Archive for June, 2013

Upcycled Crafts: Heart Garlands

Hey there, everyone! If you’ve been in our store, you know we love to decorate it with all the recent upcycled art we’ve done, and this subject of this post is no exception. Our intern Betsy researched tutorials on heart garlands and found this one. She then crafted these lovely heart garlands that grace our front desk. Customers are always asking about how to make them, so we decided to put up a tutorial on these easy to make, pretty garlands.

Heart Garland 4


Paper strips (we used 1” x 8”)


Step 1:

Cut out about 2 dozen strips of paper and fold them in half. If you want your garland longer or want to have multiple garlands, you can always make more.

Step 2:

For the first heart in the garland, make the shape of a heart, stapling the two edges together to make the top V shape.

Heart Garland 1

Step 3:

For the next heart, take a strip and nest it underneath the first heart, and staple the two strips together.

Heart Garland 2

Step 4:

Take the two ends of the strip and curl them down to make a heart shape. Holding them in place with your fingers, slip another piece of paper over them and staple them all together, as shown in the photo below. Continue adding strips of paper until you achieve your desired length.

Heart Garland 3


June 28, 2013 at 3:09 pm Leave a comment

Upcycled Crafts: Melted Records

Hello everyone! Here at Recycled Reads, we can’t believe another summer is upon us already. It brings back memories of former summers, like the one a couple years back where temperatures reached 111 degrees for days in a row here in Austin! In that particular summer, we decided to see if it was hot enough to melt a record outside, thus our melted record bowls and pamphelet holders were born. It turns out it doesn’t even have to be 111 degrees to melt a record, any good old Texas summertime heat will suffice!

Supplies needed:

Scratched records

Sunny place on the sidewalk


For this upcycled craft, all you have to do is find a sunny spot on the sidewalk or pavement and lay out your record there for about 20 – 30 minutes. Check on it periodically and test to see how pliable it is, and then feel free to start sculpting away!

Melted Records 3

Melted Records 4

To further enhance the heating process for records, one of our dedicated upcyclers and staff members, Paul, built a sun reflector from old CDs, PVC pipe, and telephone wires. You can see the records placed in front of it are already undergoing the sculpting process.

Melted Records 1

Here’s how the CDs are attached to the back:

Melted Records 2

Have you had any crafting experience with these upcycled materials? Please share in the comments!

June 21, 2013 at 3:41 pm 2 comments

Upcycled Crafts: Book Cover Picture Frame

Happy Friday everyone!

In today’s blog, we deconstruct a frame made from the covers of a book. We’ve had this piece around ever since an employee brought it in and our curiosity as to how it was constructed finally got to us, hence this blog. You should be able to find all the supplies at your local hardware store, craft store, and of course, old vintage books are always available here at Recycled Reads! We like the simplicity and clever repurposing of this design, and hope you will too.



Book cover (preferably one with illustrations on the inside)

Box cutter

Glass from a picture frame

Hammer and nail

2 Screws (1″)

2 Screws (2″)



Book pages




Step 1:

Decide how big you want the window to your frame to be, as well as if you want to display an illustration from inside the back cover. That was the case with this book,  that already had the image of three boys on it. Use a box cutter to cut out the window.

Step 2:

One the back side of the front cover, you need to construct a mat that will hold the glass in place. Take your cardboard and cut it to the size of the book cover, cutting out a space for the glass. Make sure the cardboard is about the same thickness as the glass. You can cover it in pages from the book, as is shown in our example. Glue this mat to the inside of the front book cover, as shown in this photo of the deconstructed frame.


Step 3:

Measure out where the screw holes will be located. You can either drill these holes or hammer a nail through the book covers.


Step 4:

Now for assembly! Stack the front book cover, the glass and the back book cover together and insert screws, tightening the wingnuts in the back. You’re all done. Let us know how it goes if you embark on your own framemaking adventure.


June 14, 2013 at 2:56 pm Leave a comment

Upcycled Crafts: How to Make a Book Cover Wallet Part 2

Hello everyone! As promised, here is the second part of our tutorial on how to make a wallet out of a book cover. Although there are many ways to add pockets to hold cards, we chose to use Mylar donated to us that is traditionally used to cover library books.



Hot Glue


Craft tape

Step 1:

Cut out two pieces of Mylar that measure 4″ x 2 1/2″. Using the hot glue, attach each piece of Mylar to the inside flaps of the wallet. Try to use a thin strip of hot glue on the sides and the bottom, to leave room for cards to fit into the pocket.


Step 2:

To cover up the hot glue, we used craft tape along the sides. All done! Admittedly, most adults need more than two pockets for all their cards, but we thought this would be a nice wallet for kids who carry library cards.

Do you have any experience making wallets? Let us know in the comments if you have any tips or suggestions!


June 7, 2013 at 3:49 pm Leave a comment

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