Colorful pages of worn-out children's books make great gift wrap for smaller gifts, such as jewelry, books, etc. Add a piece of old ribbon or lace and you'll have a beautiful package. Even the most worn out children's books can usually be salvaged and put to good use.
We've carried this another step.
Our 5 kids are 25-12 yrs. old. The older ones developed favorites of some stories. As they've gotten older, we've gifted them with the old copies, or even found some online at 'alibris' or other sites used, esp. when our copies were lost, too worn, or favorites of more than one.
I like to go to used book sales at public libraries, and frequently have found damaged or old books with intact illustrations. (Especially children's books or old decorating or travel guides.) These are sometime printed on different paper than the rest of the book, the shiny heavy paper. Remove carefully and you have a nice print to mat and frame. If the book is too good to cut up, see if you can color-copy the illustration-- color, not black & white, to preserve the yellowed vintage quality of the paper. I'd like to try this with my collection of Nancy Drew books from the 1930s and 40s. I also have found wonderful colored illustrations in old women's magazines, for example the Campbell's tomato soup ad is really a work of art.
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