My work space II – Folded book into mail holder

mail holder

My guilty conscience started in the moment I entered the antiquarian book shop. I couldn’t shake off the feeling that the owner could read it in my face – that I didn’t want to buy one of his books for its content, to read it or give it away … but to destroy it!

mail holder

I had seen some interesting DIY projects reusing old books, for example this, this or this one. But I always asked myself the question: Am I able to do this to a book?

I am not the one that arranges her books in the shelf by colour. Books aren’t in the first instance decorative objects for me. They are reservoirs of knowledge, thoughts, creativity – cultural artefacts.(No, this isn’t too pathetic.) So, of course I order them by content.

mail holder

Nevertheless – or because – I value books, the written word, I wanted to do this project – a mail folder made from an old book – for my new desk.

mail holder

mail holder

And I think, in the end I found a good way to create a useful and decorative mail holder and as well do justice to the content of the book:

The book I finally went for is an educational book about the flora of the German landscape (“Die Pflanzenwelt der deutschen Landschaft. Das Leben der Pflanzen in ihrer Umwelt”). It’s written in Fraktur script, which reminds me of my work as historian. The book contains as well some beautiful old coloured charts of plants.

mail holder

As you can see on the picture above on the one hand I cut out the titel of the book and placed it onto one side of the book cover to keep it visible.

I also removed all the plant charts from the book before folding it and cut out some flour prints to decorate the final mail holder (just fixed with some masking tape). This way, the content of the book is still kept present.

mail holder

What else do you need to know about this project?

Materials: One book (Mine had about 400 pages and I folded all of them.)

To do: Fold each page in half lengthwise. Best start from the middle of the book and work yourself to the first and last page. That’s it basically.

Additionally you can trim and/or cover the book cover, decorate in a similar way as I did or f.ex. by cutting shapes out of one page and folding them up.

And of course: The sky is the limit in advanced book folding, as you can see f.ex. here. A bit easier folding techniques that vary the basic one can be found f.ex. on Weekday Carnival.

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