Make Gift Wrap from Old Books

We made several sheets of this gift wrap for the holidays and it was a hit, so here’s a quick how-to tutorial. Change the color scheme and it can work for any occasion throughout the year. GiftWrap_Box

Project: Sew pages of a book together with contrasting top-stitch thread and roll on ink with a brayer to create unique, recycled gift wrap. We used an old encyclopedia and pulled out pages that related to people’s interests – the music section for our musician friend, printing press section for our graphic designer friend, and the biography section for our literate friend.

Supplies

  • Old book (we used an encyclopedia which is made with good strong paper).
  • Exacto Knife
  • Top Stitching Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  • Screen Printing Brayer (available at arts/crafts stores)
  • Screen Printing Ink (available at arts/crafts stores)
  • Ink Extender, if desired (available at arts/crafts stores)
  • Smooth washable mixing tray, such as a mirror or piece of glass
Find an old book that can be dismantled – we used an old encyclopedia.

Find an old book that can be dismantled – we used an old encyclopedia.

How To:

  • With an exacto knife, carefully cut pages from the book.
  • Sew pages together, holding the pages in place as you go. This part is a little tricky. It works best to first sew pairs with short sides together (we did 4 sets) and then sew the long sides together, adding on to the right side, so the bulk of the paper is on your table, not in your sewing machine. We sewed 8 pages together which made our gift wrap size about 20″x32″.
Sew pages together using contrasting top stitching thread. We used a zigzag stitch.

Sew pages together using contrasting top stitching thread. We used a zigzag stitch.

  • To add color, lay your sheets on a smooth hard surface. Mix your inks as desired on a smooth mixing tray. Play around with colors. Use scrap paper to experiment until you get the color and ink density you want. You may find it helpful to use an “ink extender” which increases the transparency and allows the images to be more visible through the ink.
  • Roll your color on, let dry.

That’s it! This is a simple project and it’s a great way to re-use old paper. Good luck!

See more of Heidi’s artwork at Old Stuff. New Stories.

If you liked this post, you may also like:

2 thoughts on “Make Gift Wrap from Old Books

  1. Loving that especially the painting it part. Very original with the red thread. I did just buy a couple of old books before christmas. I’ve only used one page because it’s a book of poetry and I tend to sit and read it and then think, “oh, can’t rip out that page”.

    I just had a flashback to my childhood with the photo up top of the indexed pages. We had a set of Worldbook encyclopedias and I totally remember sitting on the floor, reading the pages with the quick index on them. Cool.

    Have a great weekend!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *