CHAPTER 1Getting Started

Making books out of recycled and repurposed materials is venturing into fun, yet uncharted territory. Hot-water bottles, paint samples, and bathroom rugs are hardly the typical stuff of which books are made, but with a little guidance and a few tips, they can become stunning, one-of-a-kind journals and albums.

Unfamiliar materials present creative challenges that start ideas flowing. The best way to start working with new supplies is to handle them and see what they can do. Can they flex enough to wrap around a text block? Are they easily cut with a craft or utility knife? Which adhesives work best? Does an object lose or gain appeal if it’s pared down? Potato-chip bags, for example, don’t suffer at all when cropped, ...

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