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  • Throughout the summer, I have done some Etsy loitering and have noticed an emerging trend in upcycle art: vintage book prints. From beautiful images impressed on torn Bible pages to absurd quotes imprinted on ripped-out chapters of Pride and Prejudice, this art form is on the rise.

    The images atop the prints are almost always translucent, offering the idea that rekindling books as art can act as a unique publishing palimpsest. Many times, I’m interested in perusing book prints just because the descriptions are so romantic. The books are referred to as “rescued” and the yellow pages due to lignin concentration in paper pulp is a “golden finish of old age.”

    While book artists emboss everything from hipster skulls to sweet squids (above), I have fallen in love with the practice of screening typographical quotes onto vintage pages, especially when the quotes make the least amount of sense. Sometimes, the quotes take on a confessional quality too, which is always good. Where better to announce that you’re a bibliophile than on an actual book?

  • After spending so much money on an e-reader, you wouldn’t want to accidentally spill something on it, drop it, or ruin it in any way - but few (if any) of the cases you'll find in stores are anything special.

    If you’re tired of your bland Kindle cover or your overused Nook case, look no further: Nimoo on Etsy has the answer.

    These covers are made to order and can be made to fit any type of e-reader. Aside from having adorable patterns, they’re multi-functional. The pocket on the front can hold small notebooks, pens, pencils, phones, spare change… the possibilities are endless.

    The padding inside will protect an e-reader from most damage, and it even has a button to keep it safe and secure. There are many fabric options, and each one is handmade. No more awkward moments when someone has the same Kobo cover as you do.

    Scope out Nimoo's store on Etsy, here!

  • Photo by In Sappho We Trust

    Sometimes a book will be read so many times that its cover starts to tatter and the pages fall out.

    Instead of throwing it away, you can transform it into something else! Here you’ll learn some crafty ways to take apart an unwanted book and make it into something useful.

    1. Make a Wreath: By rolling, cutting, folding or crumbling the pages of books, you can arrange them into a wreath that’s good for any occasion. Then you can add any personal touches you want, such as ribbon, berries, or a photograph. Check out this awesome tutotial on The Shabby Creek Cottage

    2. Paint or Print: Mediums like watercolor or printmaking can be a unique alternative to blank paper. Here's a great how to on Instructables

  • Photo by Mararie

    Knitting is perhaps the quintessential unhip pastime, so it serves authors well as a convenient shorthand for earnest domesticity and obliviousness to fashion. Identifying a character as a knitter evokes a web of associations and expectations — which, of course, the clever author will sometimes turn on their head.

    Here’s a skein of knitters from literature, sorted by type.

  • What better way to celebrate July 7th, Chocolate Day than a look at some of the sweet confections the Etsy marketplace has to offer?

    Though chocolate itself is available in abundance on the site, we thought we’d shine a spotlight on the creations inspired by the number one Candy Man himself: Mr. Willy Wonka.

  • Charms by Melissa Oesch

    One of my favorite things about wearable mini-books is that I get to use leather journals as jewelry without being a pretentious twit about it.

    That was the habit when I was 18 and a freshman English major: using such things as self-adornment, as an insecure suburban teen trying desperately to look intellectual and literary is wont to do. I leaned toward unadorned leather journals in which I earnestly wrote bad prose and worse poetry in a very public manner. Why, yes, I believe there were kreteks involved.  

    Even though I’ve given up the poetry (you’re welcome) and have switched to writing bad prose on a laptop, I still have a soft spot for the accoutrements of the newly minted English major which is indulged by these Etsy shops. Check them out.

    These mini-book necklaces by Philadelphia’s Margaux and Walter Kent at Peg and Awl are a callback to those more fanciful days.

    The Kents hand make each piece using reclaimed leathers from sources such as vintage sofas and antique doctors’ bags.

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