Friday, 23 November 2012

How To Make Angels and Christmas Trees From A Paperback Book

It is a sad fact that even charity shops have to pulp books after their pages have curled on the shelves too long. Incredibly not everyone wanted to read Mills and Boon 'Christmas Nights' by Sally Wentworth. If I was Sally I would be gutted.

From pulp fiction to Christmas tree in 3 easy folds.

But I have found a craft so simple, so easy, even those missing the craft gene can do it. And in the process we save unloved books from a fate worse than landfill.

Turn unwanted and unloved paperbacks into Christmas Trees and Angels.

I should warn you though, there is one problem making these, especially for a book worm. The temptation to try to read as you fold the pages is IMMENSE and you may find yourself drawn into a fictional world unwittingly. If you resist, these decorations can take less than half and hour to make. If you are sucked in, more like 72 hours.

Here are examples of what you can do with that unwanted fiction...

Simple Christmas Tree made from The Yellow Pages:

One Christmas tree (formerly the Yellow Pages)

Embellished with a little gold spray and a Star:

Paperback Christmas Tree


Blinged baby!

Blinged Paperback Christmas Tree



Here's how.

You want a paperback that is about 120-150 pages long (that is numbered pages, not leaves of the book). If you have one longer, just tear it in half. I know that this goes against all things literary but take a deep breath and rip. Now rip off the cover and bend that spine back. If anyone is hyperventilating at the thought of mutilating a book, have a paper bag on stand by.

For a simple Christmas tree.

Fold each page so that the top right hand corner folds down into the middle of the book.

Paperback Christmas Tree - Fold 1

Then fold the page again so that it meets the middle of the book.

Paperback Christmas Tree - Fold 2

Turn this folded page over and fold up the triangle that is sticking out at the bottom.

Paperback Christmas Tree - Fold 3

Tuck this in.

Paperback Christmas Tree - and tuck


Carry on doing this for every page.

makes a pretty pattern

It will get a bit difficult towards the end as the folded pages increase the volume of paper at the spine but try to get each fold into the center of the book. When all the pages are folded it will stand up on its own in a tree shape.

To embellish it, paint with a little glue and add a dash of glitter.
Or lightly spray paint it.
Add a bauble star.
Make an origami star.
Add tinsel. Okay maybe that is a step to far.

To make an Angel:

Fold the first 20 leaves of the book as if you are making a Christmas tree. Then fold the next 5 or 6 leaves upwards, varying the amount of the second fold for each page to create a fan effect.

Paperback Angel Wings - Fold 1

Paperback Angel Wings - Fold 2

Paperback Angel Wings - Fanning


This is one of the angel's wings. Continue folding pages as you did for the tree until you are about 25 leaves from the end. Then repeat the upwards fold for 5 pages reversing the order of the fanning effect in order for your angel's wings to be symmetrical. Fold the remaining pages as you did for the tree.

To complete the angel glue a bauble on the top for a head or a polystyrene ball or ping pong ball. You can spray paint it or glue and glitter it to create your desired effect.

turn a book into an angel


You don't have to use a book if you find you cannot bring yourself to do it. You could use a quality magazine (as long as it has a glued spine) or a catalogue.

These are seriously easy and hopefully I have inspired the bloggers who are making decorations in aid of The Society of St James, a charity for the Homeless. If you want to know how you can get involved to add a little Christmas cheer for the homeless of Southampton, then visit Mammasaurus blog to find out more.

Tots100 Experience Days Competition

21 comments:

  1. This is absolutely brilliant, genius idea!

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  2. These are amazing!!

    Finally, Mills and Boons have a purpose in life.

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  3. OMG THIS IS BRILLIANT!! Bookmarking NOW.
    You could always use charity shop books and support a local cause too!

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  4. Genius! I bet being me it would take me less time to read it though ;)

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  5. These are brilliant Alison! Love them x

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  6. Ah this is a gorgeous idea!

    www.stitchnting.blogspot.com

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  7. These look amazing. Certainly giving these a go. x

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  8. Thanks These are great instructions. I have pinned this project

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  9. Thanks These are great instructions. I have pinned this project

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  10. Officially addicted to making these - and blogged about them with a link to this page so other people can join in!

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  11. what a great idea! I had seen the folded books used in floristry but not for Christmas decs. I am really tempted to have a go at these as they look so good.

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  12. Congratulations on the Crafty Christmas win. I think this is a really super idea and will definitely give it a go.

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  13. Congratulations on the win I can't wait to try this - thisdayilove

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  14. that Angel is adorable!! love it! well done on the win!

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  15. Wow thank you so much for the Xmas tree idea I have just finished one and it looks fabulous I am now going to have a go at the star, angel and the garland.
    A very happy lady thanks again

    Di Hughes

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  16. Hi really super idea, just been to a craft fair and they are selling them for well over £10.00!!!! so it is catching on fast...

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  17. Excellent, excellent, excellent !!! Absolutely great Angel so easy to make but so professional when completed. Thank you for sharing this idea.

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  18. Vraiment superbe
    Gros bisous
    Béa

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  19. I'm curious about a pattern for the star. Do you have a post or a link for that? TIA

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  20. Brilliant thanks for instructions I was given an angel made like this and having been longing to know how to do it!

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Oooh, I do like a good comment :-)