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Monday, May 14, 2012

Another Technique for Distressing Old Books.

Last week a few of my girlfriends and I got together to play and learn a great technique for distressing old books. It's a fun variation on the cover-less books that are all over in our decor these days.
My friend Denise was kind enough to let me share it with all of you. Trust me... it's really easy!

First remove the cover of any old book you pick up at Goodwill or a garage sale. Then carefully tear the book apart into 1/4' - 1/2" sections.

Next mix up a batch of  strong instant coffee and dip the 3 unbound edges into the coffee mixture. (Sorry, I forgot to shoot a photo of this step.)

Lay all your sections outside on a towel  to dry in the sun. I tried leaving one book whole, and it didn't work as well as tearing the sections apart, so take my advise and don't do it that way.

If you want to... re-dip some of the sections to make them a little darker than the others.

Once all the sections are dry put them together and tie  twine around them like you are wrapping a  package.

You can't make a mistake with this project, but some books do wrinkle better than others. If you have a book that isnt soaking up the stain the way you want it to, you can try sanding the edges with sandpaper while it's dry, or maybe try it while its a little damp too.

I love the finished effect. I have bundles of them all over now!

See.. I told you it was easy!!! 


suziqu's thread works said...

Hi Karen
Such a simple idea here. Thanks for sharing it with us. They look just great!
It would be so much fun joining in your group at home to make a book!
Hope you all have wonderful results.
Hugs from downunder,

Angela Richardson said...

I love an easy project Karen and this is great. Those pages would be so good in altered journals too.
Have a great week!!
Hugs, Angela.x

EllenaElizabeth said...

That is a wonderful technique. Thanks for sharing it.

Karen B. said...


this is so NEAT!! Thanks for sharing it with us.
Have a wonderful day,

Karen B. ~ Todolwen

Maureen said...

Awesome! I have been looking for old, coverless books (or really old tattered books I can rip the cover off myself) but they are hard to find! I have a hard time tearing up a book that still looks good... I need to try this on some I find that are already in bad shape ;) Thank you for sharing!

Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

How fun Karen! I totally love how they look all bundled like that ~
Thank you for sharing the tutorial with us :)

Ellen said...

Wowwwww Great idea Karen, I love the finished effect!


Unknown said...

wonderful idea! tfs! :)

gotheart said...

This is so pretty! Thanks for showing us this new treasure!



Blessed Serendipity said...

Greetings (from another AZ blogger). I love the look and it looks so easy to do. I would love to try this on some teeny little books. Thanks for sharing.


BECKY said...

Absolutely love this idea!! I will have stacks around my home, soon!!!
Thanks so much for sharing with us!!

Rustique Gal said...

Hi Karen,
I've been wondering how to start a project like this-all those old RD Condensed books~I want to save the covers, because they're pretty~I will do this to the insides! Great tutorial and perfect timing. Hugs!

Unknown said...

This is just the loveliest! I love old looking books and yours are fantastic! :)


Sheila Rumney said...

Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

Celestina Marie said...

Hi Karen, Great technique. Love this and the look. Thank you for sharing. I am going to try these too.
Have a great day.
Hugs, Celestina Marie

Jacqui said...

Thank you for sharing this, I have wanted to know how to do this for quite some time

Rebecca said...

You give a whole 'nother meaning to the phrase "It's that time of the month again!"

Thanks for the tutorial and eye-candy. It's so fun to come to your blog...

Rebecca said...

OK. Sorry, big time. The comment I made just seconds ago belongs on the more recent post. I'm so embarrassed.

Barbara Jean said...

thanks. so fun!!!!


Dortesjs said...

aww thanks for this idea

Dortesjs said...

please go se my book, made from your fab tec. I have linked back. thank you for wonderful inspiraton

American Cottage Antiques said...

Hi Karen, I followed your tutorial and couldn't be more pleased as to how the books turned out! Thanks! Mary


Anne Charriere said...

Dear Karen,

I landed in your site while browsing vintage blogs. Congratulations for your amazing blog!
I really love this post and you actually gave me a great idea.

I added you on my "Farm & Barn styles" section and will be happy to follow you.

Thank you.


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