DIY decorative books with raised stencils & image transfers

Hello friends! I have been promising for a while now that I would share my raised stenciling technique with you after receiving a few e-mails from my readers asking me about the raised stencils on my vintage sewing storage boxWell…I am excited to share my latest DIY project with you this evening. This project combines the use of raised stencils, image transfers, aging techniques and vintage books all into one!

I found the vintage books below at my local thrift store for 10 cents each. Yes, you read right; they were only 10 cents each! For that price I couldn’t pass them up.

What also caught my eye, besides their amazing price, was the ribbed indentations that were on the spines of the books. To me they looked similar to old antique books that you might find in a library in England somewhere.

As much as I loved the shape of these books, there was no way that their original burgundy color was going to fit in with my decor. They just had to have a makeover!




Here they are all prettied up! What a great improvement, don’t you think?

I really love how they turned out!



If you would like to make over a set of your own books to put on display in your home, I have included the full tutorial below.

Why not make over a set for display on your mantel, your bookcase, or your coffee table? You could also use this tutorial to transform a hardcover journal that’s a little on the boring side or to make over a wedding registry book to give as a gift for a bride-to-be.


Here’s how I did it:


Supplies You’ll Need:

  • three new or vintage hardcover books
  • two printable images found here and here
  • damask stencil or a stencil of your choosing
  • Golden Soft Gel Medium (I used semi-gloss)
  • Golden Light Molding Paste
  • Mod Podge (I used matte finish)
  • acrylic gesso
  • Martha Stewart’s Sharkey Gray latex paint ( a taupey-gray color) or color of your choice
  • acrylic paints in burnt umber, medium grey and light ivory (I used Folk Art Burnt Umber, DecorArt Storm Cloud Grey and Delta Ceramcoat Light Ivory)
  • fine grit sandpaper (I used 400 grit)
  • small paint brushes, 4″foam roller and a spray bottle
  • ruler, pencil, tin foil and scissors
  • painter’s tape (optional)
  • plastic plate/tray for paint
  • rubber brayer or flat spreader
  • plastic trowel/spatula or old credit/debit card
  • paper towels
  • dish scrubber
  • plastic drop cloth to protect your workspace






Start by wiping your books down with a barely damp cloth to remove any dust or grime. Then give them a light sanding with 400 grit sandpaper and wipe away any sanding dust.




Coat the outside of the book covers with two coats of white acrylic gesso using either a foam brush or a 4″ foam paint roller. Once dry, sand lightly to remove any rough spots.




In your plastic paint tray, place a medium-sized amount of Martha Stewart’s Sharkey Gray paint on one side and the same amount of white gesso on the other side. Scrunch up a paper towel and dip it into the Sharkey Gray paint. Dab off the excess onto another paper towel. Pounce your paper towel randomly onto your book covers leaving some of the white gesso showing through as in the photo above.

NOTE: If you don’t have Sharkey Gray paint, don’t worry! Just use what you already have on hand. Sharkey Gray is a great neutral taupey-gray color so if you don’t have a paint color at home that would work you could easily mix up some acrylic craft paint to create a similar color instead.

Next with a clean piece of scrunched-up paper towel, pick up a small amount of gesso from your tray, dab off the excess and then lightly pounce over top of your book cover leaving small amounts of Sharkey Gray showing here and there. This technique will give your book cover a great aged marble look.




Mix up equal amounts of Storm Cloud Grey (medium grey) craft paint and gel stain medium. Paint a light coat on your cover working in one section at a time. Before your gel stain has a chance to dry, wipe off the excess with a damp cloth. Gel stain medium gives your paint color more transparency and more working time, much like a glazing liquid would.

Again, if you don’t have the specific paint color I have mentioned above, any medium grey paint will suffice. As well, if you don’t have gel stain medium you could instead use a glazing medium or just dilute your paint with water.




In this photo you can see how the paint stays in the crevices when the gel stain/paint mixture is wiped away.




What’s next? Photo transfers.

I recently found Graphic #1 (below) on The Graphics Fairy’s blog HERE. I knew that I wanted to use some vintage handwriting for this project and The Graphics Fairy’s site is the first place that I go when looking for images to use for my projects. Did you know that all of her images are free? I know, awesome!

I downloaded her poem graphic and then prepared it for transferring by removing the aged background, flipping the image to “mirror image mode” and reducing it to fit on to the front of my book.

