Monday, April 16, 2012

Guest Blog: Give Old Books a Second, Light Filled Life

My friend Emily and I made resolutions to be more crafty. We had a good run with T-shirt scarves, dabbled in wreath making and now, she's moved on to decoupage. And doing well - well enough to be featured in Charleston City Paper! So here's her craft and how-to. They turned out really lovely.

The Charleston Friends of the Library receive donations of used books, CDs, and DVDs at all 16 branches of the Charleston County Library system. We then use these items to sell at our book sales throughout the year and online at to fundraise for library programming. In some cases, the books receive are damaged with mold, missing covers, or are just simply not in sellable condition, so we have to recycle the leftovers.
I enjoy finding homes for these books that don’t meet our standards. One of my favorite crafts involves using book pages to make into candle-lit jars. They’re great for display on mantles, book shelves, and dining room tables.
Materials Needed
Glass jars (make sure they’re large enough for your candles)
Old book pages
Mod Podge (craft adhesive)
1. Rinse out the jars and remove the labels. I put my jars in a large bowl with warm water and let them soak for a couple of hours. Some scrubbing might be involved, but not much.
 2. Pick out the old book pages you’d like to use and then size them to fit your jar by tearing the pages. I left the edges jagged. 
 3. Place your jar on a flat surface. I used a paper plate to easily rotate the jar during the process. Coat the side of the book page you’d like to stick to the jar with a paintbrush or sponge using Mod Podge while placing it on the jar. Add an extra coat of Mod Podge on the outside of the book pages after you’ve glued them to the jar to make them extra durable.
 4. Let your jars dry for a few hours. I used a brown paper bag as my drying base.
 5. You can add extra design to the book pages if you’d like. I used a paintbrush to add some color to the existing text. 
6. Put the candles in the jar and display!
Really, really pretty - and not too hard. Or full of supplies you probably don't have. No excuses for not making these! I've done this with tissue paper in the past for holidays. The tissue paper with patterns on it works best - you can cut out tons of hearts or Christmas trees or Happy Birthdays and overlap them to make inexpensive and festive holiday decorations. Check out pretty paper here
Emily Everett is the Director of Charleston Friends of the Library, a great non-profit that funds over 4000 programs sponsored by the library. They also do the Big Book Sales - which are AWESOME. I cannot get enough paperback fiction (for $1!) and I rack up on children's books ($2-4) for my niece. You should definitely shop, donate and support! Memberships are only $20 - you can sign up here!

No comments:

Post a Comment