In looking through old decorating magazines the other day, I came across one with a lot of do-it-yourself projects. I don't really do these projects - lists of supplies and the need for specific tools intimidate me - but I find some of them inspiring. New ideas are nice.
One of the projects suggested was to "paper a book." The idea was to cover a book with wallpaper. Immediately a question arose in my mind:
The answer provided in this magazine is that doing so adds "a decorative finish." I suppose it does. I'm not sure, though, that I see the decorative benefit of wrapping books in wallpaper. And are we supposed to wrap only one book or all books? I can think of better usages of time than a lengthy session of book-wrapping. Reading the books seems like a good one.
I see a problem, too, when it's time to sell some older books at the second-hand store. For some reason, I already have trouble selling many of my books. I've never figured out why but I don't want to give the bookstore people more reasons to turn my books away - "Oh, we can't take that one, it's had wallpaper on it. And ugly wallpaper at that." That might sting a little. I don't know how I'd figure out which ones to sell anyways if they all had decorative covers. And if I wrote the names on them in black magic marker, they might not look so decorative. Perhaps I should study calligraphy to make the project complete.
Some of these projects, done by the right people, probably turn out really well and are worthwhile. To me, this one seems of questionable value and another one shown on this same page may be worse. It is suggested that you glue rubber ducks all around a bathroom mirror. I can't imagine when that would be good to have in a bathroom - when children are small they might try to climb up and pull down one of the ducks. When they're bigger, they wouldn't want a rubber-duck themed mirror.
In deciding whether to take on any of these DIY projects, it seems useful to me to consider whether the effort is really worth it. For me, it's usually not. Most likely I don't have enough old wallpaper, decorative or not, to cover a lot of books and our rubber duck supply is running low. I do have a lot of old magazines though. I wonder if there's something brilliant I can do with them.