The book snake is gently laid across or in the gutter of an open book, to hold the pages open without damaging the binding or pages. The finished book snake is approximately 1-1/4" x 12".
|SKIN: Fold the pile fabric in half lengthwise, right side in. Sew 1/2" seam with a small stitch (e.g. 12)
around two sides, leaving one small end open. Turn 180 degrees and sew another row of stitches close to the first,
backstitching at both ends. Trim diagonally across the sewn corner and trim all seams to 1/4". Turn right
LINER (optional): Sew ripstop liner in the same manner. Trim the long seam to 1/4".
FILL: Various materials have been used, including small beans, rice, aquarium gravel (sealed with epoxy), BB's and sand. In the library we use flame-treated play sand (will not attract varmints). Measure 1/2 c. sand. Pour half into the liner tube using a funnel. Fit a skin over the bottom of the liner (works best if seams line up) and pull it up. Pour in the remaining sand and adjust to feel, leaving a few inches of fabric free. The snake is most appealing with enough filler to round out its shape, but still being flexible and 'snaky.' Turn the lining end under 1/2 - 3/4" twice (snake will be about 11" long) and sew completely across twice, backstitching to lock ends.
GIVE IT A SMILE: First, push lining straight down, out of the way. Turn about 1-1/2" of the outer skin down inside the tube (the extra fabric plumps out the face). Fold the ribbon in half, forming a loop, and place the tongue at the center of the opening. Tuck the fabric corners in around it evenly, forming a 3-sided shape. Beginning about 3/8 from the 'nose' and close to the edge, sew down one cheek, across the mouth (be sure to catch the tongue) and up the other cheek. Backstitch at both ends. Clip threads close to fabric.
DECORATE: Decorations may be glued or carefully pinned/sewn onto the skin (don't go through the liner!). Ideas: miniature sunglasses, beads, lace, eyelashes, little moving eyes, etc. Fabric applique, beads, etc. can also be sewn onto the cut fabric before sewing.
UCSD Libraries Preservation Department
Return to Preserving Library Materials.