It's that time of year again, time to sweep out the cobwebs and clean out the closets- time for Spring Cleaning! And there's no better time to be on the lookout for some budget friendly bookbinding inspiration. Think of all those lovely things you know are junk but you just can't let go of- what better way to give them a new life and save a few bucks than to craft them into new books! Here's some fantastic budget Found Materials inspiration from BEST members:
Games and toys always have fantastic graphics, and the boards can make sturdy fun covers long after all of the other pieces have been lost. For an extra challenge, try working game pieces into the book- as a clasp or embellishment, or try making some matching bookmarks from the game cards! Pictured here: Lego Journal by Moonlightbindery and Sorry Journal by BooksbyStephen
Old record albums and books are another great source of bold graphics and durable cover materials. Do be careful you're not destroying your roommate's precious collectible first edition or ultra rare treasure- but if you've got a stack of worn, slightly damaged (or lack of a better word) junk- get to it! And if you lack any good albums or old book covers at home, be sure to check out your local thrift shop- and prepare to go retro! Pictured here: Record Journal by Movetheneedle and Rebound Journal by Prairie Peasant
If you're anything like me, you probably have a stack of maps for places you haven't lived in for years- you know, just in case. Letting them go doesn't have to mean putting them in the recycle bin, try using them to cover a fantastic set of new travel journals- for the journey's ahead! And speaking of the recycle bin, don't forget all the treasures lurking there as well! Boxes make fun covers, keep an out out for fun graphic design on products like cereal, beer and international foods. I like to use boxes to try out new binding techniques without investing too much on materials for a practice book. The soft cardboard is especially nice for slotted and sewn-thru cover style bindings. Pictured here: Map Journal by Kristincrane and Beer Box Book by RePaper
And don't be afraid to try out the more unassuming materials laying around the house- as these BEST team members show, shopping bags can become unexpectedly chic covers, and the humble used envelope can become an exotic antidote to the average plain white page. Pictured here: Brown Bag Book by PaperSpirit, and Envelope Page Book by PurplebeanBindery
Last but not least, be sure to keep an eye out for extra little bits that could make fun embellishments- be it the buttons from that shirt you love (but tore last summer), the funky fork that matches none if your other silverware, or that lone earring you've never found the mate to. Pictured here: Watermelon Book by guildedqill
For more inspiration (and why not, you've just saved yourself a ton of money on materials), be sure to check out two excellent recent books on Upcycled/ Found Materials Bookbinding: Eco Books by Terry Taylor (featuring projects from some of the BEST team members) and Re:Bound by Jeannine Stein. Have fun, and happy cleaning! And as always, leave us a note about your favorite found material in the comments below!