Friday, July 8, 2016

Painted Book Bundles ............. A Simple Tutorial

Greetings dear friends & readers,
As promised two posts back, I thought I would share today a simple tutorial for making painted book bundles.

The books I used were 50c each from the Op Shop .... I like to use graduating sizes but you could use all the same size if you wished.
Similarly I like to use 3 books, but you may choose to use more.
I glue the stack of books together & then glue inside the outer covers also ... this stops them slip-sliding around when painting.
Also I glue any rough or torn corners of the books cover or spine down - this creates a smoother finish after painting.

I just used my cream wall paint but any water based paint will do ... testpots are wonderful for this.

A little tip .... when I am painting anything during the winter months, I sit it by the fire for awhile before hand ... this warms the article up & allows it to absorb the paint easier ... if you don't have a fire, sit it by the heater, or even in your hot water cupboard for an hour or two.
My stack of books took 3 good coats as I wanted to cover the red really well & kept seeing a slight pink tinge coming through.
I painted mine over the course of a couple of days - be patient & let them dry thoroughly between each coat.

When you are happy with the coverage, its time to lightly sand the edges to give it a timeworn appearance

I just use a medium grit sandpaper & lightly go over all the edges & the spine of the books.

Now the fun part begins   ......   embellishing !!!!
Firstly I glued a doiley to the top of my bundle

Then I found a length of wire edged ribbon just enough to tie a big bow

In my craft stash I found a small birds nest & a bird ... so I hot glued these to the top

The $2 shops sell packets of small (fake) birds eggs ... so I added some of these to my nest
.... then some ribbon roses to my bow ...

I decided this was enough embellishment for my shabby chic book bundle 
 This got me thinking about all those prim lovers out there . . .
you could easily tea dye your doiley quite strongly, cut a length of hessian, fray the edges & use this to tie a bow, then embellish this with some rusty stars or hearts & a key perhaps ???
The possibilities are endless .  .  . 

Here is the pink shabby book bundle I made two posts back

A couple of weeks ago I taught this simple tutorial to my friend Gails, craft group.  This is what the ladies had produced when they next met up . . .
Liz painted 2 book bundles & used ribbon & buckles to create a "belt effect" to secure them
Gail also made 2 bundles - hers were more of a shabby chic style
I loved Joyce's one although my photos don't do it justice ... she embellished hers with a vintage card featuring lily of the valley, then crocheted a lace binding & a butterfly - simple & effective

Sharlaine had missed the meeting so made up her own version of "altered book art"
All really lovely & diverse ideas

My friend Sally writes a blog that I love to visit over here at Covet & Co
For those of you living in, or planning a visit to the Waikato area, she has listed her favourite vintage shopping haunts ... if you wanted to pop over & have a read - Sally has a wonderful blog.

Finally dear readers, Blackie has a "revolving door" attitude to this life & this "home of his"
Though he has baskets & various vintage blankets dotted all over the house for him to curl up on ... he has taken to pulling the cover off my sewing machine & curling up right behind it on my desk (even tho' he can barely fit his rather ample derrier in the small space !!!)
As you can well imagine - this makes sewing somewhat difficult ... & I have yet to find a way around the problem!!
I hope you are managing some creativity dearest readers ?
We are in the depths of winter here now in my little part of the world & it is nice to have some creativity to help keep me sane.
I hope you will be encouraged to perhaps give the book bundles a whirl.
cheerio for now . . . with love & friendship to you all
Julie & the furry ones 


  1. Well...As a man/male/boy...I think those books
    look lovely..especially the 'pink' one of course!
    And, the bottom one to...great ideas, the boggles!
    I don't think l'd attempt one though....knowing me,
    l shall want to use real eggs! :). And, that's no yoke!

