While I’m trying very hard to acclimate myself to the world of e-books, there are few things I find warmer and lovelier than an old-fashioned hard-copy book. I love the look. I love the feel. I even love the smell! And the more the pages yellow and become dog-eared, both signs of a book well-read and well-beloved, the more I tend to like them.
Old books make me happy.
Which is why I tend to use them all over my house as decoration. I have them on the desk by my bed…
…on top of my dresser….
…high on the bookshelf, (which is already books from floor to ceiling,)…
…and even in the bathroom! Though I have to confess these two aren’t real books, though I love them because they look like the real thing.
But then imagine my delight when I walked into a local library to find it had taken decorating with books to a whole new level! For autumn…
And for Christmas…
But this was my personal favorite:
We had snowball bushes when I was a kid and these remind me so much of those big, greenish-white balls of blooms we would have in the spring. When they dried, they were very similar in shape and color to these.
I started peppering the librarian with questions and she was quick to confess these ideas weren’t all her own. Naturally she had come across several book craft ideas in that ‘creative promised land’ we call Pinterest, but then she had built upon those ideas and made them uniquely her own. Which was exactly what I hoped to do! I asked for permission to snap some pictures and then could not wait to get the supplies I needed and get to work!
So how do you make your own Book Snowballs? Believe me, it’s not hard, though it is a little time-consuming. But I shared the project with my daughter and we had a ton of fun working on it together. And now both of us have beautiful creations made not from just any book, but from our favorite books, which makes them all the more beautiful in our eyes!
Flat end of a pencil or pen
A Tale of Two Cities is my favorite book ever, but my paperback copy was old and pretty ugly. Not to mention the fact the guy who wrote the lengthy afterword left me convinced he never actually read the book.
Now my only copy of my favorite book is gone, but I’ve been wanting a pretty hardback copy anyway. And my daughter already has a lovely set of hardback Jane Austen novels, so it wasn’t hard for her to sacrifice that awful paperback copy in the picture above.
Carefully tear pages from the binding, no more than 5 or 6 at a time to keep them as whole as possible. For your information, it took a 350 page book to make three snowballs. And while, yes, you can certainly use more than one book on a project, keep in mind that the colors of book pages can actually vary quite a bit from pure white to yellow to a weathered tan. Just make sure the pages of the books you use are similar in color.
Fire up your hot glue gun. Hope yours looks better than mine. I’ve had it close to 20 years and it looks like it, but it’s still working, so I can’t complain.
Fold one book circle over the flat end of a pen or pencil, press a bead of hot glue onto a styrofoam ball, and then press your “blossom” onto the glue. Hold it there just a few seconds to give the glue time to cool and voila!
|LOVE being able to read lines on my book snowballs that I recognize and love. “Recalled to life…” But if you’re using a book you aren’t familiar with, don’t worry: Nobody’s likely to see and be able to read anything much…|
Keep adding blossoms….
…And more blossoms….
…And more blossoms….
…Until your ball is completely covered, keeping in mind that the tighter you place your book blossoms, the fuller your snowball will look and the fewer gaps you’ll see up close.
Use thin dowel rods for “stems”, pushing them into your ball and then cutting them to whatever length suits your fancy. I actually had some wooden skewers on hand that worked perfectly because they’re sharpened on one end.
Arrange your snowballs in a vase or Mason jar. I filled mine with strips of burlap, but you could also use decorative stones, marbles, buttons, dried beans, or even sand.
But, then again, these snowballs are just as pretty without stems at all! My daughter loved the look of a single snowball on this Mason jar.
In her room she set her Pride and Prejudice snowball on the base of an overturned wine glass. She plans to add a couple more at different heights.
But these would also be lovely hanging from the ceiling. Just tie thread or fishing line around a stick pin and press it into you snowball, then suspend it from the ceiling with a thumbtack or a small hook.
And just so you know, the 5-inch ball took me just over 2 hours to complete and the 3-inch balls just over 1 hour apiece, so I didn’t do this all in one sitting. But it was a fun project to do with Polly Wolly, especially since we were turning our favorite books into something beautiful for our home.
I’m anxious to use the same concept to make an entire wreath. And I’d love to try using hymnbooks or sheet music. Or colored maps! And I may try making book snowball ornaments for the Christmas tree next year. When you’re decorating with something you truly love, the possibilities are endless.