Archive for June, 2014

Upcycled Crafts: Book Safe

Today’s post is all about the ubiquitous book safe. We got a custom order for a book safe, so I decided it was high time to do a blog on book safes while our crafty volunteer Anna worked to fill the custom order. This is a pretty simple craft and you only need a few supplies to make it happen.

Book Safe1

Anna making the first cuts


Old or damaged book

Mod podge

Box cutter


How to do it:

– Start by figuring out how big and how deep you want the hole to be. What do you want to store in the book safe? Measure it out and then stick to that measurement on each and every page.

– Leave a few pages uncut at the beginning. This is a book safe, we want it to appear to be an intact book.

-Podge it. Spread an even layer of Mod Podge around the outside edges of all the pages. Let it dry completely. This helps stabilize the pages while you are cutting.

– Begin cutting. Cut a few pages at a time.

– When you’re done cutting, seal up the inner edges of the hole with podge.

Book Safe2

Almost done! You can see the raw edges and all the bits of paper that are left over. Be sure to recycle the scraps!

June 27, 2014 at 9:54 pm Leave a comment

Upcycled Crafts: VHS tape Crochet Pen Topper

Many customers admire our crochet rose pen topper. It’s surprising to find out it’s crocheted from VHS tape! Our crafty volunteer Anna made it, and although I don’t have her exact instructions, here’s a tutorial from Instructables on how to make a crochet rose.


Other things we’ve made from VHS tape: a purse.



Can you think of anything to make out of VHS tape? Let us know in the comments and we’ll give it a try.

June 21, 2014 at 7:37 pm 2 comments

Upcycled Crafts: Pop up cards

It’s summer, which means one thing: Summer reading! At Recycled Reads, we’re reading (as always), but we’re crafting for Summer Reading as well. Ruth is busy crafting up grand prizes for the drawing held at the end of Austin Public Library’s Adult Summer Reading Program. Want to participate? Stop by the store, your local branch, or our Virtual Library and pick up a frequent reader card to enter.

Today’s blog will cover the cards that will accompany the grand prizes. They’re pop up card, the pop up portion is a tree, which will eventually feature tidbits about the store, but for now I just wanted to concentrate on the mechanics of popups. Bear with me, these are my first attempts! If you have any pointers, let me know in the comments.



For my tree, I used two separate sections of reused poster paper covered in leaves I cut from damaged books.


Here’s the back of one of the tree sections, which shows the poster paper I used for backing, as well as the tabs that function as the mechanics of the pop up. I inserted these tabs into the card by making slits in the card on either side of the center crease. I inserted the tabs into the slits and glued them in place on the outside of the card.



One of the finished products! The trunk is made from a cardboard coffee cozy.


June 13, 2014 at 10:48 pm Leave a comment

Upcycle Challenge Results

We had a great success at last night’s Upcycle Challenge! If you missed it, here are some examples of what participants created. Special thanks to Blythe from the Re-sourcery, who came out and brought extra supplies and crafty energy.


Cute organizer to keep all your crafting supplies in reach
Cube organizer made from CD inserts
Board books wrapped in fabric scraps become a great desktop container
Another desktop cube from empty CD cases
Briefcase decorated with fabric swatches
Bookshelf with fabric swatch puppy











June 6, 2014 at 10:44 pm Leave a comment

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