Thursday, 10 May 2018

Make a book out of rubbish.

Hello. I've just finished this little project. My friend Angela gave me some brown paper bags, could I do anything with them. I like a challenge so here's the result. It's a fun thing to make, children could do it, all you need is any old paper, paint, glue, pictures cut from magazines, and anything else you can think of. I used four of these bags.
I didn't try to make it neat and tidy, I just played around with it. There are lots of videos on yooootoooob on how to make a journal, some show very complicated designs, I wanted to make mine easy, like a scrap book.. I haven't made a cover, don't want to spend any more time on it.

 I painted the brown bags first, then found some pictures in leaflets. Cut a piece of fabric (bottom right), and machine stitched it on.

Plenty of doodling with felt tip pens.

Top left is tissue paper stuck down with PVA glue. A piece of an old map.

On the left is needle felting wool stuck down with PVA glue, and glitter glue added afterwards. I love the vibrancy of the colours and the rough texture.

More doodles, a bus timetable, stitched on map, stuck down red ribbon.

Spray paint used on the right hand side. Felt tip pens to colour in.

 A nice place to stay, Willersley Castle. Pictures out of a catalogue.

Two shoe laces to keep it closed.

I stitched them together using Kettle Stitch while following instructions on a video. It's quite easy to do.

An easy to follow video on how to do Kettle Stitching.

I won't be making another one, it was a fun thing to do, and good practice for trying out different materials and seeing what works and what doesn't. I like the sparkly glitter wool, I might use that again. You have probably noticed that the pages are not all the same width, I removed the handles and used the whole bag. Folded it in half, didn't cut it.

Anyone else fancy having a go. Have a look round your home and see what you could use.

Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip


  1. This looks like a good activity for primary/junior school pupils. It would teach them about recycling, whilst improving their use of scissors, using different materials and expressing themselves. They would have such fun choosing pictures they like, and the cost would be minimum. Good for wet school holidays at home too.

  2. How fab! Ilona. I used the cardboard from a cereal packet to make the backing for an embroidery recently. I’ve never heard of kettle stitch.

  3. Love it. Thanks for sharing. I hope to use it with my grandson

  4. What an awesome project!!!! It looks great!!!!

  5. Joan A (Devon)10 May 2018 at 23:39

    I have four large hard cover scrap books I got many, many years ago. I have taken out what was in there as they were secured with sellotape which has since dried out and photo corners, so they are now redundant and I was loathe to get rid of them. I may copy your idea of filling it with things for my grand-daughters ie the circles etc to fill in.

  6. I started a junk journal a few weeks ago! I love it! I don’t have a lot of time but I keep picking away. Yours is more colorful then mine!

  7. Oh my god, that is so good. I would love to be able to make some books like that with my students. How absolutely beautiful. I love it. Clever girl.

  8. Wow! Your creativity knows no bounds. I never know what you will get up to next. Love it.

  9. Brilliant! Another thing on my "must try one day" list! :)

  10. Interesting idea. I was cleaning out a spot in our bedroom and found many bags with handles. I decided to keep a few as I could make them into gift bags to use on various occasions. Not done one yet but will figure it out. I like the idea of a book like you made. Fun books to make for grandchildren. Maybe make memories book for my oldest granddaughter who's turning 10 in a few weeks! I better get started, huh? Have a great week!


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