My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Paperback Book Pumpkin

Design note: I love reading. In fact, part of my definition of true happiness is having a half read book with me. And I treasure my books. Which means, cutting up a book is rather painful… But not more painful than a book with an unhappy ending. So, here is a craft to turn books with unhappy endings into something beautiful to look at.

Rip the front and back cover from the paperback books

Rip the front and back cover from the paperback books

Start to break the spine of the book by bending the pages back

Start to break the spine of the book by bending the pages back. Do about 15 pages at a time to fan the book open.

Continue to bend the pages throughout the book

Continue to bend the pages throughout the book

Place the book upright.

Place the book upright. You will notice the book flares open on the pages where the spine is broken. If it is not flared enough go back and do less pages at a time.

Break the spine of the second book

Break the spine of the second book

And break the spine of a third book

And break the spine of a third book

I used five books for my pumpkin

I used five books for my pumpkin

Trace a circle on to the book

Trace a circle on to the book. Let the saucer overlap the book end slightly to give the shape a flat base

Alter the top curve to be slightly flatter

Alter the top curve to be slightly flatter

Pumpkin shape ready to cut out

Pumpkin shape ready to cut out

Cut out the shape with a very sharp knife

Cut out the shape with a very sharp knife

Cut through the glued spine

Cut through the glued spine

Allow the pages to flair open naturally

Allow the pages to flair open naturally

Cut the second book

Cut the second book...

Cut the third book

... cut the third book...

Cut the fourth book.

Cut the fourth book.

Cut the last book and fit them together

Cut the last book and fit them together

Brew a strong batch of tea in a shallow dish

Brew a strong batch of tea in a shallow dish. I used South African Rooibos tea to get a bright orange stain.

Dip the cut book in the tea

Dip edge of the cut book in the tea. Fold the pages back to soak the book a few pages at a time

Roll the book in the tea to just soak the edges.

Roll the book in the tea to just soak the edges.

For more information about natural stains and dyes see the Tutorial below

Squeeze out most of the tea

Squeeze out most of the tea

Flip through the wet pages to separate them and to add a bit of a curve

Flip through the wet pages to separate them and to add a bit of a curve

Paint a few bright orange lines to the tea soaked book

Paint a few bright orange lines onto the tea soaked book

Set the book pumpkin aside to dry completely

Set the book pumpkin aside to dry completely.

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Tutorials

24 August 2011 Stain wooden skewers with natural dye

Using fruit, berries, flowers, leaves and grasses to naturally stain design details for floral art relies on the same techniques as using paint or any other dye.

Related Designs

14 October 2013 All To Myself

Cut and stain old books to create a paperback nook pumpkin armature

24 January 2018 How to make a stack of just enough:

Stack two vases to create a small gap at the side to keep a leaf upright