To save and print this image for your own project, click on the image below and right click to save it to your computer. This image has been sized to fit the front of my books. Please re-size it to fit your specific project.

Graphic #1


This next image I found online a couple of months ago but for some reason I misplaced the source for this graphic. I searched all over Google for the source but didn’t have any luck finding it. If you happen to know where this graphic came from, I would be grateful if you could please let me know so I can properly credit the site where it came from.

To save and print this image for your own project, click on the image below and right click to save it to your computer. This image has been sized to fit the spine of my books. Please re-size it to fit your specific project.

Graphic #2


To start, measure the spine of your books to make sure that Graphic #2 will fit the entire length of the spine once printed. Print out the graphic onto regular plain copy paper using either a laser printer or have it photocopied at your local photocopy center. Be sure to print off at least 4-5 copies of each image so you have extras. Also, if this is your first time transferring images, you may want to test your technique on a piece of cardboard at least once before working on your actual book covers. “Practice makes perfect!”




Using a ruler and pencil, measure and draw out the size of the Graphic #2 image needed for the spine of your book with enough to wrap around the sides as shown below. One print-out should be large enough for two book spines side-by-side. Be sure to erase any pencil marks left on your image after cutting it out or the marks will show up on your final transfer.

Place your image face up on a piece of tinfoil and coat it with a even layer of soft gel medium. Quickly and carefully lift up your image from the tinfoil handling by the edges only and place it face down on the spine of your book. Try to line it up as best a possible before you place it down because once your transfer is stuck down it cannot be moved without messing it up.




Use your fingers to push out the air bubbles and then use your brayer with a little bit of pressure to roll over your image in all directions. This will help to make sure your image is firmly stuck down. Wipe away any excess gel medium with a damp cloth.

Leave your transfer to dry for at least two hours, preferably overnight. The longer you leave your transfer to dry the better your image will come out. You can use a hair dryer to manually dry your image if you are short on time.




When your image is fully dry, use a spray bottle or a damp paper towel to wet part of your image with water. Wait 1-2 minutes and then use the pad of your pointer finger to rub away the paper layer of your image. Work in small sections and keep your image moist.

Try to get as much of the paper residue off of your image as you can but don’t rub too hard with your finger or you may rub away part of your image!




Once you have removed as much paper as you can with your fingers, dampen a kitchen scrubber (type shown above) and rub lightly over your image in a circular motion. Be sure to scrub gently especially around the edges of your image or it may start to rub away. Use your hand or a dry paper towel to wipe away any leftover bits of paper.




You will be using Graphic #1 as a transfer for the front of your book right above/below your raised stencil.

Print out the graphic provided and cut it out with scissors in a slightly larger size than the space you are wanting to fill. Tear away some of the edges of the paper to age the image further.

Transfer your image to the front of your book using the techniques described for Graphic #2.




Next is the raised stencils. My most favorite product to use when creating raised stencils is Golden’s Light Molding Paste. When you first open the jar of molding paste you will be surprised about how thin and fluffy it is.

I love this product because it is so easy to work with, it can be tinted to whatever color you want and it dries to a nice hard finish that can be sanded and painted. I find that it looks a lot like plaster when its dry but it has much more durability.




First decide where you are going to place your stencil on your book cover.

Sorry, I don’t actually remember where I found this damask stencil as I have had it in my stash for a while now. Michaels or any other craft supply store should have a similar stencil if you are wanting to use something close to this one.




When you are ready to mix up the molding paste for your stencil you will want to have everything set-up and ready to go as molding paste dries very quickly.

IMPORTANT: You will want to wash your tools and stencil immediately after using molding paste, especially in between stencil impressions as it will leave a residue and harden on your tools if you don’t. I wash everything up with water and a little bit of hand soap as I go which works really well.

For the mixture above, mix equal parts of burnt umber craft paint and medium gray craft in your plastic paint tray. Then add in an equal part of molding paste and mix thoroughly with your spatula.




Hold your stencil firmly with one hand and use your other hand to trowel on some of the molding paste mixture on to your stencil. I found that the easiest way to do this is to put on dollop of molding paste on the corner of your stencil and use the flat part of your spatula to spread the paste around lightly covering the entire stencil in an even layer. If you keep your spatula flat you will avoid digging into the stencil and possibly getting some paste underneath where you don’t want it. (see photo above). It is almost like icing a cake!

