Creative Archiving: Holiday Makerspace Projects with Weeded Books

‘Tis the season!  Time for gifts for family, friends and colleagues.  This is also especially true for students too!  But budgets can get tight when the circle of giving gifts gets larger.  And that’s where creativity (which is free!) and a few materials can really help.  And as I told my students, what better gift to give to a loved one than ones that’s homemade?

What I did for several past fall semesters is have students create things from weeded books.  They usually did a book wreath, but since than I have made several other things with weeded books.  Minimal cost, patience, and time.  So if you’re looking for ideas, here are a few you can do:

Book Page Christmas Trees:  What I like about these is that you can make them large or small, depending on what you’d like.  All you do is cute strips of paper with the same width and then cut down the strip halfway to make a fringe.  Roll it around a pencil to fluff it out and then hot glue it from the bottom up overlapping the strips as you go up.  After you finish, you can add little decorations and use an upsweeping motion to fluff it even more.  (the picture is one I made in 15 minutes)  
Resources: posterboard, weeded books, hot glue gun, scissors, pencil.  If you’d like something a little easier, try this idea for a simple weeded book Christmas tree

Book Wreath:  I don’t know how many of these I have made, but it seems like a million!  And the best part?  They all come out so differently!!  Again, size is what you’d like it to be and how you put the pages on (cone shapes, scrunched up paper, rolled shapes) is up to you.  The hardest part is cutting a template (which looks like a giant donut) but other than that, the sky’s the limit, especially if you’d like to bling it up a little!  The MOST creative one I made was with a comic book for my fellow nerd in arms teacher at my campus.  It doesn’t have to be just books.  My library assistant did one from an almanac for a friend who traveled a lot. (the picture are two I made for my house).  Here’s a link to a book wreath, including the template  Resources: template for book wreath, heavy duty cardboard, hot glue gun, pencil (to help glue the pages), and a ribbon to loop on back to hang it.  

Paper Ornaments:
This is going to be the one I’ll be making this year, as I haven’t tried it before.  Last year, I purchased a small white Christmas tree and instead of putting traditional ornaments on it, I’m going to do all different sizes of ornaments and hang them on there for a little white on white contrast. This creator is using scrapbooking paper, but book pages that have a little stiffness or thickness to it would work well.  If not, I plan on double the strips and gluing them together to make them more sturdy.    The link to this excellent tutorial can be found here

So there are three projects you can do with students and make someone’s Christmas merrier!  And if you need any more ideas, I have a BUNCH of ideas on a Pinterest board, so head on over there and see what else you can do with those weeded books!  

Happy Holidays everyone!!  

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