Paper Chase: Art torn from the pages of yesterday's books

Holiday Kusudama ball ornaments handcrafted form pages of reclaimed books. $18Two years ago, Liddy Russo challenged herself to craft gifts for friends and family without buying new materials. Her solution: Make paper ornaments from old book pages. The spherical origami was so well-received that she started a business, Made by Liddy, and began selling the pieces. “I think it’s really important to use what’s around us instead of having to go out and purchase stuff… [and] I really enjoy working with my hands,” says Russo, who is also a freelance graphic designer.

Russo now picks up books wherever she can, and is often given specific titles for customized gifts. In addition to the ornaments, she makes paper roses, gluing them to sycamore branches found near her home in Newtown, and paper wreaths backed with repurposed cardboard. The wreaths are circular, filled with rolled paper, and can either be hung on the wall or used as a centerpiece. Russo has even extended her reuse and recycle ethos to her displays, which are made from reclaimed and salvaged wood.

“[Made by Liddy has] gotten some great feedback,” she says, “everyone appreciates the repurposed and reclaimed aspect of it.” – Liz Pacheco

Made by Liddy, 

Made by Liddy can be found at Heirloom Home and Studio (227 Mt. Carmel Ave., Glenside, and the Newtown Bookshop (2835 S. Eagle Rd., Newtown, An online store is coming soon.