To remove the excess paste, turn your spatula on its side and lightly scrape across the top of your stencil putting the excess back into your paint tray. If you are using an old credit card as a scrapper, you can just drag it across your stencil lightly. You want a raised stencil that is at least 2-3 millimeters thick.

When you have your paste spread out in an even layer and you are happy with how it looks, carefully lift your stencil straight up. You should be left with a nice clear and clean impression.



The photo above shows what the raised stencil looks like when it is still wet. Don’t worry if there are some ridges and/or bumps on your stencil. Once dry, these ridges can easily be sanded away or left alone for more texture.  FYI, you will see below that I sanded the ridges off my raised stencil once it was dry.




Next, coat your stencil with some medium gray craft paint mixed 50/50 with gel stain. Leave some of the original brown color showing through near the edges of the stencil. Once that is dry, mix up some light cream craft paint also 50/50 with gel stain and add highlights to your design as show above.




As a final step you can age your books even further by glazing over them with a mixture of medium gray craft paint, with a touch more burnt umber craft paint and some gel stain to make a glaze that will settle into the cracks and crevices on your books.

Just brush it on…




…and use a damp cloth to wipe it off. Continue this treatment over the entire book leaving extra glaze around the spine of the book and over the areas you want to look more aged.

Finally coat your book with at least two coats of Mod Podge for protection. Leave your books to dry for 1-2 days before displaying them side by side so they don’t stick together. Please don’t ask me how I know this! Haha!







I decided to change the placement of the raised stencil and transfers on the three books so each of them were different.




To display my books all together, I tied them into a bundle with a pretty piece of cream ribbed ribbon from the Dollar Store.




In case you didn’t know, these Readers Digest books are either burgundy or gold colored at the top of the books so I decided to paint out the book pages so that they would blend in better with the rest of the book.

If you have the same kind of books you can paint the tops of the pages by dry-brushing some white gesso on top of them. Then you can then age them further by lightly dabbing on some Sharkey Gray paint or some of your medium grey craft paint randomly.

To keep the paint from seeping down into your book pages, use one hand to firmly hold the pages together while painting with the other hand. Also, use a fairly dry foam brush or roller to paint with. If you do this you should have very little seepage onto your book pages. After you have applied your paint and the top of your book is slightly dry, fan the pages a few times to make sure the pages are not stuck together.




So instead of sending your old books off to the recycling facility or giving them to Goodwill because their covers are ugly and you plan to never ever read them again, you now have a tutorial to help you to turn them into a set of decorative books that you would be proud to display in your home.

You know what else you can do with these books to make them even more functional? You could cut one big rectangle out of the middle of each of your books to use as a “safe” for your keepsakes, jewelry and money. Place a small cardboard box that has been measured to fit inside and no one would be any the wiser as to what your books contain!

These decorative books only cost me $1.00 to make! That’s it! It was 0.40 cents for the books with tax, 0.60 cents for the amount of ribbon I used and the rest of the supplies didn’t end up costing me anything as I already had them on hand. Woohoo! I love projects that cost almost nothing to make, don’t you?


In other news…

I have a buffet cabinet that I am working on right now that is taking a little longer than I had hoped. Hopefully it will be done soon so I can share it with you. Also, later this week I am off to my Mom’s to finally finish off her buffet turned TV cabinet that I had shared HERE. Stay tuned for the final transformation coming soon!

Well it is way past my bedtime so I am going to call it a night. Thanks for taking the time to read my posts and for leaving me comments. I really appreciate it!


