You KNOW how I love old books. Crafting with the pages and decorating with them. I found this cute little shelf with itty bitty books on it several years ago:
I really just wanted the BOOKS, but they were glued to the shelf so I had to buy the whole thing.
I had never seen books that small (other than the ‘novelty’ type friendship and love books you find at Hallmark stores) so I was inspecting them closely to see if I could find any clues as to where or how I might find more of these precious little nuggets.
To my amazement and wonderment I realize that they are REGULAR size books that have been ‘chopped down’!!! Whoddathunk?!?!? They were VERY well glued in place so I succumbed to selling them ‘as found’. But they never sold. So I bought them home and decided I’d again attempt to get them off the shelf so I could remove the covers.
About an hour (and a few curse words) later, I had some beautiful NEKKID itty bitty books!!! I love them so SO much! I want MORE. Oh Michaellllllllllllllllllllllllllllll . . . . “Do you think you could chop down some old books for me?”
I showed him the ones I had bought and we pondered how they might have been cut down. I finally concluded that it was probably done on a commercial paper cutter; like a book binder would have. So then we mulled over the power tool options that we thought might work, and he decided to try the chop saw. With no guarantees. I was more than willing to sacrifice a book or two if it ultimately meant I could have more itty bitty book bundles!
We decided to try paper backs first, so I gave him two of them to have a go at. They cut in half just fine, so I had him make a secondary cut; ultimately cutting them into about 1/4 of their original size. They were a little too ‘fat’ now that they were smaller, so I tore them in half. Now to make them look like they were originally hard bound books instead of just paper backs. This is where the FUN begins!
This is how they ended up looking. I bought the skeleton keys wholesale a few weeks ago and decided they were a nice compliment to the old book bundles.
The keys are GLUED & TIED ON, btw. Otherwise they might mysteriously ‘disappear’.
I tea stained some old dictionary pages to use, as well as some plain paper and used bits of tea stained cheesecloth here and there. (because on REAL old hard cover books there is a cheesecloth looking fabric in the binding when you tear it off)
Natural just twine to bundle them up with.
In the aftermath of those I was left with the partial pages that had been cut away. Hating to waste it, I bundled it up to sell too!
Tea stained the edges a bit (sponged on) and bundled them with tea stained paper.
Really only spent about 5 minutes on each of these bundles, so it’s not biggie if they don’t sell. I can always use the scraps for crafting with, right?
So then I was in the mood to do MORE books! Dug out every old book I had; paper backs and hard covers; and started ripping off covers.
Decided to use some real old keys and tags on this batch.
Some of the torn away covers had ‘interesting back sides’, so I saved whatever looked reusable and repurposed it on the spines of the paper back books.
Found an old library card to reuse on the top book of this stack.
Gotta LOVE when the inner pages are old and yellowed enough that I didn’t have to add anything.
Some scraps of printed tissue paper worked well for a book end.
Fat bundles, skinny bundles.
Big books and itty bitty books.
All of those bundles went to my booth at Stars.
Displayed them in some weathered wood shadow box shelves on the back wall of my booth.
Added some other things is the same color palette from elsewhere in my booth.
Plan to ‘finish off’ that entire black wall with ‘neutral tones’ next trip.
I’m thinking these books need to come home for a make over next trip! Now that I have figured how to BETTER make them look old! (and have accumulated a lot of old keys to embellish them with!) A little more time and effort spent on them will yield a better selling price.
I have several nests under cloches right now, but the old book bundles are prefect on the cake stands and under cloches too!
Just tossed a couple of the little ‘cut pages’ bundles in with an old wood bowl full of vintage show brushes.
Cages filled with books are a nice display too!
So, what have YOU been working on lately???
* * * * * EDITED TO ADD * * * * * If you normally don’t read or leave comments, I hope you will read the second comment left on this post and share your opinion on it with me. Not trying to start another big debate, but I’m sincerely curious as to how you view this kind of thing. And PLEASE know that these are OLD books that were already very tattered and worn and torn and tossed out by others.
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