Decorative Books

Have lots of books that you don't know what to do with?


You can upcycle them into a decorative statement piece for your bookshelf, side table, bedroom or bathroom!

This project was really easy to do. While I used both hard and soft books, I found the texture of the hard covers to be more durable than the soft covers.

To start, I glued all the pages together using a foam sponge with the wooden handle. Be sure not to glue the covers just yet. Gluing them later will make them easier to paint. You have to be quick when gluing since the Modge Podge dries quickly. After gluing each book, I put my (2) 6-pound dumbbells on top of the books so the pages can dry without them curling. Go slow and do 1 book at a time.

After the pages have dried, I figure out how I want my books stacked and paint only the visible parts.

  • Top book - Front over edges & spine
  • Middle Book - Edges and spine
  • Bottom Book - Back Cover and edges

Once the paint has dried, about an hour, I'll glue the covers closed and the books together. Let them dry for about an hour.

For the transfer... These are really easy, but be sure to follow the directions on the package. When burnishing (pressing the transfer down with the wooden stick provided), if possible you can let the transfer cover the gap in the books. Since the transfer is a bit delicate for something like this, it may tear between books, but that's ok. Once you are done applying the transfer, you can take your burnishing tool and carefully push the transfer down between the books so it tears evenly and wraps around the spine of the book.

After that, you can apply your top coat and allow proper drying time. Depending on your climate, it may take a little longer so be sure not to lay the books down until completely dry as they may stick to your surface. I would allow 24-48 hours to be on the safe side.

And that's it! You can now get a second life out of your old (or really bad) books!

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