came from “Marketing Today, a Basic Approach”)
4 thoughts on “New lives for old books”
Great posting Nora!
That Jacob’s ladder looks real fun! (Shows you my mindset.)
I’m not really artistic or creative but I have found that it is really not that difficult to “rebind” and manufacture new covers for books. So far I have done 4 books 3 of which were over 100 years old and simply the covers were shot. It is a lot different from the days when animal glue and a brush were needed. Modern bookbinding/padding compound and 3m spray glue make the process much quicker. Took me less than 3-4 hours with many interruptions and wandering about aimlessly included. Instructions are available on the Internet and can be easily found through searching for “Bookbinding”. That is 3-4 hours after collecting the materials.
As far as the fancy stuff you revealed to us I’ll leave that to the ‘crafty experts’.
Great stuff! We are just running our first year of a new art competition, called “New Life from Old Bones” – we have a barrow full of old books for artists to choose from, and they create an artwork inspired by their selection. We’re looking forward to seeing what comes of this! Will be sure to post some of the results here!
Wow… great article. As a lover and collector of books as well as an artist you just gave me some great ideas. I’m currently using some old LP’s of my husband mounted on canvas and this article expands my thinking even further.
oops…beautiful….i felt like trying something like this with my old books almost instantly :)….but this requires much patience i think..besides, i have this habit of selling my used books to bookstores…recently sold some 4-5 books at A1Books.com…..it feels nice to have money in return of those unused books……Trying something like this requires a BIG HEART!!! 😉
Comments are closed.