guest post - The Repurposed Library:

August 24, 2011

Received this email from Lisa and just love the concept of creating something new out of something old. Lisa was kind enough to offer a free pattern download too, with a tutorial on how to make a sewing box out of an old book or binder. Love her trailer video at the end too. Be sure to check out Lisa at these links: Etsy Shop, Blog, The Repurposed Library Book!


First off I want to thank Danni for hosting this post! Her generosity in sharing creative efforts aligns perfectly with all I do as an artist, instructor and author. I have just launched a book with the distinct objective to inspire others to not only create, but to see the world around them more closely and a little longer.

In The Repurposed Library I share my love of books. Filled with 33 projects that show you how to transform old, worn, and obsolete books into new objects—from the functional, like a lamp or a wall ledge, to pure sculptural forms, like bursts and mobiles—you can follow the instructions and then take them into your own aesthetics and ideas.

I present to you a free download straight from the book. Attached you'll find instructions for the Sewing Box project, where you use the hardcover of an old book as a shell for a divided box. The great thing about this project is its versatility: you can use it not just for storing sewing notions, but for stationery items like stamps and paperclips, or jewelry, beads, even fishing lures!

The trick is to find just the right book. The best place to find suitable books is in your attic, in your Aunt Margie's attic, at tag sales, library sales and thrift shops. First you want to be inspired by it: its cover: the color, design or typography. Or its title. Or maybe it’s a book that makes you think of someone or someplace. Let the book you use be a part of the project's theme. I once used a novel with a pink cover and glamorous font title called "The Luckiest Girl" and turned it into a little jewelry box—just seemed like the perfect fit.


The other part of finding the right book is to find one that is suitable to repurpose. You want an old book that maybe has some worn corners or old brittle pages. Don't use a book that could have antiquarian value—like, say, a signed first edition of Gone With The Wind. How can you know? Best place is to hop on to, type in the title and see what kinds of values come up.

With that said, download away! You'll find thorough instructions, materials and tools list, plus my hand-drawn diagrams to help you out. I would love to see what you make so please feel free to share any photos with Danni and I!

If you have any questions feel free to email me! I hope you enjoy it!

4 hello's:

  1. What a fun idea! I'm so excited you shared this project because I have that exact sewing book. It'll be perfect! I'm also really eager to get my hands on Lisa's lovely book.

  2. I've been thinking about making her book chandelier. I love books - in everyway, shape, and form. Thanks for sharing this with us Dani & Lisa!

  3. This book sounds like so much fun! I shared this post on my blog today also ;)

  4. I'm sorry, but i can't do this to books..old or new...


Friends, Thank you so much for reading + supporting my blog, and for taking the time to leave me a comment. Your comment support truly means so much to me. Have a lovely day! xo, danni