Tag Archive for Repurposed Book

You Can’t Get There From Here

My sister is always on the lookout for books with great titles. When she finds them, she has me rip out the guts and replace them with blank pages so she can journal. It’s a win-win situation, really.

So when she found the above title, I knew it would make the perfect diary for her experiences with motherhood. She just had her first baby in February and has been learning a “new normal” over the past 10 months.

Plus, since most moms don’t get much uninterrupted “me time”, a ribbon bookmark for saving her place was essential!

How about you? Do you journal? If so, how often do you look back on what you’ve written? What have you learned about yourself over the years?

Dane’s Memories

My younger sister, Arica, found out she was pregnant just a few days after I delivered my first baby, Beau. We both chose not to find out what we were having, so you can imagine our excitement when we both had boys!

I love making photo albums as baby shower gifts, and the following album was even more special since it was for my first nephew on my side of the family!

I just LOVE how these marquee letters look on album covers! And doesn’t my nephew have such a fun name?!

My sister decorated the nursery in greens and browns with a tree theme as the main focus. I knew she’d love the green crosshatch pattern of the photo pages and the rich chocolate-brown color of the paste papers.

A satin brown ribbon ties it all together.

I love you, seester, and I’m glad we have each other to lean on as we navigate this journey called “motherhood!”

Dane is awesome. It’s been so fun watching him grow the past several months, and that sentiment is something I’m sure I’ll repeat a million times over the coming years!

Check back this Thursday for a photographic journey through the baby shower I hosted for Arica and Dane. You won’t want to miss it!

Don’t Forget to Fly

From the outside, this book looks pretty unassuming. But to my sister Arica and her friend, the title and the contents it will hold mean everything.


Arica’s dear friend is headed off to flight school and Arica is going to miss her terribly. When trying to come up with a good parting gift, Arica found this book, which I repurposed into a journal for her friend.


Not only was the title perfect, but Arica wrote a very sweet inscription that I included in a fluffy cloud inside the front cover.



Sister, I hope this journal blesses your friend as she starts a new chapter in her journey of life. May the distance not separate your kindred spirits.

Theology, Repurposed

A while back, Kendra, an old co-worker, found several books that she wanted turned into journals. They all had such awesome titles, so I was excited to redo them for her.


Here’s a photo montage of each title and its inside facing pages. My main goal was to match colors and, if possible, theme.











This last one is probably my favorite…not only a cool book title:


But the perfect excuse to use this ethereal scrapbook paper. :)


Thanks again, Kendra, for asking me to make these for you!

Anyone who has attended an online Christian college or has a library science degree would love these books!

Joy to the World

My mother-in-love found this old hymnal at a thrift store and immediately knew I could use it to make a repurposed journal.


Old books are so awesome because the covers feature different variations of embossing or debossing. So neat!


Since this was an old hymnal, I used sheet music scrapbook paper for the inside paste pages.


I also added a ribbed brown ribbon bookmark.


Sing it with me, y’all: Joy to the world, this book is done! :)

The Adventure of Being a Wife


Now THAT’S quite the title for a book, isn’t it, ladies?! I can tell you that since marrying Andrew last May, my life has certainly felt like an adventure! And I wouldn’t trade a minute of it for the world!

My friend Alison found this book at an estate sale and asked me to convert it into a journal for her.

Clearly, this book was very old-school…I based my assessment not only on the cover design, but also on the fact that the author’s name was listed as “Mrs. Norman Vincent Peale”. My, how far we’ve come.


I do love the debossed elements that these old covers have…here, two intertwined rings. I’d love to see some newer books incorporate that old debossed look.


After cutting several stacks of folded pages to size, I selected bright stripes for the inside paste pages. The colors just seemed so happy-go-lucky and ready for anything…


…including adventure!

I think a book like this would be a fantastic wedding gift…a place where couples could document their journey towards wedded bliss.

If you have any old books you’d like to turn into journals or sketchbooks, shoot me an email or leave a comment on this post! I’d be happy to give your old books a new life!

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Three Against the Wilderness


Back when I was in college, I bought this book at a thrift store in Savannah, GA:


At first, I was drawn to the retro illustrations and the analogous color scheme.



Equally as amazing as the dust cover illustrations were the illustrations that had been stamped (or done on a letterpress, perhaps) into the hard cover.


And though I have no idea who Walter B. Stillwell, Jr. is, it still felt like this book was a hand-me-down from him to me.


I bought this book thinking I would make a ‘safe’ out of it. Do you know what I am talking about? In movies, they always show someone removing a special book from the shelf and when they open the cover, it’s not a book at all, but instead has a hole cut out from the middle that houses super-secret stuff like keys and money and jewels. :)

Needless to say, I bought the book 7 years ago and have never made it into a safe. But in the past year, I’ve seen several old books-turned-journals, and for me, “creatively making something from nothing” is one of my threads, as my good friend Mandy calls them.

So why not rip apart this old book and try making it into something new? It certainly doesn’t have much purpose currently, seeing as how it’s just been sitting in a box, waiting to be given new life! Best-case scenario: I’d have a cool new journal. Worst-case scenario: my experiment wouldn’t work and I’d ruin a book I had totally forgotten I’d even owned. So…let the experimenting begin!

First, I began by gently stripping the book block from the cover and removing as much of the liner paper as possible.



Then, I cut the printer paper that would become the new book block. As you can see from my scrap pile, there were LOTS of pages! 18 sections of 5 sheets apiece, to be exact! Each page folded and cut by hand (whew!)


Once the pages were folded and cut, I pierced the sewing stations.


Next came the sewing.


This is probably the thickest book block I have ever made, with the exception of my flocked Buttonhole Book! But that one had smaller pages (4.25 x 5.5), so it didn’t seem as BIG.


Once the sewing was complete, I chose paste papers that would complement the cover well and glued them to the book block using acid-free PVA glue (the same glue I use for all my projects–it’s the best!)


Remember this?


Next, I glued the loose sides of the paste papers to the existing book cover. Ta da!


All done! Here’s the top view of the spine. I just love this photo!



Complete with dust cover:


Without dust cover:


Ready for journaling!


I’m really excited about how easily this project went together. Sure, it took some time to cut and sew all those sections, but that was the only ‘hard’ part.

I’ve already got another book in the queue for re-purposing. My friend Alison found a book called “The Adventure of Being a Wife” at an estate sale, and I think that will make for a brilliant journal cover! :)

If you have any hard-cover books you’d like me to turn into journals, email me and we can talk specifics.