How to Make an Upcycled Miniature Steampunk Wreath from Old Books
I’m such a fan of pretty much anything made from old book pages. I love them for two reasons. It’s so great to see books that may be too damaged to read still put to good use. On the other hand, they just look really pretty! I decided to make an upcycled wreath using book pages to make use of a smaller sized embroidery hoop I had around.
This is a very low cost and low-energy project which makes it a great option to get done in an afternoon. By going to the local thrift store to pick up a book for just 50 cents I was able to get each half page used in this project for just pennies. I already had the gluesticks on hand and the embroidery hoop. You can pick the smaller embroidery hoops up for less than a dollar in some stores. You could even use cardboard or foam in a pinch if you don’t have access to embroidery hoops.
It was quite relaxing to sit, music on, and work my way around the embroidery hoops gluing on book pages. It is a great craft to do when you need a minute to yourself to get your head together, or just when you need a quick break.
How to Make an Upcycled Steampunk Wreath
If you are already a crafter there’s a good chance that you will already have everything you need on hand to do this project. It’s a very low-cost project that isn’t fussy or difficult in the least. It’s even a great option for teens to put together when they get a case of the “I’m bored”s.
1 small embroidery hoop ( you can use any size you prefer)
1 old paperback book.
small dowel rod or pencil
Remove any stickers or price tags from your embroidery hoop. You can wrap it in thread or twine if you prefer that look. I didn’t find it necessary as the visible part of the hoop will be completely covered by the book pages.
Remove 10-20 pages from your book. I cut mine in half and then cut each of those in half again to quarter my pages. You can leave them any size you would like and should alter the size you use based on the size of your hoop. ( A larger hoop should use larger sizes of the book pages).
When choosing pages to remove from your book you want to make sure that both sides of your book page have a decent amount of text on them. This is what gives such a fun unique look to book page projects. It is generally better to avoid the beginning and end of a chapter as there tends to be more blank area on the page in these two places.
Because I went with a thrift store book I was able to find one that already had the color and level of weathering that I was looking for in my project. You can use distressing inks or even tea dye your pages to alter them to look more weathered if you would like.
Use the end of your dowel rod or pencil to wrap a square of the book page like you are making a flower. Slightly twist the page as you fold it up the wooden mold. Using your glue gun add a bead of glue to the flat surface of the paper created at the bottom of the dowel rod. Press it onto the side of your embroidery hoop and hold for 5-10 seconds until the glue sets. You should be able to easily remove the dowel rod to make another “flower”.
For more of a full look try to squeeze each of your folded book pages as close together as possible. You can move the edges around and even trim to achieve as chaotic or uniform of a look as you would like. If you want a seriously distressed look you can burn the edge of the pages ( before attaching them to the hoop).
Hot glue guns set almost instantly so there’s really no need to let it cure for the project. Once you are happy with your book pages you can select the gears or cogs you would like to use. I went with three. However, you can use as many as you think looks good. Some come with stickers on the back to hold them to scrapbook pages or journals. I would recommend removing the stickers and simply using your glue gun to attach them to the front of your wreath. If you don’t want to go steampunk there are tons of other decorative elements you could add such as small flowers, old keys, or even a creepy spider.
Once your wreath is completed you can add an 8-10 inch hoop of the suede cord to the metal closure part of the hoop to hang it.
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