Square Business Cards + Book Pages

Grad Student Square Business Cards by Natalie Parker

Being a grad student, you have to market yourself.  Or so they tell me.  Most grad students in my field have business cards for networking purposes.  I designed these for a conference I went to earlier this year.

Being me, I had to make them stand out!  They’re definitely crafter + archives student +  designer + I heart fonts.

I created them in Picasa, saved them as jpeg’s, then print on white stock and cut them using Silhouette Studio.  My name is written in Century Gothic and the bottom font is Klinic Slab.

And as if squares weren’t unique enough, I glued pages from A Tale of Two Cities to the back.  The book pages were leftover from my book wall art.

What do you think?  It was a pretty quick project!  It only took me one evening to finish.

Grad Student Square Business Cards by Natalie Parker

Book Page Business Cards

Two things happened recently:

  1. I finally needed to make business cards for my blog.
  2. I had a bunch of book pieces left over from my book project.

Why not put these two together, literally?

I printed some business cards on white cardstock.  I dug through my stash and decided to put For Whom the Bell Tolls to good use.

I roughly cut out the business cards and glued each one to a book page using Mod Podge.

After leaving them to dry between some heavy books so they wouldn’t curl, I used my rotary cutter to trim them up.

Presto!  Interesting but still functional.  I made a few of these and will probably go back to the craft table soon to see if I can do even cooler things with more book pages.

Book Project Epilogue

This is the seventh in a series of posts about designing and building the wall art for my living room:

How’s it Holding Up?

The piece is holding up very well.  I expected some of the books to “open up” a bit more as time passed and they have.  It gives the piece more texture.

I ended up having to put a wedge underneath the bottom portion of the frame to hold it off the wall.  Originally the top of the frame came away from the wall for a centimeter while the bottom of the frame touched the wall.  This angle made the books open up a bit too much.  Putting the wedge underneath the bottom of the frame helps.

Dust hasn’t been an issue yet, but when I do have to clean it I’m going to use the wand attachment from my vacuum cleaner and the brush attachment to gently go over the piece.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some responses to some frequent comments and some good info if you haven’t read all of the posts yet.  I’ll start with the most frequent question/criticism first.

Don’t you feel bad about destroying books?

Nope.  I thought I would but I didn’t.  I wouldn’t cut up a new book or something off my own shelf.  I bought these books used and they were either library discards or others at the end of their life.  Contrary to what we’d like to think, books don’t last forever.

I was really taken with a comment from a librarian about crafting with books:

“I have a strong opinion that books that you bother to keep in your life to read or refer to should be respected and taken care of … but once they pass that point, anything goes … My library receives hundreds of books a week as donations for our book sales, and we constantly weed [books] from our collections … The things we couldn’t sell often (used to) go to a recycling dumpster and we had to pay to have them hauled away and pulped…”

See?  Trust your librarian.

Couldn’t you have made color copies of the book pages for the same effect and spared the books?

Maybe, but I don’t think it would have the same effect.  This piece is all about texture and it would have been sacrificed if I didn’t use real books.  Plus it would have taken a lot longer if I had to copy and make my own “books.”

You said you ordered the books but then you said you bought them used.  Which is it?

Both.  Most of the books are from an online store called Better World Books  through Half.com.  Buying them together helped me get better prices on the books and shipping.  Funds raised by Better World Books go toward literacy initiatives and libraries. Read more about how I purchased the books here.

If you do this project and it doesn’t matter to you which books you use, you can hit a used book sale in your community and accomplish this much faster.

What are you doing with the rest of the book pages and covers?

They’re not going to waste, trust me.  I’m enamored with book page crafts now, so you will have to keep tuning in to see what I have planned!

How Big is the Piece?

62 inches wide by 36.5 inches tall.  We built it to fit the space over our living room couch.

Where did you get the frame?

I made it!

Oh, I don’t really have tools in my house so I guess I can’t build my own.

Not true.  I don’t have many tools either.  It’s designed so a building novice with few tools can make it (we live in a small 2-bedroom duplex).  As long as you have a store that’s willing to cut wood to size for you, the rest of the supplies are cheap.  Read the full post on how I built the frame here, you can do it!

You can also pick up a cool frame from a thrift store!

How did you attach the books to the frame?

I glued cork board to the inside of the frame and then used thumb tacks.  I used rubber cement for single pages.  Read more about the process in this post.

Did you use just any old books or is there a theme?

They are favorite books of my husband and I (both fiction and non-fiction).  One or both of us have read each book in the piece.  It makes me smile when I look at it and see much loved stories.

Do any of the books repeat in different parts of the piece?

Nope.

Did you specifically pick which page of the book to show?  How did you take them apart?

Yup.  Either the husband or I selected a favorite or interesting part of each book.  It’s that much cooler to look on the wall and see when Mary discovers a garden or when Julia had that memorable meal which would change her life.  Read more about this process and how I took the books apart in this post.

What’s the big grey blob near the top right of the piece?

It’s a picture of the Ursa Major constellation from the book The Stars by H.A. Rey.  My husband received this book when he was a kid and used it to learn the constellations.  It’s still on our bookshelf and is one of his most treasured books.  I found a copy of it used but I ended up  using a copy of the page.  The original page is blue and white.  It threw off the piece to have the constellation be the only color, so I took some artistic license.  H.A. Rey also wrote Curious George.

I bet I could make this cheaper with a handful of books that repeated.

Yup, you could.  I tend to make things more difficult than they should be.  I should change the name of my blog to The Masochistic Crafter.

I welcome more of your questions!  Thanks for stopping by!