When a book becomes a purse

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Mostly what we like to do with books here at Jacket Copy is read them. Which means we wind up carrying them a lot; personally, I had to buy a purse big enough to fit a book (or two). But some crafty people have taken that one step further and turned the books themselves into purses.

For those who can cut and sew, the process looks pretty easy. First, get a book with a good cover (and, we hope, contents that are damaged, outdated or otherwise unworthy). Slice out the pages, reinforce the covers, glue in a fabric lining, attach handles and a clasp. The trickiest part looks to be constructing the end walls of the purse. The crafter who made the purse pictured to the right reveals her process here, and HGTV has a clear set of step-by-step book-to-purse instructions.


Another version is demonstrated in a video podcast by Chris Gardner, which is after the jump. Gardner, who made the purse pictured to the left, shows how easy turning a book into a purse can be. There is something reassuring about being able to watch the crafting in action -- although it is unsettling to watch him slice through the pretty fantastic endpapers of ‘The Invaders.’

If the idea of a book purse strikes your fancy but you aren’t interested in doing your own slicing and gluing, there are many crafters who’ve done work for you, including Etsy seller Retrograndma and a friend of book blogger Nigel Beale.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo credits, from left to right: Chris Gardner; L. Marie via Flickr