CraftStylish Reports from CHA

CraftStylish Reports from CHA

Wall to Wall Paper

comments (21) February 2nd, 2009     

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Jeff_Rudell Jeffery Rudell, contributor
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Oversized ornaments? Decorative wall art? Would you believe, theyre just magazines from the garbage bin?
Three hundred fifty magazines with 77,000 individual folds is all it took to create this dramatic and sophisticated wall treatment.
To promote our website, we turned to the analog medium that preceded it: the humble magazine.
Oversized ornaments? Decorative wall art? Would you believe, theyre just magazines from the garbage bin?

Oversized ornaments? Decorative wall art? Would you believe, they're just magazines from the garbage bin?

Photo: Jeff Rudell
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If you're looking to make trouble, I suggest putting five crafters in a room and asking them to design something. This is what The Taunton Press (owners of did in mid-December. They invited Kayte Terry, Victoria North, Deana Tierney, Michaela Murphy, and myself to meet at their offices in Connecticut to discuss the upcoming Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) trade show, scheduled for January 24–28 in Anaheim, CA.

The powers that be, as represented by Publisher Beth Agren, tasked us to come up with a design for the booth. Specifically they wanted something that would be interesting, have impact, and convey—at a glance—the essence of our site. As anyone who has experience with trade shows knows, they can be extremely expensive ventures what with the cost of renting the booth, the cost of renting items and amenities to go in the booth (such as chairs, tables, a wide-screen television, and—especially important for us—Internet access), and the cost of travel and hotel accommodations for representatives staffing the booth. Aftering tallying up all of these "hard" costs, Beth informed us that we had very limited resources left for "decor." But, knowing full well the sort of people she was dealing with, she asked us to "be creative" and see what we could come up with.

The ideas came fast and furiously: Let's design a party, complete with paper cake, handmade party favors, and a giant invitation to celebrate our one-year anniversary of the site; let's design an exhibit space and display the work of members who have undertaken projects from the site; let's purchase 3,000 Japanese paper fans imprinted with the slogan, "I'm a fan of" Admittedly, some ideas were better than others but, one-by-one, we dismissed each of them because either the cost was too high or the logistical demands too great for the time we had available to us.

Then, almost offhandedly, it was mentioned that the theme of the trade show was, "It's Easy Being Green." Eureka! Being green is something we know a little about at Michaela suggested that instead of featuring crafts IN our booth, perhaps we could craft the booth ITSELF. Then Deana, the editor of the CraftStylish magazine, suggested we try incorporating the magazine itself into the design. Within minutes all five of us were folding magazines into curious shapes and brainstorming how we might attach them to a wall (How much do 350 magazines weigh? Can we hot-glue them in place? What color should the wall itself be?).

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posted in: recycled magazines

Comments (21)

andrew_bentley160 writes: Looks really cool. I've been thinking of throwing away some of my old magazine, but I'm starting to reconsider it now.
Posted: 8:24 am on February 1st
MKennard writes: Hi I am a gcse student of st marylebone school and i was wondering if i could use your website in my coursework?
Madison Kennard
Posted: 7:40 am on November 4th
Maggie2020 writes: To bring more attention to our “Toys for Tots” toy drive, in art class our 75 5th graders recycled National Geographic magazines. The display in the main lobby of our elementary school measures 8 feet by 10 feet. Wrapped boxes of toys were on the floor underneath.
Students folded the magazines to create the diamond shape. Starting at the top two magazines were attached together to add fullness using a staple gun. They continued for 8 rows alternating on each side of the first shape to create the triangle shape of the tree. They added texture lines to the trunk and even made that dimensional when they hung it by stapling the left side first and stapling the right side from inside the trunk. The top was adorned with an oversized origami crane symbolizing peace; smaller cranes were hung on the tree.
They really enjoyed making this; even the parents commented how they remember folding magazines when they were younger.

