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How-Tuesday: Upcycled Book Art

Aug 26, 2014

by Handmade Charlotte handmade and vintage goods

Rachel Faucett is the mother of five ridiculously cute children and has enough creative energy to run circles around them. When she’s not bringing her dreams to life with projects on her blog, Handmade Charlotte, you can find her traveling the world for inspiration or throwing awesome DIY parties at her farm just outside Atlanta. Named one of the 20 most influential Pinterest users by Business Insider, the author-designer also keeps herself busy designing for brands like Anthropologie and Pottery Barn Kids.

The other day I caught Noah and Charlotte (my two youngest) using some vintage picture books as their personal art canvases. And I mean the paper-tearing, marker-smearing, no-mercy kind of art. Once I recovered from the initial devastation, it dawned on me that every form of destruction is also an opportunity for creation: why not use those “destroyed” children’s books as the canvas for wall art? Personalized signs spelling out your child’s name add a cute touch  to a cozy reading nook. This is our new favorite project and we can’t wait to share how easy it is to make!


You Will Need:
Used books in disrepair
Letter stencils (we used a 9 x 7.5 in stencil)
Folk Art multi-surface paint
Spouncers and daubers
Double-sided adhesive roller
Blue painter’s tape

Step 1: Prep and Stencil


Decide what you want your wall art to say — in this case, I personalized the project for my daughter Izzie’s reading nook — then make sure you have enough books to spell out the message. We used one letter on each page, along with an exclamation point at the end of “library,” since it has an odd number of letters.

When you’re ready to begin, align the stencil on your page so it’s centered. Use painter’s tape to hold it in place, and keep your book open and flat on your work surface. Dab paint along the outline of the stencil with your small spouncer brush to achieve crisply painted edges. Repeat this action with a larger dauber brush until the entire stencil is filled in perfectly. Repeat on all pages and allow the paint to dry before carefully peeling off the painter’s tape.

Tip: Keep in mind that it’s better to add several thin layers of paint when stenciling than globbing it all on at once.

Step 2: Fan the Pages


To create a fanned page effect, roll the double-sided adhesive along the edge of the first page and secure it to the inside front cover about ¼” away from the edge.


Continue this process, placing each page ¼” away from the edge of the last page.

Step 3: Hang the Books


Once all pages are secured, the books are ready to hang on the wall. We found picture-hanging strips with removable tabs to be the easiest (and least destructive) method for hanging.


Now it’s time to cozy up with your favorite book in your artsy new nook!

All photographs by Handmade Charlotte.



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