NOTE ADDED: I had some negative reaction about how it wasn’t ok for me to destroy a book like this. I took it pretty personally. I mean, why say anything if you can only be negative? I just wanted to clarify that I used a book that had been damaged. I love authors like my family and would never want to hurt them by harming their books. I love books like family too. But sometimes books are ruined and things happen to them. So, instead of tossing them in a landfill, I like to make art things with them. I’m not trying to be disrespectful to the book. Make sense?
Can you believe that it’s only three weeks until Thanksgiving? How can it be November already? The weather here in Wisconsin has been crazy warm this week and that makes it feel even more like Thanksgiving (and, dare we say it, Christmas–gasp!) is a long ways away.
So, to get myself in the spirit of Thanksgiving and to bring some “gobble up some good reading” decor into our library, I decided to try making a turkey out a recycled book. It could also be a fun centerpiece for Thanksgiving!
NOTE: I mean no disrespect to books of any kind! I used books that had been damaged and were going to be discarded. Please don’t feel offended on behalf of the books. I was hoping to turn what was going to be thrown away into something people could enjoy.
I had seen a picture on Pinterest of one that gave me the idea, but there were no instructions and I wanted to modify it a bit, so I was mostly making it up as I went along. I tried to take pictures as I was working, so you could see my steps. I wish I’d taken even more pictures, but hopefully there’s enough to get the idea across.
- Old hardback book, not too thick (I think mine was around 200 pages), plus extra pages from another book
- Exacto knife
- Hot glue gun and glue
- Printed turkey “head”
My turkey has three sections: the head, the body, and the feathers. I started with the body.
1. Measure your hardback book and cut the pages in half horizontally. Remove the bottom half of all the pages in the book.
I just laid my ruler on the book and cut through as many pages at a time as I could. I tore out the pages as close to the spine as I could get.
2. Fold each page diagonally by pulling from the top right corner and folding it down to the edge of the cut you made. You’ll notice that I didn’t pull the page all the way into a triangle, but left a bit of top edge. I wanted that for making it look right when I attach the head. (FYI, I blurred this picture on purpose so there would be no knowing which book I was using)
3. Fold all the pages into this triangle to make the body part of the turkey.
4. Find an image of a turkey head you’d like to use. Or you can use mine! I put the turkey image on top of an old book page background. I wanted kind of a vintage feel. There are two heads because I am gluing the facing images together back to back so he’s two-sided. I hope you can download the PDF file ok.
5. I cut out the turkey head, leaving a bit of the body to be able to glue it to the pages. Glue them back-to-back. I used some of my scrapbooking tape.
6. Find the middle of your folded pages. It won’t be the middle page number because the folding makes it shift a bit. Just pick where it looks good to you. Glue your turkey head into the pages.
7. Make turkey feathers. I took my extra recycled book pages and rolled them into cones and taped the ends. I used a glue gun to glue them to the back of the folded pages, to the book cover, and to each other. This was a total eyeball it thing. I just bend the lengths to get the height I wanted and fanned them in layers until I got the look I wanted.
Ta da! Recycled book turkey! I put it on a candle holder for dramatic affect at the library. LOL.
I hope my instructions make sense. Let me know if you have any questions about the steps. Let me know if you make a book turkey too!