I have really enjoyed seeing so many book crafts online recently, and I have been eyeing the popular book pumpkin craft since September. But, since I didn’t have any books that I wanted to sacrifice, I never made one.
As luck would have it, I found a bunch of old books from the 1980s that a used bookstore in Waco was selling for 5 cents each. 5 cent books are perfect for book crafts.
Even though I had no interest in reading the books, I still felt bad for murdering them. I wonder what the authors would say if they knew I was destroying their books to make crafts with!
But all book guilt aside, this project was fun and turned out great. If you want to learn how to do it, keep reading!
DIY Book Pumpkin Craft Tutorial
You will need:
- A book you hate
- Sharp craft knife or scissors (I used a hefty duty knife like this one)
- Orange ink and a small piece of sponge (I used Stampin’ Up brand, but any orange stamp pad will do)
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks (I just use a little cheap one like this one)
- Craft glue
- Large paper binder clips
Choose your book. Try not to think about the author or the contents of the book when you select it or you might chicken out. The book I chose was about 600 pages, which took a lot of time. A book of around 300 pages would be ideal and not take quite so long to make.
Draw your pumpkin template. I basically made half of a circle with a slightly flat bottom for my template. Cut out the template.
Place the template over the center of the book with the flat side along the spine of the book. Use the knife to cut around the shape, leaving the pages attached to the spine. This will take a long time. It took me about an hour.
I laid the template directly on each section and cut around it with the knife.
Once all the outside of the book is gone, use scissors to touch up any shaping mistakes. I had torn some of the pages when I cut out the pumpkin shape, and I removed those at this point.
Rough up the edges of the pumpkin by opening the scissors and roughing up the pages with the blade. This will help cover any imperfections in your pages. It will also get page dust everywhere- so do it outside. Take the cover off the book at this point.
When you are happy with the shape, dip a sponge into the ink (I used a stamp pad) and rub the sponge around the edges of the pumpkin. I’ve seen some people use paint, but I liked just the hint of orange that the stamp ink made.
Open the spine into a circle, fanning out the pages and making the pumpkin shape. When you open it, you will be able to tell where you need to bend along the spine to even out where the pages spread. Keep bending the pages along the spine until you are happy with how they fan out. I also removed pages that I thought were too blank at this point. I like a lot of text on my book pumpkin pages.
Find a stick about the same width and height as the inside of your book spine. Wrap the book around the stick and glue it to the spine with hot glue. Your pumpkin shape should start to form at this point.
Take the first and last page of the book and glue them together. If they start to pull away from the spine, glue a few more pages together. Use office clamps to hold the pages together as they dry. I clamped about 100 pages together to keep the pages from ripping off the spine and it worked well. I also poured some craft glue down inside the spine because I didn’t trust the hot glue all the way. Let the glue dry for at least 1-2 hours.
Un-clamp the clamps and fan out the book pages. If you find them clumping together in a spot, you can try pushing the spine apart at that point, or add glue to force the pages to stick together into your rounded shape.
Tie a ribbon or bow to the stem of the pumpkin and you are done! You can also use leaves if you like, but I liked the ribbon look best.
If you make a book pumpkin using this tutorial, share it with me on the Daily Mayo Facebook page!