My favorite movie is It’s A Wonderful Life. I have a wall dedicated to memorabilia from the movie. Vintage pictures from magazines and behind the scenes photographs of Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed hung together are a visual love letter to this Frank Capra classic.
While those pictures are on display all the time, I also have some decorations related to the movie that I only put out at Christmas. Each December, I relocate the pictures that line the top of the bookcase along the landing of my stair case and turn it into a miniature Bedford Falls. I put down a white fuzzy blanket and line up my Cape Craftsman village pieces along with a snow globe depicting the final scene from the movie. Porcelain ornaments hang from a garland that drapes down in front of the shelves full of more memories from my favorite movie.
But, my holiday display is a little sparse. I’ve never quite finished it the way I’d like. I always envisioned a few more houses and maybe some bottle bush trees to fill in the neighborhood. It hasn’t materialized. I put it out every year but I’m always too busy with all the other holiday mayhem happening to spend any time enhancing my village.
Fortunately, I came across a craft that will blend perfectly with my village: making Christmas trees out of old books. Three simple steps: fold, attach and embellish. What could be easier?
I did a pass of my basement library and was glad that I had kept so many of the books from my girl’s formative years. My oldest was a voracious reader and for many years I spent my summers buying every age appropriate book I could find at yard sales building an extensive young adult home library in the process. While we’ve occasionally purged over the years, we still have more than we need so I picked out a couple with ripped covers and worn spines.
This is a relatively simple craft with just a few folds of each page. After removing the front and back cover, it was time to start folding:
- Fold Number One: Take the top right edge and fold it down into the spine.
- Fold Number Two: Take the page and fold again into the spine.
- Fold Number Three: Take the extra part of the page that goes below the bottom of the book and fold it in between the triangle folds of the page.
- Rinse and repeat: Well, at least repeat – but you probably don’t want to rinse paper.
It only took me about an hour to finish folding all the page of one book and I did it while watching TV so was not deeply focused. I found it to be a therapeutic, meditative experience. I really enjoyed it. I also learned that you could create a tree with fewer pages when the spine of a book I was folding broke and I was able to turn that single book into two folded trees.
Once I was done folding I used hot glue to hold the backs together and then it was time to embellish them. Originally, I planned to highlight the edges in some festive holiday colors but I really loved the unpainted vibe so I went with a simpler approach.
I found some ornate brass candlesticks at Marden’s which is a local surplus store. The candlesticks showed some wear and had a beautiful patina. Originally, I thought I would need to paint any candlesticks that I found but these were perfect as is which was a bonus. Painting is a good option though if you find candlesticks that don’t have the exact look you want. I attached my folded trees to the candlestick base using hot glue. This actually took a few tries as the trees are not solid on the bottom making it harder to glue them but eventually I got them to stay.
I had also found a roll of white buttons at Marden’s which I strung around my trees like a garland using glue to attach them in a few spots so they would be secure. I added some white glitter by painting glue on the edges of the pages and sprinkling the glitter over the wet glue. It was a superfine glitter so it doesn’t jump out but instead gives a nice, subtle shimmer to the trees. I finished them off with a felted wool ball tree topper in olive green.
They’re now ready for next December’s holiday decorating blitz. But, since everything is already packed anyway, They’re going to spend this summer on top of my bookcase in the living room. Once they’ve filled out my little holiday village next Christmas, they can get packed away with the rest of the decorations.
Or, maybe not. They are super cute and I am really enjoying having them on display. They may never get packed away!
Have you ever done any paper folding crafts?
I’m participating in a Blogging A-Z Challenge for April 2021. I will be posting new content every day this month except most Sundays. Each post is associated with a letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z. My theme for the challenge is Craft Projects for my Home. To read more of my A to Z posts from this year, click HERE.