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What do the insides of the Recycled Book Journals look like?

I believe in fun.  Fun paper, cards, and books that deserve a new purpose in life.  I upcycle books into nifty journals that can go anywhere and be used for any number of things.  Junk Journals, Scrapbooks, writing journals, bullet journals, or sketch books.

The Recycled Book Journals also make a thoughtful gift to friends, family and co-workers.

What do the Recycled Book Journals look like?

I upcycle a variety of books.  Generally I bind them with a wire binding system that looks like this:

Other binding types are available upon request.

What’s on the inside?

  • 28 lb white paper
  • 10 ish pages of the original book
  • Decorative paper
  • Interesting pages that vary.  They might be maps, music sheets, graph paper, pages from other books, or things I feel like upcycling.
  • There might be playing cards from games, library checkout cards, and again if I feel like including it in a book I will.

Here are some sample inside pages:

What types of books do I upcycle?

Dr. Seuss, Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland and Nancy Drew recycled book journals are always popular.  However, I do quite a bit of vintage textbooks, gothic novels, classics, vintage children’s books, english literature books, foreign language books, and physics books.

Does it need to be hard back cover?  It helps!  However, I bind paperback and book jacket covers to a stiff book cover all the time.  I then apply a protective coating  to protect the paper, so that it will stand up to being in a bag or falling off a nightstand.

Does it always need to be white paper?   It doesn’t need to be!  I will add quality lined paper or drawing paper upon request.  Of course, there is a small fee for having the more expensive paper.

Interested?  My email is to discuss further.


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Leaving Etsy after my listings expire

Yesterday, Etsy rolled out the new Pattern subdomain.  Or as they call it, a ‘stand alone website’. Basically, it mirrors your Etsy shop, customers pay through Etsy, they need to be logged into Etsy, etc.  The products also need to be Etsy approved.  Of course, a huge number of Etsy products have IP violations, mass produced, or not handmade in the slightest.  If you glue something onto a product, it’s then considered handmade.  I was recently surprised to know that most tutu sellers buy premade tutu’s and then add bows and stuff to make them ‘handmade.’

That isn’t the reason I’m leaving.  I get much better placement through this website and well, my etsy shop was buried under a ton of mass produced notebooks and journals.  Or at least I assumed they were because they all looked the same and cute sayings on them.  Exactly like notebooks you can buy at walmart.  But heh, etsy is about handmade and vintage, right?

If you try the new pattern site, notice that your website has an Etsy portion.  Now blogspot and wordpress also have blogging platforms that have their name in the titles; so that isn’t always a bad thing. However, when you duplicate content on multiple webpages, google penalizes your webpage.  Most ecomm pages have a real problem with being found.  If there are two websites with the same content, then the one with the most page rank will be featured.  Do you really think that will be the ‘pattern’ subdomain or will it be Etsy prime?

You could get into the fees, but the $15 a month isn’t the deal breaker.  It’s paying for a website that is invisible on google.  Why would you intentionally shoot yourself in the foot like that?

I did log off the forums for the last time and put up a shop announcement that I was slowly closing down the etsy shop.  I took one last swing was through the throngs of people who were asking questions about pattern.

Anyway, hopefully you don’t see this as a negative post.  When someone tries to redefine a commonly known word and then post general statements that ‘we have tried to reduce the risk, etc.’ that clearly mean they have a vague idea of SEO and marketing on the web when there are industry standards that are easy to find and understand, I just grin.

Etsy has been late with shop payments so far in 2016.  Technical details?  Time will be the judge of that situation and if it continues.


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Comment on Bloomberg Business article about Etsy

I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to list my products are Etsy.  They do have traffic, but am I going to benefit from that traffic?  You can have all the traffic in the world but if a portion isn’t directed at your shop, you might as well be invisible.

Here is a recent article about ‘Artisanal Factories’ and how Etsy wants to work more with them:

This is a quote from Fred Wilson.  Someone who is a really brilliant venture capitialist.  If you don’t know who he is, he’s been running facebook ads touting his expertiveness.  (Seriously, he is well respected.)

Fred Wilson Quote

I guess Etsy needs to do stuff to get noticed by money folks, but do they really need to get in bed with someone who doesn’t see handmade as part of Etsy’s key values?  Who does Fred think built Etsy?  Who does Fred think trucked all their customers over to Etsy?

Now, that some of those same people have transformed themselves into mini factories shipping thousands of units a year, perhaps he has a point.  Maybe the top 20% of seller are not making handmade goods anymore.  They probably, if they are not outsourcing product manufacturing, have manufacturing tools to help them make that much product.

However, as someone who has a smaller Etsy shop, I’ve got to wonder if I should be investing time and effort to pay for more listings.  Am I to be outnumbered by the journal companies that take a chipboard premade notebook, add a funny saying, and then call it home made?  According to craft count, those companies make way more sales than I will with my handmade book journals.

Etsy has long redefined handmade as something that you buy with a bow on it.  A recent example that I saw on Facebook was a tutu maker who pre-bought all her tutus and then added flowers and figures to it.  I really had no idea that the many tutu makers on etsy weren’t making their own tutu’s.  Really, a tutu is one the easiest things to make.  It’s a wide elastic waist and netting.

Now in this quote from the same article, it appears that Etsy doesn’t want people to notice that there is mass produced products on their handmade website.

Etsy Article

Um, gotta say, that is perhaps too late.  When I went shopping for a tshirt for my sweetie earlier this year, it was very apparent that there were generic models with tshirts photoshopped on them.  Maybe someone else would like a minion shirt, but I am more interested in original tshirts that no one else has.

Or perhaps, Etsy is to replace SkyMall, which folded last year, and have small lot manufacturing.

If someone wants to buy blanks or products that you can put a bow on to make it Etsy legal, here are a few resources:


Fire Mountain Gems:

Panda Hall:

Bicycle Playing Cards:

And I could go on and on there are tons of companies that are willing to premanufacture your handmade goods.  I’d list out more, but I think it’s pretty clear that Etsy needs the volume to make their business grow.  After all, how else are they going to prop up their stock price?

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Blank Books and Journals Reclaimed from Recycled Books


The Secret of the Old Clock Nancy Drew Blank Book

I’ve been busy at working creating blank journals from books lately.  It’s an extremely relaxing and engaging task.  Find a cool book cover or VHS tape.

The Avengers Upcycled VHS Case

Find some cool paper that I would like to see in blank book.



Mr Brown Can Moo Can You Upcycled Journal

Assemble the book and add a sturdy wire binding.

Nancy Drew The Bungalow Mystery Handmade Journal

Paper Butterfly Forge is excited to add recycled books and VHS tape covers to it’s product line up!  Keep an eye out for some of our new products on the website! As always we welcome wholesale and bulk orders.  Custom Orders are just fine!


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Say What? Is that really legal Etsy?

This was a promoted ad, fyi.

train your dragon


So, I was looking for something dragon related on Etsy.  Found this.  A clear reproduction of a Disney property.  A bunch more of them by the same seller.  I didn’t look their entire product listing.

Curious, I scrolled down the description:

Dragon two



I’m done.