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Artist Transforms Discarded Books Into Charming Tissue Boxes With Embroidered Handkerchiefs

Tissue books by Inès Mélia

Discovering old books is like finding hidden treasure for many literary lovers. But for French artist Inès Mélia, they provide the perfect canvas for her art. She finds abandoned books on the streets of Paris and transforms them into charming tissue boxes. Through her series, titled Domestic Life, Mélia “question[s] the mundane with humor, and explore[s] how creativity can reveal the possibles in the real—oh too real.”

There’s something quite somber about previously loved books that have been kicked to the curb, but Mélia finds a meta solution to that sadness with her artistry. By turning “cult castoff books” into tissue boxes, the books themselves seem to mourn their own past lives. In a bid to give each novel a new lease on life, Mélia lovingly transforms them into works of art. The artist cuts out holes in their hard covers, and decorates them with seeds and other found elements.

Inside, the pages are replaced with a handkerchief that’s been embroidered with one of the book’s last sentences. For a book called Burns’ Poems, the handkerchief is hand-stitched with the words, “Oh my luve’s like a red, red rose.” And in another piece, Mélia includes a quote from the French version of Ernest Hemingway's Fifty Grand (Cinquante Mille Dollars).

Scroll down to check out Mélia’s handmade Tissue Books below and buy your own from her collection via her online shop.

French artist Inès Mélia finds abandoned books on the streets of Paris and transforms them into charming tissue boxes.

Tissue books by Inès MéliaTissue books by Inès MéliaTissue books by Inès MéliaTissue books by Inès MéliaTissue books by Inès MéliaTissue books by Inès MéliaTissue Books by Inès MéliaTissue Books by Inès Mélia

The books' pages are replaced with a handkerchief that’s been embroidered with one of its last sentences .

Tissue books by Inès MéliaTissue books by Inès MéliaTissue books by Inès MéliaInès Mélia: Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Inès Mélia.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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