Monday, September 24, 2012

Projects with Vintage Books

I love to use old, vintage books for projects.  You can find them at thrift stores, yard sales, etc.  Sometimes, I leave the outer covers as is, but alot of times they have printing or something I want covered up.
To start out this project, measure out how big you want your cut-out part to be and draw on the cover.  Then, using an Xacto knife, carefully cut out the cover and a dozen or so pages of the book giving you an indentation.  Be careful and go slow.  It takes repeated times to cut thru the cover.
  This book had a bold imprinted title on the lower part of the cover. So, I simply painted the whole book in a ecru color.  Then I antiqued down the edges with a burnt umber color. 
I then glued a wide band of lace across the bottom where the printing was.  I added a portion of a doily across the top and a scattering of tiny, vintage buttons. 
I used scrapbooking letters to spell out MOM because this was in memory of her.  The tiny cupie doll was found in her jewelry box after she passed away.  So, I wanted someplace to show her off and now, she sits in the book protected, on my coffee table.
This one is rather plain, but I still like it.  I cut the opening out to match a window frame out of the dollhouse section of Hobby Lobby.  Then painted it to match the blue of the cover.  I used an old book page to cover the spine of the book.  I use Mod Podge for alot of these projects. 
Then, thinking it needed something else, I glued a copy of a little girl on the inside like she was looking out the window.  I think it will be cute to put a tiny Christmas wreath at the top of the window for the holidays.
This is probably the first book I altered and one of my very favorites.  I did this for my husband.  I cut out the section of the book pretty deep to hold his belt buckle and his pocket knife he had as a child.  I included a couple of pictures - one with a friend and one when he was in a band in the first grade.  Is that not the cutest thing you ever saw?
I used scrapbooking "buttons" to spell out his name.  Then, I added a quote about friendship.
So, go get yourself some old books and go to town!
Till next time, Judy


  1. OMYGOODNESS...this is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen. You did a great job on it. I know Johnny must just love his book. :)

  2. oops..I forgot to tell you that I am following you...:)

  3. OMG - I am so in love with vintage books and book page art. I absolutely love altered books and get a little carried away at times. I love these they are so cute......

  4. You sure have the creative gene. And it just keeps on coming. Like the energizer bunny!

  5. Brilliant Judy. Very pretty. xoxo, olive

  6. You are so creative. I love the all white one. What a perfect wedding gift for small keepsakes.

  7. They are all adorable, I agree a wreath on the window book would be adorable!


  8. Isn't there enough for a book yet? These are adorable. Is there anything that you can't make over? You are so's crazy! You should shop a book around. I think you are ready.

    Cheery wave from
    the soon to be pistol packin' Granny

  9. What great memories these books hold. The book for your mother is just precious!


  10. Really pretty projects! Happy Fall! Angie xo

  11. Judy, that's an amazing transformation, how beautiful.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  12. I love these, Judy! So creative and they would make such great gifts.

  13. I feel so inspired by your altered books! They are wonderful, and you make me think I can make some. I'm afraid mine won't be as creative as yours, but I'm determined to give it a try. Thanks for the inspiration. laurie

  14. I would love to make one of these...if I can bring myself to cut up an old book! heehee! What a nice keepsake.

  15. that is lovely. what a thoughtful gift to hold his childhood mementos



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