You know how much I love recycling and turning my trash into treasure so it’s no surprise that I came up with this project after my bathroom got filled with empty boxes of soap.
When Amy from Mod Podge Rocks e-mailed me and asked if I wanted to use some of the Plaid products on my future projects I knew this mini book idea would be perfect for the test run. The funny thing is that just before Amy e-mailed me, I already bought a huge bottle of Mod Podge Gloss for paper just the week before so I had a chance to try out 2 other products that got sent to me by the company: Mod Podge Hard Coat and Mod Podge Sparkle.
I really, really, really loved the Mod Podge Hard Coat. I initially chose it for another project. I accidentally ruined a set of coasters I had and thought the Hard Coat formula will be perfect to restore them. However I used this as a top coat for the mini book and it is amazing. It is a bit thicker than the original formula and it dries clear into a hard coat (just as its name suggests…) that seals the cover and secure the binding of the book. I really recommend this for book makers.
The Sparkle formula has fine glitter in it and it adds a fun glittery top coat to any surface. What i like about it is that it adds the glitter without the mess that usually goes with it… You just need to apply it with a foam brush and the glittery particles doesn’t rub off of it after it dries up.
The recycled mini book can be made out of any box, of any size, so I purposefully left out exact measurement, so you can use the same technique on any empty box that comes your way.
So if you feel like playing along and learn how to make this recycled mini book, keep on reading.
Tools and Supply
This project uses MINIMAL supply, as it’s mostly recycled.
- Empty cardstock or chipboard box.
- Scraps of paper for the signatures (each insert much be double the width of the cover and the same height)
- Mod Podge Paper Glossy
- Mod Podge Hard Coat (optional, but HIGHLY recommended to secure the cover and binding)
- Mod Podge Sparkle (optional)
- Foam brush (or a wide brush)
- Paper piercer
- Scrap of copier paper – the same width and height of the spine.
- Needle + thread
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Step by Step Instructions
- Flatten the box by carefully disconnecting the connecting flaps at the bottom and inside the box. You may also use a craft knife for that.
- Use your scissors to cut off the flaps, as well as the inner flap and the short edge attached to it, so you are left with 3 sections: 2 cover sections and a spine, already creased for you…
- Measure the width and height of the cover sections and the spine and cut pieces of patterned paper at the same size for the cover. If you want to conceal the binding you will need one piece the size of the cover section and the other size larger by the width of the spine plus an additional inch. If you choose to conceal the binding, adhere the outer cover papers at the end.
- Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the cover section and the spine, lay the pattern paper on top of it and apply an additional layer of Mod Podge on top to seal it off. Put it aside to dry.
- Take a plain copier paper, the same width and height of the spine and mark 3 horizontal lines on it – one at the center and two additional ones, about an inch apart. If you work on a larger box, you may want to add more lines, equally separated from each other.
- Next mark equally separated vertical line, each line stands for one signature. I used 5 signatures, so I drew 5 vertical lines, one at the center and the rest in ¼” intervals.
- Cut your signature inserts to double the width of the cover section and the same height and fold each signature of paper inserts in half.
- Line up the paper guide with the inner crease of the signature and poke holes on the crease next to each of the 3 horizontal lines. these holes will help later with the binding process.
- After the inner cover is layered with paper with a base and top coat of Mod Podge and completely dry, line up the paper guide with the inner spine and poke a hole at each of the intersections of the horizontal lines with the vertical lines.
- Start binding the signatures together. Take the first one, insert the needle through the center hole and into the center hole of the signature, than to the upper hole and back from the bottom hole, into the center hole to the outer cover – repeat on all the signatures.
- Once you finish binding all the signatures together, weave the thread through the center line of threads until it meets the initial loose end and tie them together in a tight knot. Cut the excess thread and tidy up the knot to look as smooth and straight as possible.
- Lastly, apply a layer of Mod Podge Top Coat on top of the outer cover and the spine, it will secure the binding as well. You may also apply an additional layer of Sparkle Mod Podge if you want a fun glittery finish to your mini book.
I would also be very happy to see your own creations, so don’t be shy and share