Styling a mantle or a book shelf is hard. I like to do it, but it’s hard. When I was younger, I always envisioned that I would have a library in my house with floor to ceiling shelves housing hundreds, probably thousands of books with a ladder that slid across the wall. What I didn’t know is that the houses on T.V. that had such libraries were mansions, the owners millionaires. We do not have a mansion nor millions of dollars, so we two have bookshelves, one mantle, and maybe 50 books (not including kids books; seems like we do have thousands of those). Anyway, styling a mantle or a bookshelf with “new” books can be difficult. A book’s cover most likely was not designed with your bookshelf in mind and unless you have a library, they aren’t going to look particularly pretty. That’s where these easy DIY comes into play. I turned a handful of “new” books into shelf ready decor. Apologies to anyone if defacing these books is offensive, but the pages remain intact therefore, they are still readable. 🙂
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Hardcover books
- Solid linen-like fabric
- A hot Glue Gun
- A pen
- Black Tea or Coffee & a rag (optional for staining book edges)
Did I mention this is a super cheap way to make some great shelf decor? If you don’t have hardcover books or you want more, garage sales are an excellent way to score cheap books for typically $.50-$2.00. Alternatively, you can find amazing deals on used and even new books on amazon.
Start by removing any paper cover wraps. Note – even just doing this simple things give greater shelf appeal to books!
Very gently peel back the hardcover starting from the binding. Do so carefully as you ideally want to keep the front lining of the book in tact which makes it easier to reattached the hardcover later on.
The next step is optional. I wanted the ability to display the books pages out, so I coffee stained the edges of the pages for a more aged look. To do this, you just need a bit of coffee or black tea and a rag. Dip the rag in the dark liquid, and gently rub along the edges of the pages, being careful not to over saturate and ultimately wind up with wavy pages.
Next, line up the hardcovers on the fabric leaving at least two inches in between. Outline each cover with a pen or sharpie, leaving approx. an inch border around each. Then, cut along those lines.
Wrap the fabric around the cover, using a glue gun to seal down. Make sure to leave some give so the cover will be able to easily close back up.
Once the fabric is glued all around the edges and corner, insert the book of pages back into the cover and glue down the liner that you were hopefully able to leave somewhat in tact when removing the hard cover.
How much more appealing does that look?!
This was my original, simple styling, shown with both the pages out or in.
Of course, the mantle got revamped for the season, but the books were the perfect touch!