Fascinating Stories of Creative Inspiration
Learn how these amazing concepts became realities.
O, The Oprah Magazine | From the February 2011 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Pinhole cameras handcrafted from vintage books
The Inspiration: After she was laid off as a Seattle city planner, Erin Paysse was looking for fun at-home projects when an iPhone box caught her eye. "If you took the plastic tray that held the phone and flipped it upside down, it looked just like a camera," says Paysse, a self-confessed arts-and-design geek who tooled with that box until she'd made a working 35mm pinhole camera out of it. Her next picture-taking device was constructed from a cigar box; later she scooped out pages from vintage hardbacks and used the covers as camera fodder. As Paysse's stack of book-cameras grew, she started posting some of them on the online crafter's paradise Etsy for around $200 each; in less than a month, her creations caught the attention of Anthropologie, which ordered up a batch. Now, Paysse says, "I have to figure out what to make from all these leftover pages."