It is a sad fact that even charity shops have to pulp books after their pages have curled on the shelves too long. Incredibly not everyone wanted to read Mills and Boon 'Christmas Nights' by Sally Wentworth. If I was Sally I would be gutted.
But I have found a craft so simple, so easy, even those missing the craft gene can do it. And in the process we save unloved books from a fate worse than landfill.
Turn unwanted and unloved paperbacks into Christmas Trees and Angels.
I should warn you though, there is one problem making these, especially for a book worm. The temptation to try to read as you fold the pages is IMMENSE and you may find yourself drawn into a fictional world unwittingly. If you resist, these decorations can take less than half and hour to make. If you are sucked in, more like 72 hours.
Here are examples of what you can do with that unwanted fiction...
Simple Christmas Tree made from The Yellow Pages:
Embellished with a little gold spray and a Star:
You want a paperback that is about 120-150 pages long (that is numbered pages, not leaves of the book). If you have one longer, just tear it in half. I know that this goes against all things literary but take a deep breath and rip. Now rip off the cover and bend that spine back. If anyone is hyperventilating at the thought of mutilating a book, have a paper bag on stand by.
For a simple Christmas tree.
Fold each page so that the top right hand corner folds down into the middle of the book.
Then fold the page again so that it meets the middle of the book.
Turn this folded page over and fold up the triangle that is sticking out at the bottom.
Tuck this in.
Carry on doing this for every page.
It will get a bit difficult towards the end as the folded pages increase the volume of paper at the spine but try to get each fold into the center of the book. When all the pages are folded it will stand up on its own in a tree shape.
To embellish it, paint with a little glue and add a dash of glitter.
Or lightly spray paint it.
Add a bauble star.
Make an origami star.
Add tinsel. Okay maybe that is a step to far.
To make an Angel:
Fold the first 20 leaves of the book as if you are making a Christmas tree. Then fold the next 5 or 6 leaves upwards, varying the amount of the second fold for each page to create a fan effect.
This is one of the angel's wings. Continue folding pages as you did for the tree until you are about 25 leaves from the end. Then repeat the upwards fold for 5 pages reversing the order of the fanning effect in order for your angel's wings to be symmetrical. Fold the remaining pages as you did for the tree.
To complete the angel glue a bauble on the top for a head or a polystyrene ball or ping pong ball. You can spray paint it or glue and glitter it to create your desired effect.
You don't have to use a book if you find you cannot bring yourself to do it. You could use a quality magazine (as long as it has a glued spine) or a catalogue.
These are seriously easy and hopefully I have inspired the bloggers who are making decorations in aid of The Society of St James, a charity for the Homeless. If you want to know how you can get involved to add a little Christmas cheer for the homeless of Southampton, then visit Mammasaurus blog to find out more.