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How to Make a Book Sculpture

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Rachel enjoys writing, photography, crafting, and filmmaking.

Book sculpture with miniature sewing notations

Book sculpture with miniature sewing notations

DIY Book Sculpture

This book sculpture is built on a base of three books: two books for the base and one for the back. The upright book forms the walls of the room, and it has shelves on one side and a window with paper curtains on the other. There is a table with a sewing machine at the window, and the room is filled with sewing supplies such as bolts of fabric, a sewing box, a box of fabric scraps, and sewing notations.

Supplies You'll Need

  • Three hardcover books: two for base of sculpture, one for back of sculpture.
  • One softcover book: Pages were torn out and used for curtains, papier mâché pulp, papier mâché, etc.
  • White glue and water: for papier mâché pulp and papier mâché
  • Gel and tacky craft glues: to attach upright book to base and to secure all furniture and sewing supplies down
  • Cardboard: to form bases of sewing machine, table, boxes, and shelves
  • Fabric scraps: for ruffle along top edge and for the fabric scrap box
  • Thread, pins, and needle
  • Small shells
  • Small lids
  • Pom-poms
  • Beads
  • Plastic candy cane
  • Buttons
  • Safety pins
  • Ribbon

Tools You'll Need

  • Bowl
  • Heavy books as weights
  • Craft knife
  • Needle
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencils and pens
  • Masking tape, Scotch tape, and packing tape

Forming the Sculpture Base

  1. To cut out the window, mark and cut about five pages at a time with your pencil, knife, and scissors. When you're done, use several narrow strips of pages for the window panes.
  2. When the window had been cut out, seal the book pages together by brushing white craft glue along the edges of all the pages and weighing the book down under several heavy books for a day.
  3. Repeat this process along the cut edges of the window to further strengthen them. Use a combination of glue, papier mâché pulp, and packing tape to secure this book upright on the base, weighing it down with several heavy books while it dries.
Mini fabric bolts, mini thread spools, mini pom poms, and seashells decorate the shelves.

Mini fabric bolts, mini thread spools, mini pom poms, and seashells decorate the shelves.

Making the Papier Mâché Pulp

Shred and soak book pages in water before shredding them further by hand. Squeeze out as much water as possible from the shredded pages, add approximately half a bottle of white craft glue, and knead the mixture until it's the consistency of modeling clay.

Cutting into the book for the windows.

Cutting into the book for the windows.

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Making the Sewing Machine

To form the base of the machine, draw and cut out the shape of a sewing machine from cardboard. Mold papier mâché pulp around this cardboard base, adding several layers to give it a three-dimensional look.

Making the Shelves, Table, and Boxes

Tape pieces of thin cardboard together to form the base of the shelves, table, fabric scrap box, and sewing box. Use papier mâché (strips of paper dipped in white glue) from book pages to cover the cardboard. Glue fabric scraps in the fabric scrap box and fill the sewing box with beads and spools of thread.

The Shelves

Fill the shelves with an array of small items, such as buttons, small pencils made from toothpicks, safety pins, beads, shells, and sewing notations made from papier mâché pulp.

Form the spools of thread from papier mâché pulp, and then cover them with real thread. Form the pincushion from papier mâché pulp as well and stick pins and a threaded needle in it.

Make each bolt of fabric by wrapping strips of book pages around a cardboard base and then covering it with a scrap of fabric.

Making the Curtains

Accordion-fold book pages into two curtains and used a needle to thread each curtain on black thread. I then taped either end of the thread to the window.

For the ruffle at the top of the sculpture, use gathering stitches to pleat the red and white fabric, and glue it to the top with tacky glue.

Accordion folding the paper curtains and gathering them with thread.

Accordion folding the paper curtains and gathering them with thread.

Putting It All Together

Finally, glue all the furniture and sewing notations to the sculpture with tacky craft glue.

© 2017 Rachel