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Playing with Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book

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In these pages, Jason Thompson has curated an extensive and artistic range of both achievable upcycled crafts made from books and book pages and an amazing gallery that contains thought-provoking and beautiful works that transform books into art. The content encompasses a wide range of techniques and step-by-step projects that deconstruct and rebuild books and their parts i In these pages, Jason Thompson has curated an extensive and artistic range of both achievable upcycled crafts made from books and book pages and an amazing gallery that contains thought-provoking and beautiful works that transform books into art. The content encompasses a wide range of techniques and step-by-step projects that deconstruct and rebuild books and their parts into unique, upcycled objects. The book combines in equal measure bookbinding, woodworking, paper crafting, origami, and textile and decorative arts techniques, along with a healthy dose of experimentation and fun.The beautiful high-end presentation and stunning photography make this book a delightful, must-have volume for any book-loving artist or art-loving book collector.


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In these pages, Jason Thompson has curated an extensive and artistic range of both achievable upcycled crafts made from books and book pages and an amazing gallery that contains thought-provoking and beautiful works that transform books into art. The content encompasses a wide range of techniques and step-by-step projects that deconstruct and rebuild books and their parts i In these pages, Jason Thompson has curated an extensive and artistic range of both achievable upcycled crafts made from books and book pages and an amazing gallery that contains thought-provoking and beautiful works that transform books into art. The content encompasses a wide range of techniques and step-by-step projects that deconstruct and rebuild books and their parts into unique, upcycled objects. The book combines in equal measure bookbinding, woodworking, paper crafting, origami, and textile and decorative arts techniques, along with a healthy dose of experimentation and fun.The beautiful high-end presentation and stunning photography make this book a delightful, must-have volume for any book-loving artist or art-loving book collector.

30 review for Playing with Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mir

    As is often the case with craft books, the easier projects that I have the skills and/or tools for are not appealing to me, and the ones that I like better are too difficult. Here's one I might try, maybe a smaller twig with just a flower or two not for decor but as a decoration on a gift. My favorite part was the end section reproducing images of altered books by real artists (not that Thompson isn't a real artist, but the projects in the book are not really art... why would I want to cut a pape As is often the case with craft books, the easier projects that I have the skills and/or tools for are not appealing to me, and the ones that I like better are too difficult. Here's one I might try, maybe a smaller twig with just a flower or two not for decor but as a decoration on a gift. My favorite part was the end section reproducing images of altered books by real artists (not that Thompson isn't a real artist, but the projects in the book are not really art... why would I want to cut a paperback into the shape of an apple?) Thomas Allen Nicola Dale Robert The And I think I need Creative City the Hague. Please but them for me.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mickey

    The semi-puritanical me is HORRIFIED at the idea of desecrating a book. I whimper when I see a book- any book- dropped, mangled, or mutilated. However, if a book MUST be altered from it's normal form, the ideas presented here are fairly good ones! The projects are doable if you have a bit more time and patience than I do, and the art gallery presented at the end is nothing less than amazing.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katharina

    While the general idea of CUTTING UP A BOOK still horrifies me, even I have to admit I have a few old ones that I picked up at library sales etc that are completely falling apart at the seams anyway. And for those, this is absolutely perfect. There are so many gorgeous ideas in here that I can't wait to try out on my next day off.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    It's really not fair for me to categorize this as a craft book but I put it there so I'll know where to find it in the future. This is a beautiful book with ideas that I've used in library programs. It's lovely to look at and inspiring. My goal is to make more creations from this book with library patrons. So far we have made the bookpage wreaths. Next up is the book pumpkin then the flowers.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bunny

    I could never do everything in this book, as I'm nowhere near crafty enough. But the ideas are PHENOMENAL, and I can't resist daydreaming about getting some old destructible books and playing. I'm also amused that I saw half the ideas for these on different Upcycling websites before I ever saw this book. Ah, internet.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Madison Scott

    This is a great book. Effective writing skills. Just love it

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ligaya

    This is a beautiful book full of creative uses of the book as a craft material. Photography is excellent, DIY directions are brief but doable. I have a goal of completing several projects!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sue Leinberger

