From dog collars come books

So I finished Roberts project, #3 in the 25 Project line up.

This was a tall order, you may read about what Robert sent me here on a previous post.

Here is the end result of a lot of thought, labor and love.

Two books

Also I took pictures of the collars before I took them apart, and I had a kind of photo shoot so I could make prints of them intact for Robert and Joey.

I made the books with supplies from The Paper Source, they are an excellent resource for quality book making and printing supplies.  I wanted to use the collars like they were a fabric, but I had to take them apart to do that.  This is the hard part of making these objects, and to be honest it was really very difficult to take these apart, it felt so…final…maybe that sounds foolish but, I struggled with cutting them apart, but in the end I am glad I did.  I stared at those collars for a few days before I took the scissors to them. Here are some photos of the books completed

This book is made with strips of leather from the collars that I braided and sewed onto some heavy weight canvas

and the other book I used upholstery weight material – because the collars were worn, I needed a material that didn’t scream “new” so I went with this tweed and I think it worked nicely, my idea was to make a pattern with the collars using the holes from the buckle.

I really love this heart from Coach, I wanted it to be a big part of one of the books

Here are some pictures of the process of the book making:

in this one you can see the dog fur tufts that I discovered while taking apart one of the collars, this made me choke up a little bit….

and the collars laid out once dissassembled

taking apart a collar

and here are some photos of the book making, painters tape is my best friend.  Working with cloth this heavy makes book binding a little trickier than with paper, and the painters tape allowed me to work with the material and secure things nice and tight and also allow me to take it apart again.  It was quite the process.

The book I assembled before making the cover

The materials I chose, I swear I went to the fabric store 3 times, no exaggeration….I got some peculiar looks dragging around a baggie full of dog collars.

I taped down the collars after taking them apart, and I then ran them through my machine, boy did I hold my breath there!  They made it through tho!  If you ever sew leather, do it slooooowly.

I then covered the books with the fabric, but I had to kind of stretch it first, again, tape.

In the end it turned out well, it was hard work but well worth it I believe.

You may be thinking to yourself right now, how the heck did she do that for $25?  Well, I didn’t.  Robert was kind enough to pledge above an beyond and that allowed me to make this project more elaborate than I would have been able to otherwise.  Additionally Robert is a collector of my sister, Claire Noonan’s work, my sister is a very talented painter so she sets the bar high!

Thank you for looking, I would love to hear any comments on Roberts project.  After doing this particular one I am playing with the idea of making similar things for other people, a kind of custom item so I welcome your thoughts on that.

For now I look forward to making the next one…after I put up my feet and drink a nice, large cup of coffee….ahhhhhhh


13 thoughts on “From dog collars come books

  1. Liz, I’m so sorry. I Twitter on my iPhone and I don’t get every tweet, not sure why, so I didn’t know you’d posted this project.

    Well if you wanted to make another dog lover cry, you succeeded. The pictures of the process make it so clear that these were emotion-filled works of art. The fur, the smell of old leather, the heart tag. I’m not sure I could have done it. Taking those collars apart was like scattering ashes. But then you made it right, you attached the memories and love in those collars to the books, giving them new life.

    Thank you for sharing all of what you went through to create these books. I think I’ll go walk my dogs now. 🙂

    Much love & appreciation for your talent & tender heart ~

  2. Liz-
    You truly amazed us with this! What a wonderful remembrance of the girls. Your thoughtful introspection and creativity really shows in this project. They will be tresured!

  3. Your project turned out beautiful and it’s easy to see how much care and thought you put into this. If you ever decide to do this for others I’d love to know.

  4. You used more than materials and instinct when you created our Books from Collars…….you took our story, a box of beloved yet unused collars and created something that will be with us everyday. The way that you took bits that we had always seen as distinct and separate, like the dogs that wore them, and wove them into a composite of all the memories of us as a family…..just astounding. Joey and I have nothing but gratitude for the time, thought and inspiration your shared with us. ……. thank you creating something that gives us the ability to actually touch the memories we cherish …..daily. NO MORE WORDS….SIMPLY THANKS

  5. Pingback: Project #13, finished! | liz noonan

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