It’s no secret that I love books, and I don’t only love the stories they hold, I love the actual, physical books. Digital books are great and have their place and purpose and all, but to me, there’s just something wonderful about holding a book, carrying it around with me, and admiring the way it looks on the shelf. I want to take care of my books, the pages, the covers, and the dust jackets. I appreciate the job the dust jacket does of helping protect them over time. But those shiny pieces of plasticy-paper covering my kids’ storybooks just don’t last the way dust jackets last on grown-upish books on the shelf because little kids, at least my kids, aren’t always so gentle with their books. The dust jackets tend to end up wrinkled or ripped. We tote our books around with us, taking them outside to read under trees, we pack them in suitcases, and we have been known to fall asleep reading them, which means those pretty dust jackets tend to fall off of our books. They aren’t practical for us, but I just cannot throw them away. Because they came with the book! They have cover art and the title and the author, and they are special for those reasons. It just seems wrong to throw them out.
So, here’s what I did.
I saved those darn, wrinkled, falling off, pretty, whimsical, dust jackets from my kids’storybooks, and I put them in my closet….UNTIL we had a bunch of them, enough of them to make a big book-themed masterpiece to hang on our wall, something that would remind us of the storybooks we love and the time we spent reading them.
It was simple and fun to make, and it was such a sweet time to spend with my kids, cutting the storybook dust jackets and gluing them and sealing them with Mod Podge to a wood board, while we talked about the storylines and characters and the memories we shared of reading them together. We added in some pictures and quotes cut from damaged storybook pages that I have been saving for a rainy day craft.
And this big board of book pages and dust jackets really is my favorite piece of art in my house. In this beautifully full life, it can be hard to find time and energy and inspiration to follow through with an idea, so I am super thankful that we somehow managed to pull this one idea I had together. And we did it on Mothers Day, which was pretty fantastic.