Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Wreath of Ravaged Innocence

WARNING: This post is not meant for librarians or the feint of heart... Or possibly librarian's daughters... ;) I wouldn't want to offend your delicate sensibilities.

I've been wanting to make a book page wreath for quite some time and I finally got around to it the night that Theresa made her Christmas bauble wreath. There are lots of different types of book page wreaths, but I decided to go with the rolled page wreath.

Materials needed:
  • Pages ripped out of any book you choose (sacrilege! if you are squeamish about ripping apart book bindings, if it hurts your heart just a bit, then Theresa will happily do it for you.)
  • Hot glue gun & accompanying glue sticks
  • Seriously, that's it. You don't really need anything else. How awesome is that? You could use a wreath base for additional support, but I didn't bother.
Take a page and roll it however you like. Use a dab of glue to hold it in place. Then use that roll to make all of the rest of the rolled pages. This ensures a that all of your rolls are somewhat standardized.

You are going to need a lot of rolls. This is a good task to complete while watching some silly television show because it doesn't require your entire attention.

While watching some silly television show, rolling book pages, and gluing away... I started to notice that someone had written notes in the margins of the book. What book? Tess of the D'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented by Englishman Thomas Hardy, first published in 1891. Sounds dreadfully boring, right? I've never read it. I'm not sure why I had it on my bookshelf. It was probably one of my college roommate's English 101 books. I had no idea what it was about, but I had (few) qualms about destroying it.

I was happily humming and gluing pages into rolls when I came across a page with "rape scene" written in the margins. Hmm... Maybe I should stop humming happily to myself and make this a more somber undertaking?

Well, wonderful, I'm making a wreath in which some chick named Tess gets raped... Or in the vernacular of Victorian England... has her virgin innocence ravaged. And is probably ruined for life. Since that's what happens if you are unchaperoned with a male in Victorian England.

Now I have no choice but to call my little art project the Wreath of Ravaged Innocence. It's ok. It's ART. Art made from dark Victorian literature questioning societal mores. Other artists will understand and applaud my efforts.

Moving on from the unfortunate subject matter of my wreath and back to more structural concerns. The next step is to line all 40 rolled pages up and glue them together.

Next, pull them into a full circle and glue them in place.

Repeat the same process for the smaller inner circle, then glue it on top of the larger circle.

Decide what you want to place in the very center of your wreath and, VOILA!

Not too shabby. Or maybe it is exactly shabby. Whatever. It cost me NOTHING.

And it's pretty. Despite the whole ravaged innocence bit.


  1. 'when ye ought to ha'
    WHAT?! Is this English?

  2. I LOVE
    a) the title of this post
    b) the fact that your wreath has "rape scene" noted discretely somewhere on it
    c) the fact that my mom the librarian had zero qualms about a book wreath I made once out of some horribly boring book. She, in fact, liked it! Which is why my mom is the coolest librarian ever.


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