How to make over a book

Searching for ways to reuse books in your home?  Here we have an idea on how to give books a make over.

I enjoyed our last book project so much, I decided to try another one... this one was a bit different.  Recall me sharing that I used to snatch up every book I could get my hands on in the past, my pre-Kindle days... when you read physical books, you turned actual pages, you could dogear your place by simply turning the corner of that page forward... there were no uploads, or free books with Kindle unlimited memberships… you know, the good ole days… where you roamed the aisles of a bookstore and decided on which purchase you would make by reading the back cover to see it it was going to be the one you decided on…

I recall loving my visits to book stores, sometimes grabbing an entire pile on my visits… Half Price Books was a treat for me. I’d drive 35 minutes to the nearest store and I would spend hours perusing the aisles. The best part of these visits?  You never knew what you’d come home with... their selection was based on other’s castoffs… my kind of store... 

There were also the days where I would visit our local library... I've mentioned before this is a good place to get books for a low cost or even free... our library had a book store open on certain days and sold books they no longer would have in circulation within the library.  You could purchase books for cents... how awesome is that?

Just come out and say it Cara, stop dancing around the topic... what I am trying to say is, from all of my access points to books, I have a lot of books, I mean a lot, a lot, floating around this cottage because of my visits to these sorts of stores… I could never seem to pass up the $1.00 bin… it was like a magnet to me... I was just drawn to that area.  My eyes would dilate, I'd feel all toasty inside, and a big ole' grin would grace my face... yeah, I would get pretty excited about bringing home books... you can just let your imagination run wild when you read...  

There are paperbacks, and hard cover books, and books with jackets, and ones missing jackets, and really big books, and not so big books... decorating books, mystery books, romance books, and an embarrassing phase I went through reading vampire books... and angels... and demons... I think you get the idea, the list goes on!  I have had quite the diverse reading selections over the years...

First layer of gray paint 

Swirl in black paint to cover 


Fully covered book with gray and black paint swirled 

So when I was going through a box this week in the basement I found some more b-o-o-k-s... imagine that.  These were the embarrassing ones, you know the vampire kind books... so as I went through my crafting arsenal I decided I would make over another book... since I wanted to reuse something I already had.  I thought well, books seem to be plenty abound around here, so why not?

Stenciled spine of book with vintage pattern 

Stencil placed on 3/4 of front of book 

I did not feel so bad doing what I did to these two books.  I can still read them again if I choose to, I never get rid of my books anyway.  It's another reason why I never went to the library to check out books, I had a hard time returning them... lol.  

I decided to paint the cover and spine and lastly the back of each book.  I swirled the paint with my dauber of black paint, I was actually trying to go for an antique look that I have seen on older books.  My swirl did not turn out as I had anticipated.  You live, you learn…

Decided on placement to not cover the entire book cover 

Vintage white stencil over black background 

I then took one of my small stencils and placed it over the spine of the book and began daubing away with white paint.  Loving the black and white on the spine...  along with the vintage pattern… I began to see something I really liked... oh the pitter patter of my vintage heart…  I knew this was going to be a project I loved in the end... 

Next book stenciled along the spine 

Placement of the stencil on 3/4 of the book face 

Then I decided to add stenciling to the front of each book too.  Again, black and white, so classic... and I used older vintage patterns.  I love vintage looking stencils, and wallpaper, and fabric... you know the list goes on and on... I bet you would never guess that, would you?  I also decided that I liked the look of just a portion of the face of the book being  stenciled, not the entire cover… I had plans for the un-stenciled part. 

Different coordinating pattern on book 

Added design in gray against the black and white book cover 

I know some would say how can you do this to books?  Well, if you know me and read about how I covered the books in our living room then you know I did not make this decision lightly... but the two books I used were paperback books and they are books that were packed away in a box... I decided to use them in our home instead of letting them just sit in a box in the basement collecting dust.  What good do they do anyone there?

I am always looking for ways to make over items around our home so they are either being used or I am able to decorate for pennies on the dollar.  I am cheap or uh hum... creative... lol, whatever you want to call it... and I do not mind sharing that with you.  I mean, who wants to spend a ton on things that you can save so much money on?  I enjoy my decorating game, how to get the looks I love on the smallest amount of money I can...  

Both books completed 

Are you with me, or are you with me on saving money on decor for our homes?  I get tickled when I save money and using my creativity to make changes to our home.  I love stacked books, they can really change the look of a vignette...  and tied up with twine? Loving it… it reminds me of the Little House on the Prairie days when their books were bound together to carry back and forth from school and home. 

These small stencils will probably get a lot of miles around here.  I experimented with them a lot last weekend.  I found some surfaces they were great to use with, while others not so much... this project turned out well with the detailing, but a smoother surface was not the best to use them with which was kind of disappointing.  I can tell you to match up the pattern when stenciling a larger area was very easy which I did not think that would be the case.


I knew they would find the perfect home in our bedroom on this small table with our velvet curtains on either side... I like how early morning light is filtering through and you can only really see the book design and the seashells on my trinket box.  Everything else is just background... 

I hope you enjoy your weekend... below you can see some of my picks for crafting projects.  Affiliate links included.  

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