Thursday, June 02, 2011

Book Jacket Recycling

"No! Wait! We can use these somehow, sometime! Please don't get rid of them just yet!" That was my repeated outcry every time any of my co-workers at the library wanted to get rid of the book jackets we seemed to be collecting/stockpiling for the past several years as new books came in and the covers were removed before circulating.
Once the newly renovated library was complete, the Children's Storytime room ended up with two very large, very uninspiring white boards. Not good! Being one who likes to undertake projects, I remembered all those wonderfully illustrated book jackets in the storage bins. I love these colorful covers (yes, based on these I can say you can judge some books by their covers) and I proposed a "Book Jacket Mosaic" artwork plan. Using large pieces of plywood and a very handy "Jack of all trades" building engineer, Gary, we devised a way to hang the plywood panels over one of the white boards. The plywood needed to be primed. Then I laid out the book jacket pieces patchwork style to fit the plywood. Using a Mod Podge matte medium, I applied a coat first to the plywood and then attached each book jacket cover one at a time, using a wallpaper seam roller to secure fully to the wood surface. Once this was dry, I applied two coats of Mod Podge (one horizontal and one vertical) with drying between coats.
Here you can see book jack mural as a whole. Forgive the blurriness.
Above, you can see the book jacket mosaic in three overlapping segments. It measures about 12 feet in length and 4 feet in height. Care to guess how many book covers were used? (Insert number here______________. Answer given at the bottom of this post.) There were times when I was working on this project that I thought I was constructing the world's largest decoupage piece and the Guinness Book of World Records people should be here.
The good news about this project? It featured recycling! It will offer our young patrons excitement in discovery of favorite books shown, bright colors, and exposure to books they might have missed. It's art!
The bad news on this project? There are at least four more big bins full of unused book jackets and I am certain I will have to dispense of them at long last ---- do you, dear reader, want to help out by reusing these in your choice of project? CALL ME or RESPOND in the comment section here and they are yours! It would be fun to see what you could come up with using a book jacket as inspiration!
Answer: 108


The Process said...

We'd love them at Ravenswood Community Child Care Center and would certainly find a craft project to use them for!

The Lindahl News said...


That's GREAT news! I'll be in touch with you, but in the meantime will promise not to get rid of many do you think you'd like?

Erin said...

I have been saving my book jackets and have been wanting to do a project like this for a long time and found your site by googling ideas. Yours turned out great! I have also thought of covering a storage box with dust jackets and have the kids' books in it. I would certainly be interested in some of your book jackets, but I think they should go to a large organization first, instead of just me!

The Process said...

Thanks Deb! Whatever you'd like to donate, we would be happy to accept. My work number is 773.271.4495 and my email is

Thanks so much!