Recycle your old paperback books by crafting pumpkins out of them. Depending on how many books you have available, you could have a pumpkin patch in no time. The pages of the books are cut to resemble a pumpkin shape. When opened, the pages will fan out creating a 3-D pumpkin. Make them for yourself, gifts for friends or hot sellers at fall craft shows.
Things You Will Need:
Tea bags, hot water, measuring cup, bowl
Orange acrylic paint
Jig saw or miter saw
Hot glue gun
Silk oak leaves
Rip off the front and back covers from your paperback book. Place one cover on a sheet of card stock and trace around it. Cut out the rectangle shape. If you want to be really thrifty, you can use the cover instead of card stock.
Filling the entire rectangle, trace half a pumpkin shape with the center of the pumpkin against one long edge. Cut out the pumpkin half. This is your book pumpkin pattern. Note: You will want the bottom of the pumpkin to be flat to allow the finished pumpkin to stand.
Brew two cups of tea using two tea bags. Pour the tea in a bowl big enough to hold the book. Submerge the book in the tea. If the tea does not cover the tea, allow the book to set for a few minutes, then flip it so that the other side becomes saturated and stained. When the entire book has been stained, allow it to dry. To speed up the drying process, you can put it in the oven on a low temperature. Occassionally flutter the pages to keep them from sticking together.
Lay the dried book on your work surface. Place the pumpkin pattern on the book, with the middle of the pumpkin against the edge with the spine. Trace around the pumpkin the outer edge of the pumpkin.
Cut along the traced line through as many layers as your scissors allow. Discard the parts of the pages cut off. Using the previously cut pages as your pattern, cut through several more pages. Repeat until the entire book has been cut. Note: Shifting while cutting may cause the first pages to be a different shape than the last. Since you are creating a natural shape, this will not hurt the overall look of your pumpkin. Alternatively, you could use a craft knife with a new blade for this step.
Pour a small amount of orange acrylic paint on a paper plate. Close the cut book and hold it closed at the spine. Dip the fat end of a wedge make-up sponge in the paint. Dab the paint over the cut edges of the book. Wipe a paper towel over the paint while it is still wet to quickly remove the excess. Stand the book on end and allow the pages to open slightly. This will prevent the pages from sticking together while the paint dries.
Find a stick in your yard about the diameter of your finger and 2 inches taller than your book. If you can’t find one the length you need, use a jig saw or miter saw to cut it to size. Depending on how dry the stick is, you could also try breaking it.
Open half the book to approximately the center and lay it with the open side down on your work surface. The spine will be facing up. Apply hot glue along the spine. Lay the stick in the glue, with the top of the stick extending from the top of the pumpkin shape. This is your pumpkin’s stem.
Apply hot glue to the length stick that is facing up. Do not put glue on the part that is extending above the pumpkin. Roll the spine around the stick and bring the front and back pages together. This will create the total pumpkin shape.
Tie raffia around the stem. Hot glue silk oak leaves to the top of the pumpkin.
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