(itsy) Bitsy Books…

Our local charity shop has a take-it-or-it-goes-in-the-rubbish box just inside the front door. I usually avoid digging through it because if the charity shop thinks something belongs in the bin, it probably does. However, on my last thrifting expedition I literally tripped over this beauty dangling over the edge of the box – most likely attempting an escape before it got dumped in the trash:

a groovy patchwork leather purse…just what I had been looking for to mate with the leftovers from my secret book safe to create…

…fanfreakingtastic mini book pendants!

Here’s how to make your own with stuff you already have in the house:

First, I deconstructed the purse & washed the leather pieces

then I grabbed my awesome mini-drill, exacto knife, scissors, plant wire (the same stuff I used here), paint brush, leftover book pages, glue, pliers & chose a few scraps of leather…

cut a few small rectangles of leather for the outside of your books - mine measured 4.5cm x 2cm

chop a book page into small strips, stack ‘em together & wrap a leather piece around one end – now you can start to see how the book will eventually look. Mark the top page just inside the leather…

chop off the excess paper at your mark

loosely pinch the pages together, apply glue all around the outside edges & use the paint brush to push the glue between the pages & clean-up any drippy bits

repeat the above steps for all of your books then clamp with clothes pins (or simply press under something heavy) until dry

once the pages are dry match them up with their leather partners & trim to size if needed - my final pages measured 1.5cm x 1.5cm

arrange the pages on the leather…

apply glue to the front, back & spine of your pages & stick inside the leather pieces

clamp together…

once dry, trim off any excess leather bits

choose the books you’d like to stack, arrange ‘em & glue together

the ancient clamp we inherited from Opa worked fab’ to hold the books together while they dried

to make a sweet single book simply cut a thin strip of leather long enough to tie around your book

glue it around the outside of the book…

knot the ends & secure with a dab of glue (trim when completely dry)

onto the hangers: drill a small hole through the top corner of your book (for those without mini-drills: hammering a nail or poking through with a thick needle works just as well)

feed a piece of wire through the hole (20cm should be more than enough, it all depends on the size of your book)

bend the wire up over the top of the book & twist it back around itself once

make a small loop, wind the rest of the wire around the base of the loop, trim & tuck the pokey ends

that’s it!

put it on a necklace & enjoy!

next up: the book stack – simply drill or nail a hole straight through the center…

insert a piece of wire (20cm – 30cm long)

grab the wire at the bottom of your book stack with a pair of pliers & wind it around the tip a few times (wrapping around a thick nail, tweezers or scissor end works too)

pinch the wrapped wire together & squeeze it flat against the bottom of the book stack - add a dab of glue for extra security if desired

loop & twist the wire at the top to form the hanger – just as you did with the single book

trim & tuck the pokey end…

thread it onto a leather cord & wear it!

here’s a tip for all those extra little scraps pinched from wonderful Nettie of the stupendous Sown Brooklyn: trim them into triangle-ish shapes, spread some glue down the length, roll ‘em up & when they’re dry you’ll have some funky leather beads!

using printed pages make these ittybitty books look oh-so-much-more realistic…

how fracking cute are they?!

what are you waiting for? go make your own!

*quick tip: if you haven’t made a secret book safe & don’t happen to have any loose book pages scattered about, simply have a dig through your paper-to-recycle & use some strips from botched print jobs, torn envelopes, etc… the only criteria is that the paper should be a bit thick – like notebook or printer paper – newspapers or old phonebook pages are too thin & will transform into a gummy bunched-up mess when glue is applied

all the tutes!

6 thoughts on “(itsy) Bitsy Books…

  1. Hi – I’ve never seen a mini-drill. How does it compare to a Dremel? If you had to choose between the two, which would you choose?

    • A mini-drill costs about €10, isn’t super powerful, needs constant recharging & should only be used for “light” jobs or crafty creations that only require a small hole whereas a Dremel is absolutely freaking awesome & has a crapload of cool accessories =O)
      *I’d love to have a Dremel but they’re crazy expensive here…yet another item to add to my wishlist…sigh

  2. very cool! I knew I bought that $1 paper bag full of romance novels at my last library book sale for a reason! now I can make hot and steamy mini leather books. Thanks for the tutorial!

  3. That is a sweet idea! I have the leather but I’ll have to go to the thrift store for the books. My husband would cringe at the thought of cutting up any of our books :)

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