My son had the idea for this fun project. He wanted to make books that looked like old world magical wizard books, ala Harry Potter or some other fantasy stories. I enjoy doing craft projects with my kids, so I was thrilled to help him with this project. It all started with a trip to the thrift store and 3 thrifted books to make this easy recycled book Halloween decoration.
It was fun looking through books at the thrift store and being intrigued by some of the titles and subject matter. My son and I had quite a few laughs.
We knew we wanted books with covers that could be painted, so we looked for fabric hardcover books with minimal writing on the covers. My son knew the size book he wanted, which was “standard novel size.” I think it would be fun to use a coffee table sized book next time. Be sure to check under the dust jackets to find just the right covers. It’s definitely a case of don’t judge a book by its dust cover.
Sponge Paint Brush
We simply painted the covers of the books with craft paint and a sponge brush. Depending on your paint color and book cover, it may take a couple of coats of paint to hide to achieve the look you want. Brush strokes and inconsistencies in the color add to the authentic look, so don’t worry about perfection.
Don’t worry about being a perfectionist with your handwriting. To quote Pee Wee Herman, “I meant to do that.” (can you name that movie?) You’re going for an old world handmade look, so imperfections are required.
My son used a paint brush and made his own hand stencil to decorate his book. He also added an “old-fashioned” key tied to a bit of decorative braiding I had to use as a bookmark. His design was entirely his own ideas. That’s what’s so fun with this project, your imagination and creativity can fly.
I had so much fun making these books and they’re surprisingly quick to make. I think we’ll be creating some more to decorate the Organized 31 home this weekend.
More Halloween recycled decorations