The Book Project: Taking Apart the Books

This is the fourth in a series of posts about designing
and building the wall art for my living room.
Read the first post about how I got the idea here,
the second post about building the frame here,
and the third post about buying the books here.

Now that I FINALLY had all of the books for my project, it was time to take them apart.  I had been avoiding this.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it.  I wasn’t sure if any of the ideas I had would work out.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about cutting up the books.

What’s Your Favorite Part?

I’m getting ahead of myself.

What piece of each book was I going to use anyway?  If you take the easy route, you can choose any portion of the book at random, or use several pieces from the same book.

If you’ve been following along, you know I like to take an idea and make it as difficult as possible.  If you’ve been following along, you also know that I only wanted to use each book once and only one book per author.  The Husband and I collaborated and picked out the books.  One of us had to have read each book in the piece.

When the books arrived, we split them up and flagged fun or favorite parts.

Picking the part of the book to be featured in the piece.

Here Goes Nothing

Open the the book to the page you want to feature.  Then really open it.

Open the book to the page you want to feature.

Use your thumbs to push the pages and expose the glue and the binding.

Push the pages apart to expose the binding and glue.

Next, get a really sharp x-acto knife.

Use a really sharp x-acto knife.

Here’s an extreme closeup.  You are not actually cutting the paper.

Slice the x-acto knife carefully through the glue and binding.

You are cutting the glue and binding, not the paper.

Repeat the process several pages down the line, depending on how thick you want the piece to be.  I was concerned about how heavy the wall art would be so I kept them relatively thin.  More on that later.

Finally, clean up the book piece.  Hold the x-acto knife parallel to the binding and shave off excess glue.

Shave off excess glue to give the book piece a clean look.

Look easy?  Now go repeat it another 50 times.

That Wasn’t so Bad

After the pain in my hand faded away, that is.

Every third person who hears about this project asks me if I feel bad about taking apart the books.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t bad at all.  I was so giddy that I actually made this work!  I was worried that the pages of the book section weren’t going to stay together and I would have stuff flying all over the craft table.

In all seriousness, it did not bum me out like I was expecting.  The books were old, very used, and I could not wait to display them.

Update: Visit Part 5 – the Layout


4 thoughts on “The Book Project: Taking Apart the Books

  1. I meant to tell you before– this is such an awesome project. My husband and I both love to read, and I”m going to have to show him this!

    and P.S. Pride and Prejudice is one of my absolute favorites.

    • Thanks! I love it when someone picks up on the book I’m using in the pictures. I have a bunch of pages from all the books left over and Pride and Prejudice is at the top of the list to get made into other book crafts (coasters, notebook covers, etc.).

    • Ha! I’m glad you’re following along. I’m keeping the covers for another project. They won’t go to waste, but they are still sitting in a box in the closet until I can get to it . . .

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