DIY Antique Books In Minutes: Easy Vintage Home Decor

old books small pitcher featured image

Let’s take a look at DIY antique books in minutes: easy vintage home decor. Have you ever wanted old antique books to decorate your home?

Why DIY Antique My Own Books?

There could be several reasons why someone might want to DIY antique their own books:

  • Aesthetic appeal: Some people may prefer the look of antique books and want to create a vintage or antique appearance in their own personal library.
  • Personalization: DIY antique books allow for personalization and customization of the appearance of the book. This may be important for someone who values uniqueness and wants their book to stand out.
  • Preservation: Aging a book artificially can help protect the book’s pages from further deterioration. For example, tea-staining the pages can help prevent yellowing or disintegration.
  • Crafts and art: Antique book making can be a fun and creative craft project. It can also be used in art projects or mixed media collages.

Ultimately, the decision to DIY antique books is a personal one, and the reasons may vary from person to person

Where To Find Old Books To Add To Home Decor

Where You Can Find Books To Use In Decor

There are so many places to find old books in different sizes and different colors. Some of the best places are yard sales, garage sales, and especially your local thrift store.

NJ isn’t the best area for finding items when thrifting, however, when it comes to books at thrift stores they are usually filled to the brim. Actually, one of the old books I found at a thrift store is a thin pretty green color of short from Edgar Allen Poe. Now, that’s a pretty neat book to find, do you agree? I’m sure the book is not worth anything but I think it is a great find.

I have found quite a few books and the best thing is these only cost a little bit of money. I’m not kidding the most I paid for an old book is $3.

Vintage Books I Have In My Collection

Different Size Old Books We Have In Our Home

I do have one set of antique books from France and I splurged because I was looking for colorful covers in shades of pink. So, when I saw these books I snapped them up quickly. Also, you may enjoy this post to see how I use these pink Antique Books in our home decor. Look at these colors, aren’t they beautiful?

My favorite books of all, are small Shakespeare sonnets which are very special in our home. The best part, these books were my Father-in-law’s and date back to 1838. The book covers and the edges on each spine of the book have tattered edges and creases which lets us know these books were well-loved. He was also a big book lover and so is my husband.

In fact, the books I’m using to create my own antique books are his. He was determined to read all the classics. Good thing for me because this easy DIY had no extra cost. I love when this happens, how about you?

Look how beautiful these small books look with their worn-edged spines.

antique shakespeare sonnets
antique Shakspeare sonnets with tattered book spines

So, this is why I decided to add my own vintage look to these books.

Supplies Needed:

My Full Tutorial To Make a Book Look Old

Give A Book New Life For Vintage Home Decor

Now for my project on making books old, I am using Annie Sloan clear wax and Maison Blanch dark wax. However, Magnolia Home makes waxes as another great option and it’s available at Lowe’s.

Normally when waxing furniture, I use a large waxing brush. However, for this simple project of making these look like old books, I’m using a soft stencil brush for easier application. You can even use a sponge brush if you have it on hand.

clear-and-dark-wax
clear-and-dark-wax-diy-antique-books

How To Add Clear And Dark Wax To The Edge Of The Pages

An Easy Way To Age Books Using Furniture Wax

The first step, add clear wax to the books using a stencil brush. When applying the waxes use thin coats.

Pro Tip: When using dark wax it’s important to always apply clear wax first. This is a great way to keep the brown wax from looking too heavy and avoid it from darkening too quickly.

Also, try to keep the hard covers away from the pages of the book when applying both waxes.

clear-wax-on-brush
clear-wax-on-brush
adding-clear-wax
first-adding-clear-wax-diy-antique-books

After adding the clear wax to the edge of the pages, add a small amount of dark wax to the book pages using another stencil brush with light strokes. Do this to avoid applying too much wax.

dark-wax-stencil-brush
small-amount-dark-wax-stencil-brush

Now, begin blending the dark wax, this will make these DIY books look like they have seen better days.

adding-dark-wax-with-stencil-brush
adding-dark-wax-with-stencil-brush

Next, simply take a rag or paper towel and rub the wax well. That’s it, and you have DIY antique books in minutes.

rubbing-dark-wax-into-pages
rubbing-dark-wax-into-pages
showing-edge-of-pages-of-book
showing-edge-of-pages-of-book-with-dark-wax-blended
showing-diy-of-dark-wax
showing-diy-of-dark-wax
DIY Antique Books in Minutes sharing the end result

For another option, raw umber craft paint will also work to add age to any book. However, for this process, I recommend using a drybrush technique or adding a minimal amount of water to keep the paint moving. Also, too much water may wrinkle the pages of the book. Raw Umber is a good color to use when applying an aging process to anything because it has a little bit of a green undertone.

Ways To Use Aged Books For Vintage Home Decor

Stagger Books Or Stacked Books In Home Decorating

A great way to use these books is using them as pedestals. This gives pieces height and the books immediately add an antique look.

Another great idea is adding these books to bookcases and bookshelves. When I add books to shelves I like to stagger the direction of the books. Sometimes I show the pages instead of the book spine. I also, like to have some books stand while others lay down and stacked. This adds dimension and interest. Also, when adding books, I will use a book underneath dishes or pitchers that are often filled with dried lavender.

diy-antique-books-pitcher-flowers
diy-antique-books-pitcher-flowers
cloche-with-books-diy
cloche-with-books-diy

For another cute idea how about adding a stack of books to a tray on a coffee table? A small vase or pitcher filled with fresh or fake flowers is a pretty idea.

Below are some of my favorite things with one of the small sonnets with its worn edges on the spine of the book.

old book in an urn

I hope you enjoyed this DIY antique books in minutes: easy vintage home decor. Do you enjoy decorating with books? Do you use books in your home? Let me know in the comments.

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54 thoughts on “DIY Antique Books In Minutes: Easy Vintage Home Decor

  1. This couldn’t have been simpler – seriously this is brilliant Cindy! I’m off to grab books off of my shelf to do this project. Thanks for sharing. Pinned😊

  2. Very cool project! I love the look of antique books and now I can make my own. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Great idea and so simple, too. I like one particular church Christmas fair for $1 OLD books; have resold a few at a good profit. My faves are the old deckle edge ones!I can see doing this to old Reader’s Digest condensed books with no guilt!

  4. This is a great idea! I frequently use books as risers for display. This is an easy technique to make the books look older. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I love this idea. It is genius. Thank you so much for sharing on Fabulous Friday Link Party. We sure appreciate you. Hugs and blessings to you.

  6. Clever! I’m going to have to try this. I have some oldish books but they don’t look as old as I would like them too. This is the answer. Love it! Thanks for sharing in the Fabulous Friday Link Party
    Lynn

  7. Hey there! I have recently been painting and covering some of my books! It never crossed my mind to age the pages but this is a great idea! Thanks for the inspiration! Blessings, Donna

  8. Such a genius and creative idea on how to antique books in minutes, Cindy! We have a few vignettes that need antique books at Loblolly so I’m excited to try your technique. Loving and pinning as always sweet friend, CoCo

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