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Quirk Corral: Star Wars/Hamilton Mashup and New Outlander Trailer

Here at Quirk, we’ve spent the week scouring the internet for the best bookish, geeky, and crafty links. Whether you are looking for a Star Wars/Hamilton mashup or the latest Outlander trailer, we’re sure to have something to help make your day a little brighter.

Posted by Jennifer Morell

Holiday DIY: Paperbacks to Paper Chains

A book is a terrible thing to waste, but what do you do with one that’s damaged? Upcycle it into festive decorations, of course! Use pages from any dilapidated book to create a length of beautiful paper chain. A traditional craft for the holiday season here in the Western world, paper chains are a way crafters of any age (or DIY skill level) can make their own decorations. You can even customize your chain with color, sparkles, or pictures! Paper chains are a fun, efficient way to make any space festive and magical. 

Posted by Margaret Dunham

Bookish DIY Gifts: An Avant-Gourd Tote


/avänt' gôrd/

1. Unusual or experimental use of decorative gourds for artistic purposes.*

It’s decorative gourd season, and more than a few of us have been enjoying clusters of these miniature members of the squash family on reception desks, restaurant tables, and conference tables. Some have likely served as lovely centerpieces during family meals. How do you celebrate decorative gourd season all year long? With a decorated avant-gourd book tote, of course! Make your own with just a few supplies and a little creativity. Here’s how.

Gather your materials. 

Tiny gourds – the more oddly-shaped, the better

Kitchen knife – any knife you would use on a butternut squash

Cutting board – sturdy and dry

Acrylic Paints – in the colors of your choosing

Tote Bag – and tote you like

Scrap paper/paper plate – as a palate for your paint

Paint brush (optional) – perfect for adding a little extra paint to your gourds

Rag/washcloth (optional) – for added cutting stability with oddly-shaped gourds, an old kitchen cloth folded underneath works wonders.


Choose how to slice your gourds.

Cut your gourds lengthwise, widthwise, into wedges, or choose not to cut them at all! Focus on finding ways to show off the unique shape of each gourd. Pro-tip: gourds look kind of weird inside, but never fear! If your gourd is full of seeds, scoop them out jack-o-lantern-style. If your gourd has dried out inside, hollow out the spongy dry matter and use the sturdy peel as the stamp.


Choose a paint color for your gourds.

You can use any paint color you like for your project. For this example, we chose colors that were similar to the original gourd’s coloring, and added a little sparkly gold paint.  


Dip the edge of your gourd in paint.

This is where the project starts to get just a little bit messy! At this point, you may want to take some precautions and cover your work surface or clothes. Choose which edge of the gourd will be used to make the design on your tote bag, and dip it into the paint you’ve chosen. Try to get as much paint onto the stamping surface of the gourd as you can.


Apply the gourd to your tote bag.

For this tote, the green gourd slices were each used once across, the scalloped gourd was cut into two reused sections, the lumpy gourd was cut into wedges that were re-stamped multiple times, and the miniature pumpkin was simply rolled across to create the border. Get creative with your application, and have fun!


Let dry and use!

Let your tote dry thoroughly before using. Because gourds vary in shape and size (after all, that’s what we love about them), predicting how long it will take for your project to dry is challenging. Leaving it to dry overnight is always a good option!


Pack away whatever you like in your fancy new tote bag – we recommend it as a great way to carry along your travel reading as you visit friends and family over the holidays. Enjoy your unusual and experimental bag design!


**Definition of avant-gourd made up in celebration of decorative gourd season

Posted by Margaret Dunham

Bookish DIY Gifts: A Cozy Cowl for the Well-Read

Winter’s chill is fast approaching, and with it the season of gift giving and curling up by the fire with a beloved leather-bound book… or at least wrapping yourself in a fleece blanket and huddling beside the radiator. But what happens when you have to venture outside?

Help is on the way in the form of this cozy fleece cowl that’s incredibly easy to make for yourself or to give as a gift.  It’s such a simple design you can even make it with scraps!  Here’s how.

Posted by Margaret Dunham

Quirk Corral: Autumnal Florals and Chewbacca Grooming Techniques

(Image Credit: http://nruphoto.com/)

Here at Quirk, we’ve scoured the internet for the best bookish, geeky, and crafty links of the past week. Whether you have a hankering for new story by Charlotte Brontë, or need a quick DIY star crochet tutorial, we’re sure to have something to make your day a little brighter.

Posted by Jennifer Morell

Make Your Own Bookish Turkey Place Card

Good thing it’s almost time for Thanksgiving, since we’ve eaten all the leftover Halloween candy and moved on to craving pumpkin and pecan pie! In between stuffing ourselves with our favorite side dishes, we like to give thanks. And something we here at Quirk are always thankful for are books. All the books. So we created a DIY printable in case your turkey is also a bookish one like ours.

Posted by Jamie Canaves