Archive for February, 2013

Recycled Crafts: How to Make a Gift Bag

Happy Friday everyone! Today we’re going to make gift bags using map paper.


Old fold out maps


Glue gun

Step 1:

Start by folding one end of your map down 1 inch. This will be the top of the bag.


Step 2:

Next, take the shoebox and wrap the map around it, lining up one side of the map with an edge of the shoebox. Glue other edge of map underneath.


Step 3:

Next, you will make the bottom of the bag, which is opposite to the end that you folded down in step 1. The bottom is fairly simple, just wrap it up like you would the end of a present.


Step 4:

Before you take the shoebox out, be sure to sharply crease all four edges of the bag.


Step 5:

Now, take the shoebox out and begin to make the pleats in the side of the bag, so that it will collapse. Do this by carefully pressing down on the bag so that a fold forms in each side panel. Make sure you stop about 1 inch from the bottom on both sides.


Step 6:

Next, completely flatten out the bottom of the bag by folding it up again one side of the bag, using that 1 inch space from the bottom left in the previous step.



Your bag is now complete! To give it a sturdier base, you can cut out a piece of carboard and put it inside in the bottom.



February 22, 2013 at 5:08 pm 1 comment

For Sale: Gale’s International Directory of Company Histories


The past few weeks we have unloaded many boxes full of the Gale International Directory of Company Histories. According to the Gale website, “this multi-volume work is the first major reference to bring together histories of companies that are a leading influence in a particular industry or geographic location.”

Our copies are ex-library, and in great condition because they were only available on reserve. The range of volumes we have acquired is still unclear, but if you know anyone interested in purchasing the set, we will price them to move!

Thank you!


EDIT: Here’s information on an additional related set for sale:

The Million Dollar Directory is a five-volume set of the top 160.000 public and private business listings within the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, that contains an alphabetical listing of company names and addresses, lines of business, officers and directors, and other marketing data; cross referenced geographically and by industry classification.

Exner, S., Hilbert, T. & John Stinner (Production staff). (2010). Million Dollar Directory: America’s Leading Public & Private Companies. 2010 Edition. Dun & Bradstreet.

February 20, 2013 at 5:18 pm Leave a comment

Recycled Crafts: Seeking Advice on Book Planters

Happy Friday, Y’all!

Unfortunately our resident craft blogger, Laura, is out sick this week. (Get well soon, Laura!)

We don’t want to leave you completely craftless, so I thought I’d share an upcoming craft we’re really excited about. We recently received a jigsaw by donation. That’s right, we are now librarians with power tools. Having access to a jigsaw will allow us to experiment with more advanced crafts and find new ways to upcycle books and other media.
To celebrate springtime and our upcoming Four Year Anniversary (March 2nd, mark your calendars!), we’re hoping to master the jigsaw and create some book planters. A quick Google- or Pinterest-search yields great inspiration for turning tomes into planters, but we’re probably going to focus on recreating something like this one, made for the store by a volunteer.

Book Planter
Anyone out there have experience making book planters? Let us know what you think and we’ll keep you updated as we go.


February 15, 2013 at 7:21 pm Leave a comment

What I love at Recycled Reads

As we organize and shelve books around the store, we find titles that strike our personal fancy or titles that just can’t be placed in our Dewey-inspired organizational scheme (Should we put Cooking Your Way Through the SAT under Cookbooks or Test Prep?). Enter: The Volunteer Picks Shelf, an ever-changing community wall of books that highlights our favorites as they come and go.

One of our volunteers even makes beautiful name plates for the staff and volunteers in her spare time. And while sometimes one of us sneaks a joke book or two in under the guise of someone else’s Pick, the system works out pretty well. We get a few good laughs, we find out what kinds of neat things we have the pleasure of selling, and we hopefully help someone discover something new.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I want to declare my love for the Recycled Reads Volunteer Picks Shelf.

I love you, Picks Shelf. I love you!

OK, there.

We haven’t had our Volunteer Picks shelf up in a few weeks—for better or worse, we’ve just had too many great sets on display. Here’s to the return of the Picks Shelf in the near future.

And with that, here are some of my recent picks…

February 14, 2013 at 4:52 pm Leave a comment

Recycled Crafts: Valentine’s Guest Post

Hello everyone!

We have a guest blog post today from Patti Cook, Librarian at the Ruiz Branch. This is the craft that will be featured at the next Adult Craft Night at Ruiz Branch, which will be on Monday, February 11 at 6:30pm.

Although the instructions use felt, feel free to upcycle this traditional craft with old scraps of fabric!





Scraps of Fabric or Felt


Sewing Machine




Step 1:

Use paper template to measure and cut out your felt envelope.



Step 2:

Cut a square of felt and use pinking shears around the edge, or in lieu of pinking shears cut tiny triangles out of the edges. This will be your “stamp.”



Step 3:

Fold envelope (without sewing) to determine stamp placement.



Step 4:

Unfold envelope and sew the square onto the envelope.



Step 5:

Sew the heart on top of the square.



Step 6:

In pen, write the name of the valentine recipient. Then take embroidery floss and embroider on top of the pen.



Step 7:

Fold the envelope. Beginning where the blue arrow is (about halfway down one side of the envelope), sew around the outer edge of the entire envelope.



Step 8:

Take a small piece of sticky back Velcro and affix it to the envelope. You are done!


Send off your beautiful handmade felt valentine envelope to that lucky someone!


February 8, 2013 at 6:45 pm Leave a comment

Recycled Reads celebrates February, Black History Month

Welcome to February! We’re only a few days late in welcoming the new month, but we have been busy sorting through some big piles of books. Be on the lookout for some fresh titles and newly priced collectibles in the coming weeks. We’re putting them on the shelves as fast as we can alphabetize!

With February, we celebrate many things. Black History Month has been celebrated in America since the late 1970s, and every February since then cultural centers have rallied to pay tribute to African Americans and their achievements in our history. For more information and educational resources, check out the Library of Congress African American History Month website. The Smithsonian Education site also offers some great resources.

If you’re in the area, check out our display at the shop. We’ll update it throughout the month. Some current titles are:

  • Blacks in the West by W. Sherman Savage
  • Slavery in the Cities: The South: 1820-1860 by Richard C. Wade
  • Jump for Joy: Jazz, Basketball & Black Culture in 1930s America by Gena Caponi-Tabery
  • Talk that Talk: An Anthology of African-American Storytelling edited by Linda Goss and Marian E. Barnes

February 6, 2013 at 6:27 pm Leave a comment

Recycled Crafts: How to Make a Quilled Valentine’s Box

Happy Friday everyone!

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching! If you need a box to put a gift in for that special person, try our simple origami box topped with quilled hearts! We covered how to make the box in a previous post, so we’ll just focus on the hearts today. Here’s the link to the box tutorial:

Now for the quilled hearts!


Strip of colored paper, 3mm wide and 8 inches long

Toothpick or Quilling tool

Mod Podge

Step 1:

Start by folding a strip in half.

Step 2:

Next, take the quilling tool or toothpick and curl the edges inwards halfway down, as shown. You can curl one end in more than the other end to add variety.


Step 3:

Next, uncurl the coils a bit and space them out to where it looks more like a heart.


Step 4:

After you have the curls in the position you like, coat the strip in a thin layer of Mod Podge and let dry. At this point, you can place it on a box, and as it dries it will adhere to the box.


See you next Friday!

February 1, 2013 at 9:26 pm Leave a comment

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