Tablescape: Recovering Books

This took some time! Unlike shopping at thrift stores or polishing silver, recovering books took me about 22 hours to complete….  And, it turns out, I should have spent more time on it after seeing my score!

To start with, I needed books. I’d been looking at books at thrift stores and hard bound books in the sizes I needed were being priced at $3-$4. The actual cost was quite low but since I needed a dozen I was looking at $40 over all … Then I remembered my inside into the world of paper/book recycling!

My Dad runs a paper manufacturing plant in the Los Angeles area! He was able to grab me a nice selection of hard bound books before they met their end in something called the “pulper”. =) So, above is my picture of the 12 books I intended to recover into Wizard books!


First thing was to gather supplies! I used up a lot of Mod Podge for this! To actually cover the books I used some thin paper I ordered from Amazon in a big package, some needle point cloth that I bought for another project and never used, cheap paint, and some metallic markers =)


First I painted the books with the glue …


Then I carefully laid the cloth or paper over the glue and pressed down firmly!


Picture of the paper pressed firmly on the outside =)



I folded the excess cloth/paper over inside the cover and attached it with more glue.


I generally made a giant mess and covered my hands the the table with glue!

I did this 12 times! The table was covered in Mod Podge and I couldn’t get it off of my fingers! Thankfully, a Google search let me know that rubbing alcohol dissolves the sticky part of glue letting you rinse/wipe it off! Table and hands were then restored!

After covering them all, I was left with blank books!


The next steps involved, painting the outsides, writing book names on the spines, using water color on the pages, and roughing up the book edges! So many steps! ~~

I took scissors to the outside of the pages to rough them up (I guess I also did this before the recovering part!). The left book is one that has deckle edges. The middle book is one I did myself with scissors. The right book is normal. I’m not sure this was worth my time because the page side of the book was not visible from the front of my table~


Doesn’t look like I took any pictures of the water coloring … well, just image a big mess and tray of water colors and a cup of water. That about describes it! I painted the book edges with the dark brown and black water color paint to age them a bit =)


I learned from the glue experience. If I wanted to not have paint all over my dining table I needed to cover it!


Depending on how much glue was used the paint adhered unevenly … I wasn’t too concerned since we wouldn’t be looking at the covers of the books … so, I let it go!


A little over half way done, I was listening to The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy while I did this part. Interesting book, not so sure the point of it though lol

I used Google and my brain to make a list of potential Wizard-ish book titles that matched the world of The Lord of the Rings.


Unfortunately, I do not have great penmanship so … this is how they turned out!

The metallic pens I picked up were really nice! I hope they survive storage so I can use them again someday!

The “Rivendale” book looked the worst to me so that one became the “recipe display” book for my table. Meaning, we wouldn’t see the outside, just the inside and edges.


There they are all lined up and done! I had fun doing this but I won’t be able to keep them after the competition so I’m sad I’ll be throwing them away in just a few weeks. =(

Just a few more DIY projects and then I’ll show the whole table! Woo!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s