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Rebound Designs is celebrating 16 years in business!

Things are weird during the pandemic, so show schedules and open studio tours are up in the air. 

Please sign up for my mailing list to get updates so you always know where to find me.


Welcome to Rebound Designs, where well-loved books get a second chance. My name is Caitlin Phillips and I’ve been in love with books since I could read. My first job was working at my favorite used bookstore, where I discovered how many unwanted and damaged books get thrown away. As a dedicated life-long crafter/recycler, I resolved to find a way to reuse these unwanted books, and in 2004 I was struck with inspiration. I created the first Book Purse, a functional handbag made from a recycled hardback book. Since then I’ve expanded my collection to include blank journals and coaster sets, all made from recycled books. Book lovers, don’t fret! Most of my books come from libraries, thrift stores, dusty boxes from grandmothers’ attics, and even the occasional dumpster.  Many are already damaged, and anything super special or valuable ends up as a treasured addition to my personal library. You can even bring me your own book!  Hundreds of thousands of books are thrown away every year but I do my part to keep as many out of landfills as I can and give them a new life as useful art.

Each Book Purse is made from a hardback book cover, with the pages removed and the spine becoming the bottom of the purse. I line each purse with fabric to match the cover, sew vintage buttons onto the covers as closures, and add handles to make them into handbags, or leave them off to create clutches. The hardback books that don’t end up as purses become Recycled Book Journals, with some of the original pages left inside and blank paper mixed in, bound with wire. My Coaster Sets are made of the leftover pages, mostly illustrations, mounted on aluminum and coated in mylar to protect the paper, with cork on the back. 


The Book Purse: A Novel Accessory

Each Book Purse is made from an actual book cover, but bibliophiles should not fret-no first editions were harmed! All of the books are rescued from library discards, yard sales, thrift shops, grandmothers’ attics, and the occasional dumpster. Great care is taken to find books that are unwanted, obsolete, or damaged. 

The entire cover becomes the frame for the purse, with the spine as the bottom, so the longer the book, the wider the purse. Every purse is fully lined with a complementary 100% cotton fabric, and the handles are hand beaded to match as well. Each purse also has a small pocket, perfect for a slim cell phone or wallet. 

The Book Purses are entirely functional handbags, and every book cover has been reinforced for strength and durability. Due to the nature of old books, some have “love marks” from previous owners, but this only adds to the character and uniqueness of each purse. While the Book Purses are meant to be used, they should be treated with care, like you would treat any special old book you treasured. 

Rebound Designs is happy to create a custom purse for you out of your library, or you can select from the thousands of titles waiting for a new home. 

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