    There's an old joke..."Where does a gorilla sleep"?
    "Anywhere it wants to"! :).
    Pussy~cats are much the same, they seem to have this
    thing of being in the way, and, saying.."Hey! look at
    me, are'nt l beautiful". And of course they are! :).
    It's a pity Julie..That Blackie does'nt put his legs
    in the air, you could use them to lift the material
    as your sewing...Bless him!x
    Best to take heed of the sign on the wall...! =(^..^)=

  2. Hi Julie wow thankyou for the lovely tutorial they all look so wonderful,my favourite is the shabby chic.
    lol what a funny pussy cat,good luck with your sewing,lol ....

  3. Great tutorial! However I had a giggle at myself sitting in my hotwater cupboard with my stack of books.........and thought it's a bit small in there, and dark! :-) The little bird and nest is very sweet, I hope Blackie doesn't think THAT would be a good place to sleep!

  4. Wow! Your tutorial is great! And what a variety of different book bundles people made. Quite amazing! They must have been delighted you showed them how to make them. Dear old Blackie - I think he is quite creative with his sleeping environment!!! It certainly looks a cosy little pad!

  5. What a funny kitty, Julie. This kind of capers is why I am longing for a kitten! You are the crafty queen! Wow!
    I remember how cold it is in NZ this time of year.
    Take care, good Julie!

  6. It seems I have missed visiting your lovely place for a while, Julie. Your books are adorable. What a clever idea to upcycle the books in this way. I love the birdie sitting atop. Your Blackie knows a good spot to snooze when he sees you say a tad problematical when you want to sew. Have the most wonderful weekend.

  7. Hi Julie, love your book stacks, thanks for the tutorial, I get lots of books from the op shop, but turn them into junk journals, might put aside a few and give this a go, wonder if it would work with just the inside part of the book? Blackie looks so content, what was pippi up to???? Have a great weekend. Chris xoxo.

    1. Hello Chris, thanks for stopping by to always leave your lovely comments. Yes the book bundles are great & so easy to achieve. The books at the Op Shop are almost always very cheap. Yes I am sure it would work equally as well with just the book inner. Pippi was probably somewhere causing havoc ... just like normal. Hope you have a great week too Chris. x0x0x

  8. Hi Julie, it made my day to see you had posted! Love the books, great to see how different they all are.
    Yes as you say it is indeed the middle of winter here, we have a fierce wind blowing and it's icy cold! Brrr...
    Haha blackie would fit in well with my two furry friends, my 2 follow me everywhere! (Yes even to the little room) Seems they have to be the centre of attention ;oP
    My daughter has just adopted 2 sweet little bunnies to add to the mix, and me being the softie let them sleep inside in their cage overnight. But they are great escape artists and had great fun hopping around my house playing with the cats, oh what shenanigans!!!
    Stay warm Julie and I'm already looking forward to your next post...

  9. How groovy is your idea to paint the books and decorate them!!! It looks
    lovely, make a cute gift for someone. I've seen the nest of birds in the
    $2 shops but could never think of an idea in which to use them. Clever girl!
    As always.....I don't think your project would've ever taken off without the
    help of your 'overseers'! lol....or shall I say...the sleeping beauties.

  10. You are always making something good Julie, and you are pretty kind to share your idea. Shows what a good soul you have. Cats, Big sits at the door debating on should he come in, stay where he is or walk away!!

  11. This is one of my most favorite creations that I have seen on your blog :) I love it!!

    I wish you a wonderful start to the week :)

  12. What a lovely post! I would have missed it but for the link forwarded to me by dear Willie, thanks Willie & Julie.

    1. Thanks so much Barbara. I sent that photo to Willie of the cat bed as I just knew he would enjoy it .... & laugh about it too. Thanks for taking the time to leave your comment.

  13. Lovely creative book bundles Julie, love how you're able to arrange things just so and they look perfect! Neat to see the others made by your friends too. hehe good 'old' Blackie, keeping you onyour toes!!

  14. Beautiful book bundles Julie, such great ideas from the people you taught. Love the air plant idea. Hee hee your cat knows the best place to be to get your attention!!


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