Since 2009, I’ve recycled hundreds of dictionaries, encyclopedias, art books, books on Shakespeare, Stephen King novels, and even Little Golden Books into clutch purses and handbags, to sell on Etsy. I’ve rescued books from dusty shelves, the trash, garage sales and library used book sales. When I finished the first draft of In the Context of Love, I couldn’t wait to make my own book purse. Now I can!
For this, I decided to try something entirely new — a box clutch — rather than one with side gussets. This meant an afternoon of trial and error. Call me a masochist, but I love this kind of problem solving.
My book is a paperback, so first I had to mount the front, back and spine onto stiff board, and then paint and seal the edges. I needed 1/4″ by 3/4″ wood strips for the sides, but all I found at Home Depot was 1/4″ square dowels, so I glued three together to get the right height. Then I sanded them smooth and sawed them to the right length. That was tricky — I made a couple scrap pieces. After I glued them into place on the inside back page, I had to cover the sides, and then the inside with fabric. This took some messing around. And I got messy. My fingers were sticky with glue. It was a challenge not to get it on the front of the fabric.
I’m happy with the finished clutch. It won’t hold much more than a phone, lipstick and a car key, but it’ll be fun to carry, and it’s mine, all mine!
p.s. For those who may shudder at the idea of using a book cover for a purse, please be assured that I only use damaged books, mass produced paperbacks, and old books with disintegrating pages. I give beautiful covers new life by repurposing them. Some texts are rebound, and others are used for writing prompts or recycled. Nothing is discarded. Also the texts of the vintage books I’ve used for purses have been digitalized and can be read for free online.
In the Context of Love: a new contemporary fiction about first love and the catharsis of reconnection.
Angelica Schirrick had always suspected there was something deeply disturbing about her family, but the truth was more than she bargained for.
“Linda K. Sienkiewicz’s powerful and richly detailed debut novel is at once a love story, a cautionary tale, and an inspirational journey.” ~ Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of National Book Award Finalist, American Salvage, and critically acclaimed Once Upon a River, and Mothers, Tell Your Daughters