I’ve seen this tutorial floating around various craft blogs for quite a while now. While the idea of a book wreath intrigued me, the thought of tearing up a book just for decoration…took a bit of getting used to. Lindsay appropriately titled her tutorial post “Librarians, Please Avert Your Eyes”, because there is something at least a little bit painful about ripping the pages out of a book.
Anyway…I’d seen the tutorial on multiple sites. When it popped up on the TipNut website, I suddenly had a brainflash. A certain book came to mind…one I wouldn’t mind destroying for the sake of decoration. It was an old book titled, “A Gentleman of Courage.” I originally bought the book because of the title; a book about a gentleman of courage seemed like it would be a nice story of a chivalrous, and perhaps romantic, man. I started reading the book though and was sorely disappointed. The main character in the story displayed a nonChristian worldview. While I don’t have anything against reading books from the perspective of other worldviews, I didn’t want to spend an entire book reading about a man who was advocating other religions. Plus, the story line was not very compelling at all.
Anyway…suffice it to say that I decided it was finally time to try my hand at making a book wreath. Mom and I quickly ran to JoAnns to buy a styrofoam wreath form and I set to work.
There was a bit of a learning curve as I tried to decide the best technique for rolling the pages. Just a word of advice (if anyone decides to attempt this project), there really is not that much specificity in how to roll the pages for this wreath. It’s difficult to make a mistake. Basically, you roll them any which way and then glue them on the styrofoam.
There was a somewhat brief period during the course of this project where I was absolutely sure that my wreath was not going to turn out. It was around the time the above picture was taken…probably a bit before this picture actually. For a while all the paper tubes were pointing in one direction…I couldn’t get any to point up and a bit more perpendicular to the styrofoam. But I needn’t have worried…the paper did that on its own as I continued to add pages.
I hung the wreath in my bedroom, right above one of my bookshelves. I wasn’t sure what I thought of the finished project until I saw it hanging in my room. As soon as it was on the wall, I decided I liked it.
Lessons Learned (if I ever do this again)
Lesson #1 – Working with an the pages of an old book is challenging. In her tutorial, Lindsay expressly says not to crease your paper…just to roll it. When you are working with old, brittle paper, it is pretty much impossible to avoid creasing the paper. I think it would like a bit better without the creases and the crimped paper…but I worked with what I had and I’m happy with the result.
Lesson #2 – Make sure you have a pretty good chunk of time when you sit down to do this. For some reason, I thought this would be a breeze to throw together. It actually took somewhere between an hour and a half and two hours.
Lesson #3 – Make sure you have plenty of paper! I didn’t have a problem of this…but I did use approxiamately 150 pages. It would be a big bummer if you started this and then didn’t have enough paper to finish.
Lesson #4 – The finished size of the wreath depends on how big your books pages are. I didn’t stop to notice that my book was bigger than the book Lindsay used in her tutorial. As I was putting it together, I noticed my pages were sticking out quite a bit further than hers did. (That was one of the first things Carrie noticed when I showed her pictures of my wreath!) But then I used a normal size book while Lindsay used a dime novel, which usually has smaller pages.
I enjoyed making this last night. I’d love to make another one but I’m not sure what I would do with a second book wreath…I think two would be too much for my small bedroom.
~ Melinda ~