Saturday, March 9, 2013

You Can Tell a Book by Its Cover

. . . or lack thereof.
I love decorating with books.  Books are something many of us have—some of us have them in abundance.  Which makes them an easy “go to” for our decorating needs.
I’ve helped a few clients redecorate their home and often the simplest changes I make include repositioning the books on their bookcases or end tables.  I am usually met with comments like, “Now, why didn’t I think of that?”
I am especially fond of using vintage books to add interest and history to your decorating schemes.
Here are a few tips for using vintage books in your décor.
You  can use books elevate something small, like this postcard, to a level of importance.  (The green ribbon draws attention to the greens of the postcard.)
 green ribbon books
This would make a lovely display on a nightstand—a bedside carafe and small bird’s nest set atop a stack of vintage volumes is intriguing.
nightstand books

I also like removing the worn covers of some books.  I usually only do this when the binding has already been torn or become very loose.  I check for indicators of value—such as first editions—but readily admit I don’t know what I’m looking for most times.
books in waiting

I like the neutral appearance of a stack of naked books.  They will compliment a display without taking it over.
I will usually leave the cover or title page, but often it’s worth looking further and removing a few more pages for a more poignant commentary . . . 
once in a life

I love finding books with handwritten notes in them.  This one simply tells us to whom the book once belonged, but often you will find notes from the giver to the recipient when the book was presented as a special, thoughtful gift.
personal books

And then there is the most basic of book displays.  I am not sure why I find these vintage books so fascinating, but I do.  I cannot pass-up a display of books.  Sometimes I buy them by the lot and don’t have the chance to peruse them until they’ve been on display in the shop.
simple display

I’ve also been known to use books to create other items, such as this Pages and Ribbons Garland:
book page garland
(In fact, we’ve got another workshop scheduled so you can make one, too!  Check-out our Artful Origins blog page for details about this class and more.)
Recently, I’ve started altering books in other ways; it’s referred to “page folding.”  Here’s a quick tutorial to get you started:

book art 001
Find the approximate center of the book (I usually see how many pages are in the book and divide by two—the answer is the approximate center.)  Fold six pages in half—I usually fold in pairs, folding toward each other—create a good crease.  These are your “center folds.”
book art 002
Leave two flat pages before folding the next group of six pages to the left of your flat pages; then, leaving two flat pages again, fold six pages to the right.   Continue, alternating left then right of the original “center folds.”
book art 003
Once you’ve folded nine or so sets of six pages—fold the pairs of two flat pages toward each other, WITHOUT creating a crease.  Just leave them kind of “bowed.”
book art 004
Here is the finished product:
book art 006
You can use it as an objet d’art or you can display items between the pages—photos, postcards, greeting cards, love notes!
book art 007
If you need some more inspiration, you might visit You Tube for video instruction. (I would have videoed my tutorial, but that would have taken another month or so . . . I’m so techy!)  When you get to You Tube, type in the search “book page folding;” that will yield good results.
This is a very basic technique, but there are many other ways to fold pages that yield very fanciful results.  This “level” of page folding is a relaxing project that can be done in front of the TV.

Haven't linked with Debra at Common Ground in a while, but I think this one is "link worthy" so . . . be sure to visit!
Thanks for your indulgence,

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