    One or two projects that interested me, good instructions. At least half of the book is taken up with art made from books, I would have liked to have seen more practical projects.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Helen Pugsley

    There's some really cool ideas in here! But I've had to go to outside sources to make sure I'm doing it right. Thus, I knocked off a star.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    This one had a lot of projects I could see myself making. I enjoyed it. I hope others do too! (I added it to my library.)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jen Cameron

    The projects were mostly meh, with a couple decent ones. The redeeming quality was the gallery of artists. He art was amazing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    liberal sprinkles

    If you're looking for examples of paper crafts and book art, there are other books that are more comprehensive, like Papercraft: Design and Art With Paper or Masters: Book Arts: Major Works by Leading Artists. But Playing with Books is fantastic for people who like to get their hands dirty. There are lots of tutorials on crafting books into other forms, and making fun and creative things with book pages. Most of the projects are easy even for beginner paper crafters and lovers. How about folding If you're looking for examples of paper crafts and book art, there are other books that are more comprehensive, like Papercraft: Design and Art With Paper or Masters: Book Arts: Major Works by Leading Artists. But Playing with Books is fantastic for people who like to get their hands dirty. There are lots of tutorials on crafting books into other forms, and making fun and creative things with book pages. Most of the projects are easy even for beginner paper crafters and lovers. How about folding a nice sheet of paper to make a special envelope? Or cutting up some paperback covers into postcards? Too easy? All right then, try making your own billfold, beads, bag, flowers, ornaments, mobile, gift box or wreath. The photo-accompanied instructions will help you do all that. There is also a gallery of book artworks that are a feast for the eyes. If you like to make things with your hands, this book is definitely fun! this review is adapted from a longer one at liberal sprinkles http://liberalsprinkles.blogspot.com/...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Charla Wilson

    This is a perfect book for book lovers! It is about creating art with books. You will not believe the beautiful things that can be created with a book. There are a few things that are way out of my abilities range, but the are wonderful to look at for inspiration. But, most of the projects can be created by anyone with a little time and determination. My favorite project is making a beautiful wreath from old book pages I am also inspired by the Book Bag that is created from decorative book pages This is a perfect book for book lovers! It is about creating art with books. You will not believe the beautiful things that can be created with a book. There are a few things that are way out of my abilities range, but the are wonderful to look at for inspiration. But, most of the projects can be created by anyone with a little time and determination. My favorite project is making a beautiful wreath from old book pages I am also inspired by the Book Bag that is created from decorative book pages and a sewing machine. It even includes directions for a woven basket made with book pages. All of the projects have great photographs to guide you through the process. There are at least 20 projects in this book! If you love books as much as I do, then the next step after reading them is to turn them into a piece of art!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Anna Richland

