When I generfied the library I also weeded my fiction area. I had over 500 books that I needed to get rid of so I started looking for ways to make art using them. First, I used the books to decorate the library doors and then since I still had more books I started to look for other uses. My students and I started to take the books and fold them into really cool designs which I have put them up all over the library. I also started to make crystallize books using Borax.
The book crystallization came about because of this article I found on Pinterest. After reading it I was very excited to try it myself. So I did.
Every book comes out differently no two are alike and the crystals are all totally different. I have not fully figured out why some come out with bigger crystals and some are smaller finer crystals. I think it has to do how hot the water gets but I am not fully sure. I should have paid more attention in chemistry class.
Since I have started to post pictures of them on my twitter feed I have been asked how I did that.
Here is my unscientific recipe I make my books.
1. Get a big stockpot and fill it with water.
2. Heat the water to almost boiling
3. Put in lots of borax more borax more crystals (I use around 6 cups per book) - stir it let the mixture dissolve.
4. Keep the book soaking in the mixture until the water has cooled and the crystals have formed on the book.
5. Take it out of the mixture and leave it out to dry.
You can also put in food coloring if you want.
I have had so much fun using my old books to make these. I love how they turn out. Try it! Please send me pictures if you do!
A few weeks ago, when I weeded over 500 books from the library I started looking for ways to reuse some of the books.I was talking with my dear friend Shannon Miller about the gentrification process and she mentioned that she gave most of her weeded books to a friend who made crafts with them. I loved the idea and started thinking of ways I could use some of the books.
Anyone who knowns me knows I love me some Pinterest! I even wrote an article about how to use it in the library which appeared in School Librarian Workshop. I searched Pinterest for uses for old books and was amazed at all the ideas I came across. I then made a Pinterest board I made of ideas I found.
I decided that I would take some of the pages from the discarded books and wallpaper my library door with them. Using double stick tape in case I want to change it.
I mixed up different books and images! I just love it and so do my students and teachers!
Elissa Malespina is the Middle School Teacher Librarian in Somerville and a Presenter, Author and much more. The views are my own. Find my full resume above.