Until next time…






 Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Tuesdays Treasures ~ Home Stories A to Z – Tips and Tutorials Linky Party ~ Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty Tuesday ~ Not Just a Housewife – Show Me What Ya Got ~ A Stroll Thru Life – 121st Table Top Tuesday ~ Vintage Wanna Be – Talent Tuesday ~ New Nostalgia – Anti-procrastination Tuesday ~ Creating A House of Grace – Twice Owned Tuesday ~ Today’s Creative Blog – Get Your Craft On ~ Domestically Speaking – Countdown to Summer Party ~ Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays ~ Organize Your Stuff Now – Home Decorating and Organizing Link Party ~ Uncommon Designs Online – Uncommonly Yours Link Party ~ Free Pretty Things For You – Whatever You Want Wednesday ~ The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party ~ The Sasse Life – Crafty Sasse Wednesday ~ The Well Crafted Home – Well Crafted Wednesdays ~ Restored Interiors – Restored It Wednesday ~ House of Hepworths – Hooking Up With House of Hepworths ~ Embracing Change – Creative Inspirations Linky Party ~ The Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ Somewhat Simple – Blog Link Party ~ The Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~ Adorned From Above – Blog Hop ~ Liz Marie Blog – Link Up With Me Liz Marie ~ The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating – Flaunt It Friday ~ The Craftionary – Friday Fun Party ~ French Country Cottage – Feathered Nest Friday ~ The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday ~ My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday ~ Five Days Five Ways – Friday Free For All ~ Redoux Interiors – Link Party #61 ~ I Should be Mopping the Floors – Mop It Up Mondays ~ Keeping It Simple – Motivate Me Monday ~ Brassy Apple – Make It Monday ~ Funky Junk Interiors – SNS Link Party ~ Homemaker on a Dime – Creative Blogger’s PartyCraft-o-Maniac – Craft-o-Maniac Monday Link Party ~ DIY Showoff – DIY Project Parade ~ Sumo’s Sweet Stuff – Market Yourself Mondays ~ The Graphics Fairy – Brag Monday ~ Family Home and Life – Wow Us Wednesday ~ What About.co – Show It Off Friday ~ Tatertors and Jello – Weekend Wrap Up Party ~ Fox Hollow Cottage – Power of Pinterest Party ~ Funky Junk Interiors – SNS Your Best DIYs of 2012 ~ The DIY Club – DIY Tutorial Linky Party ~

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5 pings

  1. Monica Livas

    These are sooo BEAUTIFUL!

    1. Carrie

      Thanks so much Monica!!!

  2. Francine

    These are just lovely!!!!!

    1. Carrie

      Thank you for stopping by!

  3. Audrey Zumwalt

    hi Carrie … Just the greatest look and awesome tutorial. Thanks so very much. You are so kind to share. I plan to copy this.
    Blessings to you.
    Audrey Z @ Timeless Treasures.

    1. Carrie

      Audrey, it is nice to see you again! I am so happy that you like my decorative books. I can’t wait to hear about how your books turn out. I am sure they will be lovely when they are done. These books were so much fun to make!
      Take care,

  4. Kristy Life-n-Reflection

    These are beautiful!

    1. Carrie

      Kristy, thanks so much for your kind comments.

  5. Ann

    This is cleverly and beautifully done! Such a neat transformation. In the past I’ve redone boxes to look like aged books with hot glue, tissue and paint but I totally have to try your technique. Love it! I have half dozen of those Reader’s Digest books and have been waiting for the right creative spark. Thank you.

    1. Carrie

      Awww… thank you Ann! You are so nice! I hope you decide to try making these books! They were so much fun to do and such an inexpensive project!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. chrissyb

    These are so cute. I have several old books that this would work great with. I’m also thinking about cutting out a secret compartment in the middle. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Carrie

      Thanks Chrissy! I hope you decide to try out my tutorial sometime.

  7. Janis@All Things Beautiful

    Love this idea and technique! These turned out so beautifully! I am pinning these!!!!
    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Carrie

      Hi Janis,
      Thanks for your wonderful comments and thanks for pinning my project. I appreciate it so much!
      All the best,

  8. Rosemary

    They are quite the statement piece. I love adding dimension. The script just takes it over the top gorgeous.

    1. Carrie

      Thanks so much Rosemary! This means a lot coming from you as every project you do on your blog is drop-dead gorgeous! I have been inspired by your creations for such a long time now.
      Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment.

  9. Pam @ diy Design Fanatic

    Your books are awesome. I love the transformation.Stopping by from Wow Us Wednesday.

    1. Carrie

      Thanks for stopping by Pam! I hope to see you again sometime and thanks also for leaving me such nice comments!

  10. Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest

    Whew, that is so awesome I don’t have words.

    1. Carrie

      Aren’t you the sweetest Michele! (Blushing) I am so happy that you like my little project.
      Have a great night!

  11. Bambi Mayer

    What a pretty idea. Thanks for the great tutorial!

    1. Carrie

      Thanks Bambi! I am glad you stopped by!

