Learn how to alter a book into your very own creative purse.
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Altering in crafting seems to be the "in" thing these days, so that’s what we did to a book that was ready for the discard pile. Unlike other altered books I’ve seen, however, we did not paint the pages or glue them together or cut them in pieces. We simply removed them from the covers. The book goes wherever you want it to go. The cover is what we used to make a purse. Obviously the size of the book will determine the size of your purse, and the depth of the spine will determine the width of your purse.
Materials and Tools:
vinyl for the gusset
clear elastic bead cording
hole punch or drill – 1/16" , 5/16
button for fastener
27" length of chair tie cording for handles and button loop*
small piece of laminate
* This length of cording gives you a very short handle; you may prefer a longer length.
1. Open the front cover of your book and lift up the flyleaf. You want to remove the page attached to it. This can often be accomplished most easily by gently pulling the pages apart and then inserting your craft knife between the flyleaf and the next page and cut toward the spine to separate the pages from the spine. Do this in the back of the book as well and all of the pages should lift out easily intact all in one piece.
2. Trim the flyleaf in the front of the book about 3/4 inch away from the spine of the book and cut the one in the back leaving it wide enough to cover the entire spine.
3. Glue the narrow (3/4" strip) to the inside of the spine and glue the wider strip from the back cover over it. The entire inside of the book cover is now covered. In many cases it will be just white paper; in some instances the paper will be patterned, which is certainly more interesting.
4. Cut a strip from the cut-out flyleaf wide enough to cover the spine on the outside of the book. If the flyleaf is plain white you may prefer to cut a strip of decorative paper instead. Cover this strip with a laminating sheet and glue to the outside of the spine. This step is necessary only if you wish to cover the outside spine of the book. If it has an interesting title you may prefer to leave it uncovered.
5. With the flattened cover right side up on the table top, measure 1/4 inch in from one side edge and 1/8 inch up from the bottom. Mark an X at this point. Repeat on the opposite side edge. Repeat along the top edge of the cover.
6. Place a ruler along the top edge lined up with the two corner marks and make dots at 1/4-inch increments. Repeat along the bottom edge. Drill 1/16-inch holes at each dot.
7. To make holes for the button, mark a dot in the center of the side edge 1/2 inch in from the edge on the front cover only. Drill two holes here for attaching the button. For the cording loop to go over the button, drill two more holes 1/2 inch apart in the middle of the side edge on the back cover 3/4" in from the side edge. These holes should be directly across from the holes on the front cover and should be made using a 5/16-inch bit to accommodate the cording.
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