Tuesday, December 16, 2014

She's Crafty | Book Trees

Looky, looky, our branches have sprouted some very fine book trees for the holidays!

First up, we have a book tree at the Tracy branch made of discarded books. The books are fanned open and cut to make a star topper and the greenery of the tree. Under the tree are colorful presents trimmed with book page ribbons and bows. The ornaments promote reading and the wonders of library cards.

Recycled book page tree with presents!
By Carissa, a staff member at the Tracy branch.

Escalon's tree is festive with garland and colorful books. This is the style of book tree that will pop up when you Google: "library book tree" or do a similar search on Pinterest.

The Escalon branch has a sparkly book tree!
This one was made by Emily.

I helped make a small one at the Chavez branch. It was my very first time helping to make a book tree. My book tree mentor, Nancy, showed me the way and we came up with this little beauty featuring a book page star topper, old reference books, and tinsel garland....

Chavez is festive with a wee, little book tree.

It may be small but it's full of spirit! Apparently a tree in the past at Chavez was mistaken for a game of Jenga and although we didn't have an incident involving a patron being buried by books, we couldn't handle the thought of possibly experiencing an avalanche so we made the tree less accessible this year.

However, next year we're planning on making a tree on wheels with all the books glued down, yay! All we would have to do is roll it out, dust it off, and give it some lights. We won't have to worry about the poor tree being picked on or the tree attacking an unsuspecting patron. Sounds like a win-win situation to me!

The Chavez branch once had a 5-foot book tree.
We're working on bringing it back. Stay tuned...

Book trees are pretty easy to set up but can be tricky to get just right. Basically you build it like a brick wall where things are staggered on the layer below. You have to bring it in ever so slightly on each level to make a tree shape. This is what can be the tricky part. A few times I would step back to see a lopsided tree that looked like it was trying to run away. You just gotta check your work periodically from a distance, that's all.

Also, if you want your book tree to stay standing, you have to fill the center with books or other objects on each level. Filling the center can be tricky on the upper levels since the interior can get smaller than a paperback. Our tree started out small so after the first three levels we had to get creative with filling the void. We resorted to using stacks of left-over bookmarks from programs past and other odds-and-ends. Whatever works, right?

Let me know if you have made a book tree, will attempt to make a book tree, have been awed by a ginormous book tree, or have seen any kind of tree that isn't a tree that strikes your fancy.

I once saw a show describing a town tree made out of crab traps and zip-ties!

Also, be sure to visit your local branch to check out all the festive decorations and book displays keeping our book trees company. In fact, plan a holiday tour of all our branches! I just focused on book trees in this post but there is plenty of other fun stuff going on.

Troke's Mitten Tree.
Before I end my post, let me introduce you to our last tree. It's not a book tree but it's a very important tree you can visit at the Margaret Troke branch. This one is topped with a cute little hat and the garland is made of scarves. There's a reason for this. Ever since 2007 the staff at Troke has put up a mitten tree asking for donations of hats, scarves, and gloves that will go to the Stockton Shelter for the Homeless. If you want to participate and donate something to help keep someone warm this winter, go to Troke and leave a donation!

Malia & Kaye

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