  12. Erika

    Carrie, This is really awesome, the tutorial takes me step by step very good, and I will be trying it at home, Thank you so much for sharing, I am very glad the mediums you used are available in my local store, so I can get them. Thank you again.

    1. Carrie

      Thanks Erika! I am so happy that you would like to try making these books. They are a lot of fun to make and the end result is so great.
      Good luck on your project.

  13. Julie @ The Family CEO

    These are lovely! Lots of steps, but the end results is worth it.

    1. Carrie

      Hi Julie,

      Thanks so much for your kind comments. Yes, it does seem like there are a lot of steps to this project but it actually isn’t that bad. I am just wordy and take lots of photos because I don’t want to leave out any of the important details. LOL
      Take care,

  14. Peggy @The Decorating Files

    Hello! I’m so glad I found you via Free Pretty Things link party. This is such a fabulous idea! I love it! I’ve been wanting to do something with all the old books I have and this would be perfect. I can’t wait to try it!

    1. Carrie

      Thanks for stopping by Peggy. I am one of your newest friends on Facebook. I am glad you like my project and I hope you get a chance to try it out sometime.

      1. Peggy @The Decorating Files

        Thanks Carrie! I hope to do this very soon for my guest room!

        1. Carrie

          Peggy, I hope everything goes well for you. They are a lot of fun to make!

  15. Morgan

    This is so amazing. I am so impressed!

    1. Carrie

      Aww..thanks Morgan!

  16. Tricia

    Wow -those turned out great! Love the idea of doing a raised stencil, too.
    Stopping by from House of Hepworths!

    PS – I’m hosting a giveaway this week and would love for you to stop by and enter!

    1. Carrie

      Tricia, thanks for stopping by. Sorry I didn’t have time to get over to your giveaway but I plan to stop over now to see if it is still going on.

  17. Karen

    I love love love these, I have some old books that belonged to my dad. I’m going to do a version of this using his books. Thanks so much for the great tutorial.

    1. Carrie

      Thanks Karen for your kind comments. I would love to see your version of books when they are finished. I bet they would look gorgeous!
      All the best,

  18. Aimee

    These are awesome… clearly a project that I would have to save up plenty of patience to accomplish. Thanks for sharing the great tutorial!

    1. Carrie

      You’re right that it does take a little bit of time to complete these books but it wasn’t too bad actually. I just made an assembly line and painted all three books at the same time, then did all the transfers, then all of the raised stencils. I have this little quirk where I like to go far as I can with my projects so I don’t get bored with them anytime soon, which I tend to with the majority of the home decor items I purchase from the store. LOL
      Thanks for stopping by. Carrie

  19. Marty@A Stroll Thru Life

    Unreal, these look gorgeous. Thanks tons for joining TTT. Hugs, marty

    1. Carrie

      Thanks so much Marty!

  20. Buffi Neal

    Awesome :)
    New follower from the Blog Hop
    My Wonderfully Dysfunctional Blog

    1. Carrie

      It’s nice to meet you Buffi! I am off to check out your blog.

  21. Debi Bolocofsky

    These are so beautiful. I was wondering if you would link it in my Wednesdays Adorned From Above Blog Hop. Here is the link:


    I would love to have anything that you would like to link.
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Above

    1. Carrie

      Debi, thank you for your kind comments. I stopped by your linky party and put up a couple of my projects.
      Take care,

  22. Hani

    Wow.. The books look awesome.. Thanks for linking up at Friday fun party. Have a great weekend!

    1. Carrie

      Thanks so much Hani!

  23. Taryn @ Design, Dining + Diapers

    Oh wow, these are beautiful! I’ve never transferred images before but I’m getting ready to, thanks for the tutorial! I love the vintage look and the colors you chose, just fabulous.

    1. Carrie

      Awww…thanks Taryn. Your are such a sweetheart! I hope your image transfers work out well for you the first time you try them. They take a little bit of practice but once you start doing them, they are so addicting! It is so hard to stop because every future project you look at you want to put a photo transfer on it.
      Take care,

  24. Mimi B

    Thanks for the tutorial. These are wonderful! Such an inspired idea!

    ~Mimi B~

    1. Carrie

      Thanks Mimi. I am glad you stopped by!
      Have a great night.

  25. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions

    These are beautiful, Carrie! Reader’s Digest books never looked so good! I see these all the time at our Goodwill, too. I guess I need to give them a second look.