    This captured my 7 yr old daughter's imagination, and she wanted to read it at bedtime! A craft book at bedtime! We started the Book Mobile of butterflies on p. 78 out of old atlas pages we had received as gift wrap - talk about multi-levels of recycling. It's a long project, and I can't claim that she and I have finished it yet, but it's looking lovely so far. I think we'll make the book apple for teacher presents, and the idea of using a clay base for papier mache mushrooms, birds, etc on pg 10 This captured my 7 yr old daughter's imagination, and she wanted to read it at bedtime! A craft book at bedtime! We started the Book Mobile of butterflies on p. 78 out of old atlas pages we had received as gift wrap - talk about multi-levels of recycling. It's a long project, and I can't claim that she and I have finished it yet, but it's looking lovely so far. I think we'll make the book apple for teacher presents, and the idea of using a clay base for papier mache mushrooms, birds, etc on pg 102 is adorable. Some of the projects seem to be for serious paper artists, like the phone book tutu, but there are plenty to do with a child. This ties to the Bellevue (WA) Art Museum exhibit A World of Paper, A World of Fashion on view now.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    A great book that shows how to create different projects from old and discarded books. I will be trying some of these to see how they come out. I only wish some of the instructions for the more complicated projects had a little more to them. Also I thought some of the pictures could have been better, they used a shallow depth of field so only one small part of the picture is in focus and you can't see the details on the rest of the picture, so it's hard to see some of the finished projects clear A great book that shows how to create different projects from old and discarded books. I will be trying some of these to see how they come out. I only wish some of the instructions for the more complicated projects had a little more to them. Also I thought some of the pictures could have been better, they used a shallow depth of field so only one small part of the picture is in focus and you can't see the details on the rest of the picture, so it's hard to see some of the finished projects clearly. But overall a good book that shows you how to have fun with your old books and not just throw them away.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    When I visited the Main Library yesterday, I shopped around and discovered this gem in the stacks: Playing With Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimaging the Book by Jason Thompson. Archivists and other book purists may cringe at the thought of tearing up books to make art, but I believe the artist is showing new ways to turn books that are damaged, discarded, or outdated (such as medical and science books), or otherwise unreadable into a new art form. It is an interesting conce When I visited the Main Library yesterday, I shopped around and discovered this gem in the stacks: Playing With Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimaging the Book by Jason Thompson. Archivists and other book purists may cringe at the thought of tearing up books to make art, but I believe the artist is showing new ways to turn books that are damaged, discarded, or outdated (such as medical and science books), or otherwise unreadable into a new art form. It is an interesting concept. I enjoy working with paper and embrace the idea of using recycled materials to make art.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    Lots of fun book nerd projects for those of us who need books even when we aren't reading! Great ideas, wonderful photos with options to suit all crafting abilities. You could easily use other materials if old books are scarce...outdated encyclopaedias provide lots of paper bliss and old calendars are good for home made envelopes. I've already started and though I may not reach intricate sculpture status I am inspired by all the creative book artists out there.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah

    This book is filled with gorgeous sculptures and 3d art created with used books. My favorite is the butterfly "book mobile" for sentimental reasons. I would probably never make anything in this book, but it was great eye candy. Kind of reminds me of paper displays that you would see in an Anthropologie window.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Louise Parr

    Good for people with clever fingers (Cai!). I especially like the last section where they made landscapes out of books.Okay, I have some issues with the destruction of books; I recommend Readers;s Digest condensed books; they're useless otherwise. Worth looking at the pictures even if you will never do the projects.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)

    Incredibly stunning. I think in the future I'm going to be making: Pocketbook - page 24 Holder - page 36 Flower branch - page 48 Kusudama - page 56 The mat - page 64 The circle mobile - page 72 The butterfly mobile - page 78 And I can't wait to get started. This book is fantastic for book lovers.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    This book has instructions for various craft projects using obsolete books, as well as inspirational photos of different artists' works. I wish I had more artistic ability, because the creative ideas in this book are wonderful.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This book contained some great information about paper crafts, including techniques and tools to use. It also included some family-friendly craft ideas, as well as information about artists that use books as their medium.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Meleofa

    Such an interesting book! While reading through it I was alternately horrified (how can they do that to a book?!) and full of wonder (they made that from a book!!). I really enjoyed it. I can't wait to try some of the projects. I'm inspired.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Beautiful paper-crafting with amazing artist profiles (Mike Stilkey, Su Blackwell (SWOON), Nicola Dale, and more...). Those little paper houses. The book to bloom. And, the basket case! Deconstruction, indeed.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Anne

    This book gives the reader step-by-step instructions on how to turn unwanted, discarded books into useable items like totebags and billfolds. There is also a section showcasing artist's sculptures using books.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Vonia

    The book was an art piece itself with all the magnificent pictures of things I would love to somehow make/own/create/have. Loved it!!!!!.... If I suddenly had a limitless amount of time and/or resources, this book shall be reopened...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jen Johnson

    the projects in here were very nice and pretty, i wasn't really blown away by anything until the last section which detailed some artists that work with books and paper. those projects were amazing! a good inspiring craft-type read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kim A Paper Addict

    I love paper & I find this book inspirational. I can not wait to take it in the studio with me. It is a verb book I love paper & I find this book inspirational. I can not wait to take it in the studio with me. It is a verb book

  29. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I don't want to make quite as many of the crafts as I do from The Repurposed Library, but I like that they include artist profiles of people who use books as their medium. Very inspiring!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laura Salas

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Great ideas for making other things from old books: clocks, purses, sculptures, pencil cups...love it. Would like to try some of these.

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