Thursday, June 5, 2014

Recycling Books with Rubber Moon Stamps

I have a girlfriend who rescues children's hard books from thrift stores, peels the slick, shiny paper off and leaves the white fuzzy cardboard behind.  While this is a strange pass time, it definitely is a great way to make inspirational books where all you have to do is provide content.

On the left is a book with page peeling started.  At the top, a small book that
has been completely peeled, and on the bottom, one of my already made books.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do when she quits peeling for fun - I've tried it and it isn't my favorite thing!  But in the meantime, she's still sharing.

I'm ready to start a new book, beginning with the cover, and decided that I would get myself started (sometimes I need a push) by creating that cover and my RubberMoon blog at the same time.

I used David Brethauer's Wishing Tree, and Monica Holding Heart, and Marylinn Kelly's Alter Ego stamps.  I've used these stamps before, and what I love about stamping is that you can use the same stamps over and over and come out with very different results.  Here I made a collage painting, and here I made jewelry.

 I used crayons to start the cover background, made the title letters  inspired by Brenda Smoak's recent post, and then layered it all together.

I do a lot of collage for these books.  I like the layers and I never know what I'm doing - no plan - when I start anyways.  Instead of doing a direct stamp onto the cover, I stamped onto stickies, tore the edges (I like that roughness for collaging), and used Golden gel medim, regular gel (gloss) to "glue" everything down.  Gel medium is my favorite sticky stuff for collages.  A little goes a long way, and you can keep working it til you get where you want to go.

This is a small book, collaged, with a fold-out page.
You can see them in the videos I have linked to below.

the finished book cover for this project

My favorite way of working is BIG, but I find that stamps encourage me to try small.  This books measures 3 3/8" x 3 3/8".  Thus stamping takes me outside of my comfort zone and makes me rethink how to use my tiny creative space - it is very different than working 16" x 24" or larger!

Having started, now I get to riff some more in the scale of little: 10 pages, the back cover and spine to go!

You can see some of the different ways to embellish "books" - large and small - here, here, and one here specially for the younger set who might want to make their own stamp and collage book.


  1. Love this Tammy! You always have the greatest ideas!

  2. We LOVE this! Another great project! Thank you so much!

  3. Oh my gosh! I'm going crazy now - have peeled 4 books since reading this! Thanks so much for sharing this technique! :)

  4. Thanks everyone! and Wendy - if you find yourself with too many, you know where you can donate some!

  5. Brilliant!
    I recently re-cycled a children's board book to a Jane Austen theme - such fun.

  6. Would never have thought to peel those slick surfaces. Thanks for sharing.