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I love recycling our trash, and being eco conscious. But this time, instead of adding my brown paper grocey bags to the recycle bin, I decided to upscale them to make something beautiful and useful out of them. A classic case of trash to treasure.
Gathering my supplies, for this project I used, 6 grocery bags, a pair of sharp scissors, rotary cutter, some twine to tie and the Fiskars craft drill. I also brought out my iron to iron out all the creases in the bags.
First, I started by cutting the base off of each bag. I made a small v notch so that my scissors could slide into the bag, and just roughly cut around the base, no need to be precise at this stage.
Once the base was cut out, I then cut off the top half of the bag, to remove the handle. Some store bags have handles that can be pulled off easily, in that case you can skip this step.
Now I ended up with a big open cylinder kind of structure. I then found the seam of the bag, and folded it such that the seam became the fold line and ironed the bags on medium setting on my iron. The creases on the bags won't really go away completely, but they will fade a lot. Just to be on the safe side, I laid a kitchen towel on top of my bags while ironing. This ensures that the paper won't burn, but more importantly for me it made sure that the ink from the bag wouldn't transfer onto my iron.
Next I lined up all of the sheets and used a big paper clip to hold them together. The easiest way for me to trim the book to size was to use an acrylic ruler and a rotary cutter. You could use a guillotine instead, or break the book into parts, and trim them using a basic paper cutter. It's a homemade book, it doesn't have to look perfect, use what you have at hand.
Using a ruler determine and mark where you need to punch holes to bind the book. If your book is thin, you can punch holes using a hand held punch.
My bigger book was slightly thick, so I used a craft drill to make holes through the book.
I used twine and twistable hemp, to bind the books. The big book has a fancy binding, in which I included some buttons as well. You could bind your book with old satin ribbons, or four strands of yarn or anything else available at hand. Think and recycle stuff lying around your home. For me the twine, was leftover from last years gardening. Once the binding is done, you can trim the edges once more, if things looks askew or leave it as be.
Remember the top handle portion of the bag that I cut off in the beginning? Well, I trimmed that area into tiny pieces, to make a small book.
This book, I just roughly cut, I didn't bother to use the rotary trimmer. I wanted to make a book to keep on our kitchen counter, you know to jot down stuff and make notes while the thoughts are fresh in your mind. (A pretty book I can make, but good luck finding a pen in my kitchen to write with…) I just made one hole in the book, and tied it with a small bow. Simple and quick. And very useful.