    1. Carrie

      Thanks Kathy! You are right, RD never looked this good! Haha!
      I’m glad you stopped by to say hi.

  26. Stephanie

    I love this project! It is beautiful!!

    1. Carrie

      Thanks so much Stephanie!
      Have a great night.

  27. katie

    WOW! these books are amazing and I’m totally jealous that you found them for .10 each! I never find books that cheap!

    1. Carrie

      Katie, thanks for your sweet comments. I was amazed to find these books for only 10 cents each considering all of the other books I usually see in the thrift stores are much more expensive.

  28. Lois Arnold

    Love the books! Yes, an improvement for sure! Very French looking!

  29. Linda @ it all started with paint

    Wow and wow! These are really amazing. And you worked so very hard and the so very hard work really paid off!



    1. Carrie

      You are making me blush Linda! Thanks, you are so sweet!

  30. Stacey

    The books look amazing! What a great project – I haven’t ever seen a book redo before! Great job Carrie!
    Stacey :o)

    1. Carrie

      Thanks so much Stacey!

  31. ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

    Hi Gal. These look amazing. Have you considered making these to sell?
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

    1. Carrie

      Ahrisha, I haven’t even thought of selling these but I guess it could be done. They would be a little heavy to ship though because they are books but this technique could easily be done on something lighter and less bulky. You have a great idea there!
      Thanks again for your sweet comments.

  32. barbara jean

    incredibly amazing!!!
    thanks for the tutorial. well done..

    barbara jean

    1. Carrie

      Thanks so much Barbara Jean!

  33. Prairie Scraps

    I love this! I’ve been just starting to do transfers from Graphics Fairy and haven’t had much success yet. I can’t wait to try your method! Thanks for the tutorial!

    1. Carrie

      Prairie Scraps, this transfer method is so easy and provides amazing results. If you can try to buy the Golden Soft Gel Medium you will find that it works great. I have tried other gel mediums and the Soft Gel medium I found to provide the clearest, cleanest transfers. What I mean by cleanest is that the transfers come out fully intact, with barely any if at all parts of the image coming off. Some tips that I have for you so that your first transfers are a success is to be sure you put an even coat of the gel medium on, place it down on your item right away so it doesn’t dry, make sure it is stuck down firmly to your surface and then let it dry overnight for the best results. When you go to remove the paper, work in one area at a time and rub gently. The more transfers you do, the more you will be able to judge when your image wants to come off. Good luck with transferring! It is so addictive once you start!

  34. Connie

    Love this project!You did an amazing job! Have you linked it up with me yet at Wow Us Wednesday?

    1. Carrie

      Thank you Connie. I visited your linky party and added my book project. Thanks for stopping by and letting me know about it! You have a great party going there!

  35. Cathy E.

    Wonderful tutorial and beautiful work! thanks so much for sharing your techniques. Found you from the Graphics Fairy blog and “Pinned” this project so that I can revisit it once I find some cool books to make over as well.

    1. Carrie

      Thanks Cathy! You are so sweet! I hope you have fun making your own decorative books. Watch out though because once you start transferring photos you may want to transfer photos to everything in sight! I can’t seem to stop myself now. So addicting!
      Take care,

  36. Kat

    I found you through the Graphics Fairy website on Brag Monday! I am so glad you were featured. I actually purchased the same style books at a thrift store knowing I would do something with them. Thank you for the tutorial, now I know what to do with them. I also subscribed to your site, I am a new fan!

    1. Carrie

      Kat, I am so happy that you like my little project! These books are so much fun to make. Whenever you get a chance to finish your books I would love it if you would send me a photo. I would love to see them! Also, thanks for subscribing. I hope to see you again soon.
      Have a great night.

  37. Nicole@Show Off Friday Blog Hop

    Gorgeous books! I pinned them!

    1. Carrie

      Nicole, thanks for stopping by and for the wonderful comments you left me. You are so sweet!
      Take care,

  38. Fulvia

    Great tutorial, thank you. the result is amazingly beautiful.

    1. Carrie

      I am so happy you like my project Fulvia and thank you for your sweet comments.

  39. Rhissanna

    Thank you so much for such a well-written and clear tutorial. I think this is possibly the best use for those Reader’s Digest Condensed books (horrible things!).

