Let me just start by saying that this didn’t work. In the night, it came down with a crash. Do not make this.
It started out with a few empty barcode rolls. I didn’t want to get rid of them, because they were significant to me. Why? Because every finished roll of barcodes mean that I had personally catalogued a thousand books. I had a stack of them, trophies of war. But what on earth was I to do with them? Bracelets?
I do find myself in this position often. I’ve kept something with the idea of doing something creative with it “someday”. Bottle caps, large boxes, shower curtain rings… sometimes it pays off, like when I made catapults with bottle cap launchers. Other times… well. I had some great books I was going to make book crafts with, then we had a flood in our basement and they were damaged. Then an idea came to me. I collect plastic figurines. I could display them in a unique way if I hung the empty rolls on the wall, and I could decoupage the book pages onto the rings to put them together!
This project was a lesson in learning from failure, and a test of my sense of humor. While I am describing how to do it, it didn’t work. It would be much easier and more practical to just go buy a shelf!
I didn’t have enough rings just from the barcode rolls. I tried slicing paper towel rolls. They are very flimsy. I happened to have several huge poster rolls (I admit I am photo-hoarding, let it be). Slicing these was much more difficult than I imagined. Using a hack-saw took hours and the resulting rings were not very even or neat. I tried out a jig-saw, which was better, but wouldn’t fit my larger tube.
Then I taped the rings together. Next, I made strips of book pages and applied them with Mod Podge. This took many hours and occupied my dining table for two weeks. I used a “Where’s Waldo” book (the previous owner had enthusiastically circled Waldo in every picture, and I had planned to do something artsy with it, but when it got wet the pages stuck together and ripped when pried apart.). The paper is very sturdy and helped me to bond the rings together, but was awkward to work with. I also used a reader’s digest condensed book, which was mid-weight, and an old fairytale book that was tissue thin and very easy to work with. When I finally finished, the project doesn’t look very polished, glossy Mod Podge would have looked better. But, it is unique, I can say that!