I've been wanting to change up my living room a bit lately, but being on a budget means doing it creatively. I remembered this little project I did years ago and thought it would be the perfect thing to add a bit of color on the cheap. I first read about how to do this in ReadyMade magazine, but have since seen lots of different ways to make frames (or other things) from old books.
Here's my take on up-cycling old books into picture frames.
}Old book, preferably with a fabric cover and interesting graphics or title
}Rotary cutter (optional)
}Self-healing cutting mat (optional)
}2 Short machine screws (just long enough to go through both covers)
}2 Long machine screws (3" to 4") (optional: for a free-standing frame)
}Pencil or disappearing ink marker
}String or ribbon
}Using the rotary cutter and ruler (or the penknife and a steady hand), cut the spine off the book, leaving the pages and cover loose. Use a layer of Mod Podge to seal up the exposed edges and keep the fabric from fraying.
}Working on the front cover, mark with a pencil or disappearing ink the area you want to cut away for your frame opening.
}Using a rotary cutter and ruler (or penknife and ruler), press firmly along the lines you marked, cutting all the way through the cover. Carefully use the penknife to finish out the corners.
}Tack your photo or picture into place. Sandwich the front and back book covers together, lining up the corners and edges. Use a penknife to press small holes into the top corners of the book, equal distances from the edges.
}If you wish to hang the frame, you only need two short screws (the ones I used were less than 1/2 inch long). Insert the screws into the holes you marked and continue to screw them in, through both book covers using a screwdriver. Be careful to hold the covers tightly together, so they don't shift.
}If you wish to have a free-standing frame, say to sit on a shelf or table, repeat the method above using long screws, inserting them in each corner, 1" from the bottom of the frame. The stems of the screws will protrude out behind the back book cover, making a little legs for the frame to rest on, keeping it upright.
}Tie some string or ribbon to each screw and hang it up!
The tulip print is from Sycamore Street Press.