Monday, May 10, 2010

My Shabby Book Covers

A real bibliophile will dismiss this as contrived, spurious, even heretical.

After I created the pretty magazine slipcases with Beth’s (Tattered Vintage),
the rest of my library clashed.

So, I recovered everything that wasn’t a soft, light color in
various papers of white, buff, oyster, and gray!

Library before.    Too many bright or dark hues.

I merely printed out digital art I own of old French documents on the good side
of used paper from work, cut them to size, and taped them around the spines.
With favorite titles, I printed labels in Word, but for the most part
I just penciled them in script right on the paper.

The Victor Hugo volumes are printed from a photo on the excellent French Blue website.

Here, two books in the middle had their paper soaked in a shallow pan
of my leftover morning tea, and I squeezed the tea bag over it to make ‘water damage’.
Let dry on old towels (they stick to smooth surfaces).

Photo courtesy of French Larkspur

Tracey at her wonderful blog French Larkspur posted a crumbling antique book
she recently picked up in Paris that influenced the spines and labels I created.
I used the Word fonts ‘New Century Schoolbook’, ‘Arial Narrow’,
and ‘High Tower Text’ within text boxes (changing the borders to mimic) et volia!

Photo: 3 Fine Grains

Another dream – to reproduce these beauties Stine posted on her pretty blog.

Cheap paperbacks look wonderfully shabby with their back and spine covers ripped off.
One can find these for free at libraries, yard sales – even the bathroom at work.
I’m going to try soaking them in water and rubbing them on a
rough surface to see if they’ll imitate ancient paper tomes.

Midway through my project I wondered, ‘What would Beth do?’
What luck!    As it turns out, she’s passionate for old books, and created these
heart-stopping designs now available at her Etsy shop Tattered Vintage for around $4 each.
My favorite  - #213 -  cut to fit a paperback.     Dreamy.

More Tattered Vintage book covers and book marks in gentle colors.

So much prettier than plain paper and labels.
If you have Photoshop, you can write the actual titles in the graphics.

Some call it sacrilege.     I call it shabby!

So ‘till next time, stay shabby!

I’ll be sharing this with:

 Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage
Favorite Things Friday at A Few of My Favorite Things
Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Please stop by and see all the interesting entries!
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Kathy said...

I have been buying up books at resale with white and pastel covers...
This I shall surely give a try!
Thanks for sharting...
Looks very shabby and wonderful!
xoxo~Kathy @
Sweet Up-North Mornings...

Anonymous said... absolute delight to the eyes!! They are so Shabby Beautiful!! Love 'em!!

Crystal said...

They are beautiful!! They look so much better than the bright colors. Looks like a lot of work, but worth it!!

Jackie said...

Such a serene library! Thx for sharing!

Victorian1885 said...

You have done a wonderful job..great eye for design..
I can't wait to see what you are doing next!


Tracey said...

Sandy, WOW, it looks unbelievably pretty!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've never seen that done before and I can imagine how much work you put into it..but the impact is stunning and so worth it!!! Just gorgeous!

Hugs ~

:) T

A Cottage Muse said...

Just beautiful! The photo of your shabby library would make a great framed work of art! Have a wonderful week!!

Kelly Ballard said...

Hi Sandy,
I think it's just brilliant!

Second Hand Chicks

Rose Garden Romantic said...

Hi Sandy! What a great idea! It looks so pretty!

Anonymous said...

Wow! That looks amazing and I'm sure a lot of work went into that project, but Oh so worth it! Can you come over and do mine please?

Passionate for White said... there no end to your creativity!?!? :)

Bella said...

Hi Sandy... I call it too clever! Your bookshelf had a complete makeover... I love it! Gorgeous!

Norma said...

Well Sandy, I'd call it inspired! I so love that you not only have such a wonderful sense of colour, etc but you just get in there are have FUN!! I think it's hilarious that you've even used scrap paper from your work! That's got to some under the heading of 'green' decorating ;)

I have that pic of the shabby book stack from Stine's blog in my 'inspiration folder' for my mini French apartment but I think I'm going to have to add a pic or two of your whole library!

BTW you must have the longest 'library ladder' in the whole world to reach that top shelf LOL

Thanks for popping by my blog - I hope to have pics up soon of the beginning of 'serious' construction work on the French Borcante shop/apartment - it's going to be such a fun project! So frustrating that it's a busy end of semester time at uni - I just wanna PLAY!!

Charlene said...

Sandy, I am sooooooooo sorry I have been absent from BLOG reading. I MISS ALL MY FRIENDS! So, today I just took some time to visit. I LOVE the book covers! You did an amazing job!!!! The are so much prettier than the way they were before! HUGS! Charlene

Prior said...

I know that took a lot time, but it was worth it! Lezlee

Gayla said...

So... when do you sleep? These are beautiful...

Linda @ Painted Whyte said...

wow that looks amazing! what a difference and it looked awesome before!! I think i may have to give this a try but of coarse i dont have a book shelf like yours, i will just have to stay jealous of your house forever!

Lori Katies Rose Cottage said...

Sooo beautiful ! I just have to cover some of my old ugly books like that ~
Thank you for the inspiration !

Linda said...

Sandy, these are just so charming~ thanks for sharing this!



Dawn said...

I can see all that work was worth is from the before and after photos and I think it looks Fabby Shabby

love Dawn xx

Johwey Redington said...

I am so much in love and drooling over your book collection!

mary said...

I recently put a large bookcase in my bedroom for all of my non fiction books(hundreds!) and the riot of colors is not calming to me, the rest of the room is all grays,creams and whites-thanks for reassuring me that i wasn't crazy to think of covering them! That will be my winter project this year.

Dee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dee said...

That is absolutely lovely, way nicer than the mismatched covers. I absolutely love your style & how you created the dream we all yearn for ....

I covered some paperbacks in wallpaper to achieve a mock vellum effect. I used various creamy / white textured wallpaper samples (the ones the shops are always encouraging you to take home to try out .... ) and the books look very nice in a stack in the lounge.

Thanks for inspiring us


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