Books with ruined or ripped pages needn’t be thrown away. You might not know this but a book makes a fabulous purse! Well, you’ll have to remove the pages, and add a few things, but before you know it you’ll have a one-of-a-kind purse like no one else’s.
You can pick fabric that you’ll use to cover the book. Choose something thin enough to make working with it easy but thick enough to hide the wording on the cover. Dark or printed fabrics are ideal. Use ordinary glue – not hot glue – to upholster the book. Before gluing the corners cut a triangle off of each, and this will eliminate any bulk from folding the cloth over the book.
You don’t necessarily have to cover the book in fabric. Choose an interesting title and use it as the purse itself – in all its glory. No need to cover the book if isn’t frayed or otherwise marred. Do not try making the purse from a paperback book; the book must be a hardcover type.
First up, you’ll need to remove the pages of the book. Tearing them out can leave jagged edges so it’s much better to use a craft knife. Cut the pages out as close to the binding as possible. After you’ve removed all the pages you’ll need to cover the area where the page edges are showing on the binding. A piece of decorative paper, or cloth, can be used to line the inside of the book.
Stand the book upright and open it wide. The opening will create a triangle shape that you need to trace. Do this by opening the book on the cloth – or a piece of paper for a pattern – and draw the triangle. Cut two of these triangle pieces from cloth or vinyl.
Hem the widest part of the triangular cloth pieces. Now you’ll glue these pieces into the top and bottom of the book. The top and bottom will become the sides of the purse upon completion. Open the book and prop the back cover onto a steady item to hold it temporarily. The front cover should be flat on the table, the back cover leaned way back, and propped up so it can’t move.
Glue the point and sides of the triangular piece into the opening created by the book cover. You’ll glue one triangular piece between the front and back cover, on each side. Hot glue works fine for this, but you use white glue, clothes pins can hold the fabric in place while the glue dries.
Craft stores sell all sorts of things to help you create the perfect purse. You’ll find straps, handles, and even pocketbook hardware. Choose the closure you want for your purse. You’ll find types made of leather, loop and button types, and other closures. Attach the closure to the top of the purse, where the front and back cover meet.
The tiny hardware sold to attach handles and such will easily attach to the hardback book. You will nail or screw the hardware in depending upon the type you selected. The same goes for the purse handles. You’ll find bamboo handles, leather straps and more, but you can also cut fabric pieces and make your own handles. Simple strips of leather will work well, so will cording, rope and other choices.
After completing the purse you can embellish it with faux jewels, fabric or leather cutouts, wooden or ceramic shapes, beads, fabric paint or other craft supplies. If you’ve covered the book in fabric you have lots of choices for embellishing the purse. If you are using the book as-is choose embellishments that won’t hide the title or take away from the overall look of the purse.
Small books make great purses for young girls. They can even help embellish the purse when it’s finished. You’ll have so much fun creating the purses that you’ll end up with a book for each outfit in your closet!