This imaginative book by Terry Taylor totally got my juices flowing- and that’s just when I read the title on Amazon.com. When it arrived, Eco Books: Inventive Projects from the Recycling Bin didn’t disappoint me. I consider myself a medium-to-advanced recycle crafter, in that I use about 50% recycled materials in a lot of the art I make. However, this book blew me away- first, in ideas, and second, in execution.
So, in case the title wasn’t enough to tip you off, Eco Books is about making books from recycled materials. I skimmed through the book and had a really difficult time choosing my first one- there were so many I wanted to try. I tried to settle on three projects of varying difficulty. I skipped over the “Fold-a-Book” – one of the easiest- because I use this technique for my Origami Travel Journals. (Which, by the way, is kind of a recycled project, because I use the paper serves as a palette on my worktable. But I digress.)
Instead, I decided to make a Six-Pack Book by designer Michael Henninger- an accordion book made with a cover made with a beer can. Wouldn’t you know that I had a Guinness can in my recycling bin?
I found the directions to be really easy to follow- and in about an hour (not counting the 4 hours drying time) I had this:
For my “intermediate” book, I made aÂ something referred “Slightly Frayed Books” by designer Margaret Couch Cogswell. As a sewer/quilter, I was super comfortable making the quiltlet that serves as the cover. I also got a little creative and made the signatures from an old quilting magazine insert that I gessoed and cut down. But binding the book using a pamphlet stitch was completely new for me!
Because I had some of the components for this book ready- the face was part of another review I’d done- I put together the cover in a 1/2 hour. Painting & prepping the pages took another 45 mintutes, not counting drying time. Putting it all together took about another 1/2 hour. The instructions on the binding technique were clear, and there are clear illustrations to guide you along! I felt really successful and confident that I could make more of these for my quilter friends.
The most complex book I made was the a “Half-A-Dozen” book, designed by Erin Zamrzla. I modified it a bit, and used 4 “cups” from the egg carton. I also got ambitious and used Radiant Rains to dye my carton and paper-bag pages.
So while making the pages was time-consuming, they were fairly easy. Making the cover from the egg carton was a little trickier, involving making the cover, binding it to the signatures, (using an advanced mulit-needle Coptic Binding stitch) and making a closure. Whew!
I felt the instructions were clear, but the Coptic Binding was tricky! While the binding didn’t look exactly like the sample in the book, it turned out surprisingly well for my first effort.
I loved the process, even if my binding was a little wonky- but after all, it was only my first try and I felt that the book gave me the information I needed in a clear, concise manner.
Moreso, I really love a LOT of the projects in the book. I can see myself making a bunch more- including these:
If you are at all into making books, or are interested in taking your book-making to a new level, than Eco Books would be a great addition to your bookshelf. It can be found on Amazon for around $16 USD, and I think it’s well-worth the price.
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