    1. Carrie

      Thanks so much Rhissanna! I love your name BTW. Yes, I totally agree with you; Reader’s Digest books are not something that you would want to display on your shelf. It’s too bad they didn’t make them a more neutral color. Then they wouldn’t be that bad!

      Thanks for stopping by.
      Take care,

  40. Sarah

    What a great transformation! Love it. Such a great use for books that aren’t pretty enough to display!

    1. Carrie

      Thank you for your wonderful comments Sarah. I’m glad you liked my book makeover. My Mom loved them too so now I am going to make her a set as well.
      Have a great night.

  41. Deb Spencer

    I just love your tutorial. Thank you. You indicated the graphics should be printed via laser printer or photocopied. Does this mean that using an inkjet printer will not provide a good transfer? Thanks, Deb

    1. Carrie

      Hi Deb,

      I have not tried the transfer method that I use with an inkjet printer but I have just recently purchased a new inkjet printer so I will give it a try tonight and let you know if it works for me or not. I have read online that others have used inkjet printouts for transferring and they were successful. You could always print out a simple black and white image from your inkjet printer and try to transfer it to a piece of cardboard or an old canvas to see if it will work for you. For the most successful transfer, leave it to dry overnight. Then you shouldn’t have any trouble with the image rubbing off especially if you use the Golden Soft Gel. I have found that it gives the best transfer so far for me.

      Thanks for stopping by. I will let you know how my inkjet transfer goes. Crossing my fingers. Maybe I will create a blog post about it as there were others asking the same questions as you were.
      Take care,

  42. Inspire Me Heather

    Your books turned out beautiful – thanks for posting the tutorial and I have this linked to my books project post as well today!

  43. Diana

    Hello! I loved your books sooo much, so I decided to make some of my own :)
    I used waterslide decal paper for the image transfer and I love the final result!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing, you are a true inspiration.
    Best wishes,

  44. Wendy

    Hi Carrie…these books are absolutely beautiful!!! I am in the midst of making them…just trying to do the graphics…I am finding when I print out the graphics they aren’t very crisp like yours…any ideas? Thank you ever so much for posting such a wonderful tutorial!


    1. Carrie

      Hi Wendy,
      Thanks for your message and your wonderful comments. Ohhhh! I would love to see your books when they are all done. I am sure they will turn out gorgeous! For the graphics, I just now opened them right now in a new Internet window and right clicked to save them just to test if I had uploaded the incorrect graphics when I finished my post. Then I opened the graphics individually in Microsoft Paint and made sure to click on “adjust to 100% normal size” in the page setup section of Paint (File-Print-Page Setup). Then I printed them out on my laser printer. They look the same as mine looked when I made my books. Yes, the graphics are a little “grainy”. Unfortunately, that is how they were when I saved them from thier original websites. When you transfer the graphics to your books you should see very little of the “graininess” and they should look just like mine do. If you are worried about it you could do a test transfer on a piece of cardboard or an old canvas to see how it turns out.
      Please share when you are all done. :)
      All the best,
      Take care,

  45. Rosaria Amorim

    Olá Carrie, conheci o seu blog, e desde então venho lendo cada post com calma e aprendendo muito mais, estes livros que você fez são puro luxo, é uma coisa muito linda, eu não sei se vou conseguir mas espero um dia conseguir faze-los, tenho primeiro que tentar achar livros iguais, com esta textura na coluna, e tenho uma pergunta a fazer: o gesso acrílico voce faz a mistura com agua, ou comprou pronto? tire-me esta dúvida por favor. Eu coloquei seu blog como inspiração dentro do meu blog. Se quizer conhecer o meu blog fique a vontade. Um bj

    1. Carrie

      Hi BJ,
      Thank you for your message. I am happy that you like my decorative books. The acrylic gesso is purchased already mixed as well as the Gel Medium. I am not sure where you can find it in your area but if you Google it then you should be able to find the products online.

      Thank you for stopping by my blog.

  46. vixenmade

    Great idea!! I shared it on my blog today: http://www.vixenmade.com/2013/05/diy-boys-room-decor.html

  47. Holly

    This was awesome, thank you for sharing!

  48. Svitlana

    beautiful job! I found the answer on my question today at your tutorial, I see you even from my city too :) I m just starting my blog about diy, and I also love vintage ,shabby styles and french graphics. I collect them on my pinterest :)anyway was nice being here :) would be nice if you looked at my works and gave me your valuable opinion. Thank you !!!

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