Monday, August 12, 2019

How to Make Vintage Inspired Books

 I love decor catalogs and used to get so many for inspiration, Pottery Barn, Ballard Designs, Sarina & Lilly & so many more. Now that Pinterest has arrived 8 years ago, I don't feel the need for catalogs anymore. Speaking of Pinterest, I was looking for French inspired antique doors one day on Pinterest. When I came across the most beautiful antique doors that are on the Eloquence web site. I ordered their catalog and WOW!! It is filled with the most amazing French Country inspiration. I kept seeing these books in their furniture photos. I was INSPIRED to try and make some of my own.



This is the French door image I found on Pinterest. While flipping through their catalog I kept seeing these vintage paperback books or as I like the call them, wrinkled books. haha

See that stack of "wrinkled" books on the desk?
I made three books and tried something a little different on each one. The top one on the photo below was dunked in our pool, making ALL of the pages wet, including inside the pages unlike the bottom book which was just sprayed with water around the outside edges.

I dunked the first paperback book into our pool and set it out in the sun. I was thinking that when paper gets wet it wrinkles up when it dries. Nothing was really happening, so I went back to the drawing board. After watching some YouTube videos, baking them in the oven was my second option. YES, baking them in the oven! My son said "what are you doing, trying to make a cook book?" haha

People were making tea stained vintage looking paper and drying them in the oven, so I tried the same. It worked! 

Step 1. Remove the paper cover & backing from a paperback book.

Step 2. Wet the book, you can use a spray bottle and just wet the outside of the pages or soak the book in water.

Step 3. Bake the book between 200 degrees and 275 degrees. Turning a section of pages every 2-5 minutes. By turning the pages during the baking allows more of the pages to "wrinkle." At 200 degrees the book was taking a long time to dry out. That's when I turned the temperature up to 275.  

I NEVER walked away from the kitchen while backing the books. I tend to get sidetracked very easily and was afraid of forgetting that I had a book cooking in the oven!

You can see in the top photo how just the top 1/4 of the book pages were wrinkling. Depending on how wrinkled you want the book. Since I already had two books that were very wrinkled I only turned a section of pages 4 times with this one. Now, two out of the three books spine melted some turning the books more into a stack of pages. That's why I tied jute twine around two of them, to hold it all together.

What I figured out though, depending on how wrinkled you want the book to be, you can control that. By just spraying the book with water and turning more pages at a time while the book baked made it LESS wrinkled. If you want a very wrinkled book, I suggest wetting the whole book down by dunking it in water and separating the pages. While backing the book turn about 5-10 pages at a time, one book can take over an hour to wrinkle this way. This will give you a VERY wrinkled book. Like the one standing up on the right side of the photo below.

I love how they look like they weathered over time.

Books can be a easy way to add simple decor to an area. The Dollar Tree sells paperback books for a $1 each if you don't have any old books. My thrift stores in the area are charging $3+ a book, but maybe you can find some cheaper at your local thrift store. I picked up a box of free books on a Facebook garage sale site. 

1 comment:

  1. These are beautiful! You have created works of art that are a wonderful addition to your vintage home decor. I might have to try this, as I have been on a book page binge as of late! I will be sharing this in my Chloe's Crafters FB group@


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