Posted: 9:05 am on December 31st
emt writes: The booth was wonderful. I learned this trick when i was about 12 years old (50+ years ago!)with a paperback book to be used as a door stop. I am glad to see it revived so beautifully.
Posted: 9:07 pm on November 13th
alanapr1 writes: I would like to thank you not just for a great idea, but for taking us all through the process of designing the booth. It is great to get an idea of what the process is, for those of us who don't do such things.
Posted: 2:27 am on May 30th
grandmaof62 writes: What an awesome Idea. Just made it. took maybe a half hour to make one. It looks so COOL. Was just thinking that it would be even more awesome if I strung beads and attached them to the end of each fold then from the top and bottome as well. Think that would be so Cool. What a wonderful Idea to recycle old magazines which I have alot of.
Posted: 12:47 am on March 23rd
RAli writes: This is such a simple and brilliant idea! "make something out of nothing".
Posted: 9:01 am on March 12th
booklady2228 writes: WOW! I'm going to a a few of these and place them on the outside of my house (under the porch) and watch them flutter in the wind; I might even hang a few and watch them twirl!
Posted: 11:34 am on March 4th
JohnWLennon writes: I remember making Christmas trees out of Reader's Digest magazines as a kid using this same concept. Then we would spray paint them gold. I too have worked many trade shows and pre set up was always so exciting and one couldn't wait to see the finished product. Your finished product is awesome! I just one of those is made and hung on a wall, it will create a thousand questions. Great conversation peice for a party and it's easy enough to get the kids involved. Thumbs up!

Posted: 9:38 am on March 1st
smartstyle writes: That is so cool and smart! I am about to start my first one!

Posted: 4:52 pm on February 27th
glitterbirdie writes: very very it
Posted: 7:00 am on February 16th
newlifeartworks writes: love it!
Posted: 3:15 pm on February 8th
TGIretirement writes: Congratulations on your great trade show booth. As someone who has designed numerous trade show booths over the years I know how challenging it is to do something that is original and eye catching, and that reflects exactly what your organization or company stands for. Your finished product achieved all of these. Kudos to all who were involved.
Posted: 9:17 am on February 7th
jaxlady writes: What an amazing booth! I have worked in booths in various shows throughout the years and I know the work involved in designing and setting up for a show. Congratulations to one and all for this truly original creation!
Oh, and I also feel for Jessica when she discovered the booth was larger than advertised. Always a challenge!
Posted: 7:56 am on February 7th
AWilcox writes: Very cool indeed!
Posted: 12:07 pm on February 4th
crafty_gal writes: Thanks for your kind words Jeffery! It was amazing to see this all come together. I'd like to give an extra shout out to Caitlin Channing and Lily Cambell our interns who spent 2 days folding magazines to help us get ready...we could not have done it without you guys :)
Posted: 7:12 am on February 3rd
ggmom writes: Does anyone remember back in the sixties when we use to create christmas decorations with old magazines with the same process. We used old Readers Digest mainly. Created santa (Mr & Mrs) angels were just a few that I remember.

I love it when old ideas become new ideas. We love to recycle :)
Posted: 11:46 am on February 2nd
JenniferStern writes: Kudos to all--I can't think of a more appropriate backdrop for Craftstylish...thanks for show us how to do it!
Posted: 9:25 am on February 2nd
RubyKitty writes: What a great idea. These look so effective, especially when grouped together. Very impressive.
Posted: 2:24 am on February 2nd
Jen_W writes: Phew, I'm tired thinking about all the work you all put into it, as well as exhilarated by the creativity that you brought to a simple material. Well done, all of you, and thanks especially to Jessica, who I can second was a life-saver throughout the show.
Posted: 12:46 am on February 2nd
2manyideas writes: Jeffery:

I applaud you and the other contributors and staff of interns for such an outstanding and awesome booth wall! I loved it so much I thought seriously about taking all my old magazines and folding them up and putting them on my wall! The vinyl was an inspiration too. I wonder how heavy that wall was after they were all hung up?! ;-)
Posted: 12:45 am on February 2nd
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