Holiday Crafting with Library Manifesto


Today being Christmas Eve, it seems an apt time to share some festive literary tree ornaments. I made them using a neat catalog of rare books from the wonderful Honey & Wax Booksellers. The images of first edition book covers, with beautifully designed lettering, ornate borders, and darling details, inspired different variations of a DIY tree decoration. (I also used them as gift tags.)

I like simple crafts and this idea, if you couldn’t already tell, is the simplest. All it took was a circle cutter, scissors, and a little glue. I also used ribbon and baker’s twine for hangers. First, using a circle paper cutter I made a front and back circle, then I glued the ribbon or twine on the inside of the back circle and fastened the top circle over it with glue. For a bit of decoration, I used needle and thread to secure the hanger. I let it dry for a moment, and voila! My tree looked infinitely smarter.


I saw the cover of this first American edition of Ulysses on display in an exhibit of Ernst Reichl‘s work at Columbia University last year. I love how the title spans the height of the book, with lines stretching up, down and across the cover. A nerdy detail: Including the book’s spine, I found, added dimension.

This two sided ornament is my favorite. Mitsou is a wordless story of a runaway cat, the picture book was created by the artist Balthus when he was 13 years old. It’s a wonderful reminder of the imagination of young creative minds.




An even simpler method: Choose a page with compelling books on both sides and a hole punch. This John Keats title page is as immaculate as any traditional tree ornament!


Wishing you the best holiday season. Thank you for reading. Next week, I’ll have an end of year reading list.

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