Sunday 17 November 2013

Book Review: Book Art

Today I'm reviewing Book Art by Clare Youngs. Regular readers will know I love Clare's books!


Book Art is a hardback with lovely matte paper pages. It includes 35 papercrafting projects using old books, atlases, catalogues, sheet music, etc. 


Cheap second hand books are a great source of interesting paper for crafting and though the idea of cutting up a perfectly good book may break the heart of book lovers you can of course use damaged books or titles that'll just get chucked if you were to donate them to your local charity shop (like out of date textbooks, books your kid has scribbled in, etc).

The projects in Book Art are divided into four chapters: Cards & Stationery, Decorating the Home, For Kids and Animals.


Some of the projects are very specifically "things to make from an old book" but others are more general paper crafting projects that you could make with any paper if you wanted to (they just happen to look nice made from book pages).  All the projects have fully illustrated step by step instructions. Some of the templates provided need enlarging and others are full size.

Cards & Stationery includes cards, notebooks, paper-covered buttons and this fun pigeon message card:


Decorating the home includes paper fruit & veg, houses, flowers, paper bowls, ornaments and these abstract pictures made from catalogues:


For Kids includes a paper brooch, an awesome lion, paper sculptures of food and jumping jacks made from book cover:


Then Animals includes, as you might expect, animal and bird themed projects. Rather predictably it's the bird designs that are my favourites in this book! There's a wise owl that peeps out from inside a book, a sweet robin in a nest, some lovely birds in flight made from atlas pages and an awesome owl and the pussycat pop up:


I really struggled to choose just a few projects to photograph for this review which is always a good sign of how much lovely stuff there is in a craft book!

The only "problem" with this book is that I think if you just want to make the sort of "book art" that absolutely requires a book to be involved (like this cute owl project) then you might be a bit frustrated by the number of projects that are "papercrafting projects involving book pages".

But as long as you're happy to try a mix of projects - some book sculptures, and some more general paper crafting projects - I would highly recommend this book.

Book Art is published by CICO Books. RRP £14.99. It's available from Amazon UK, Amazon USA, The Book Depository and many other bookshops.

[Disclaimer: CICO Books sent me a free review copy of this book. They also publish my books, but you know I'm always honest in my reviews! The Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links]


Anonymous said...

I hate books being cut up! The beautiful end product doesn't justify it to me at all. Even old tatty books have their charm and can be quite rare, so to go snippety snip, seems like a travesty to me. I feel the same with vintage embroidery. People always feel like they are improving on it but no not really. And when things get popular it means far to many things which need preserving get destroyed. Some people aren't even bothered if they are tatty or not and will use books in a decent condition too.

Bugs and Fishes said...

People do sometimes cut up really lovely / rare things which can be a bit heartbreaking - I have definitely had "aaargh, you cut that up???" moments when looking at some "upcycled" projects.

But after years of working in charity shops and seeing how many nice books and vintage embroidery / tablecloths / etc can end up getting thrown out/recycled because they are not 100% perfect or they just haven't sold, people using these things for crafting doesn't bother me as much as it used to.

This is definitely not a craft for everyone though! :)

Anonymous said...

i agree that upcycling is better than total oblivion. i've seen lots of shelves filled with classic books in charity shops that no one wants anymore