I was given used manilla folders to recycle in someway. I decided to make simple handmade books.

I cut the manilla folders down to a size a little larger than A4. cutting off the fold and the curved edges. With the remnants I cut shapes for stencils. I took everything outside and spray painted the them with a can of blue gloss, using a mask of course. Using the stencils as I went, spraying under and over and dribbling, (not spraying fully, just holding my finger lightly on the nozzle and letting it drip and blob to add some character. I found a nearly empty can of silver gloss and sprayed that as well, although I do feel that dulled things down a little.

Finding some long wooden skewers in my stash I cut them to size, rounded the ends with sandpaper and sprayed them blue as well; leaving everything outside to dry and allow the odour to dissipate. Whilst I am not a lover of that type of paint, it is quicker when doing multiples.

Back inside whilst my paint was drying I collated cheap A4 computer paper into lots of 20 sheets and made two holes in each batch. Once the odour had gone and the paint was dry I began sorting the covers and papers into books and matching up the holes from the paper with the covers. I was so ‘in tune’ and enjoying myself I didn’t realise that I had made the holes on the covers so that many of them had the printed part of the business on the front, oh dear!  I made a coffee and considered how I could turn this into a ‘happy accident’.

Finally I hopefully found an answer by going back to my stash of goodies and found some light blue card which led to a beautiful time of carving my birds. I began to carve out the birds wings but it didn’t look right when I placed them on the covers. After another time of considering I backed the area with black card and felt that worked well.

I left them for a while and when I came back, the black behind the wing seemed to be ‘the odd one out’ so to speak. Drawing with a black unipin pen is one of my delights so I had a  wonderful creative time drawing legs, flowers and anything else that came to mind. Finally I felt they were finished.

Just using elastic bands and the painted skewers I completed each book, 30 in all. What will I do with them? Haven’t figured that out yet.

Recycling led me to a fantastic creative couple of days.

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