I love books. There is nothing quite so soothing to me as being able to read an entire book cover to cover on a cold and rainy day (must be my English roots) "Books can take you places you've never been before" (thank you Dr. Suess) But I'm especially fascinated with old books. Their smell, their feel, their history; wondering who might have owned them and read them. And then there are the ornate covers. Oh my. Embossed leather. Metallic embellishments. They are works of art. Because I love old books so much - I have many times taken books discarded by libraries and book stores and use them as "canvases" for art. Raised stencils, decoupage, painting - all sorts of techniques. I make sure they are still readable and hope they will have a new life with someone who is just as goofy about books as I am, Here are a few examples. The Fleur de Lis is a raised plaster stencil over "faux leather"
Painting, raised stencil and a DaVinci painting decoupaged with an aged crackle finish.
Can you just imagine my excitement at the possibilities of what I could do with WoodUbend moldings and appliques and books? Couldn't wait to give it a try. So my blog for today is "upcycling" a book. I call it a "Book Rescue". You can use any book that still has a decent cover. You can make things interesting and plan your design around the theme of the book..... Imagine a gift for a friend who loves gardening - a gardening book decorated with woodUbend flowers... Ooooo I may have my next project. ANYWAY - for this blog - I'm going to share the steps of this fun home decor piece. You can use your imagination on creating your own :)
Start out by choosing a book to paint. Any size will work but if you choose one that's at least an inch think - it will usually "stand" - allowing for more decor possibilities. The cover should be clean but it can be cloth or vinyl. If you know me - you'll know I'm going to tell you to get out your favorite chalk paint - my medium of choice for almost everything! In this case - you want a fast drying paint that is going to adhere well to different surfaces so there you go - CHALK PAINT. You'll need a decent paint brush and some masking tape. And then off you go!
You don't have to paint the "inside" of the book but in this case - the book was a light color and I was painting it black so I didn't want to the inside to "show". Just use your masking tape to create a line and paint the edge of your book cover. When it's dry - repeat on the back cover. Once your edges are dry - paint your book front and back with your chalk paint. Hint - put a piece of cardboard bigger than the book inside the cover when you're painting to keep paint from getting on the pages (picture of this is down the blog a little). Don't use too heavy of a coat of paint as you don't want the book cover to absorb a lot of paint and become warped. Two thin coats are best if you need better coverage.
While your cover is drying - you get to choose your woodUbend pieces!! You will need a good quality wood glue and decide on on placement of your woodUbend pieces. I broke molding #1232 (yes I did) to make a "clasp" for the book.
Apply the wood glue to the back of your embellishment and then press it firmly to the painted book cover.
Use a hair dryer to warm the applique a little after you have pressed it onto the book cover. I honestly don't know why this is needed but it makes a difference. Warm the molding up with a hair dryer and press it down firmly. You can use a diaper wipe to remove any excess glue around the edges. I used the remaining parts of molding # 1232 on the spine of the book using the same process: apply wood glue, press firmly and wipe away excess glue, warm with hair dryer and press again.
I used a regular kitchen knife to trim the edges of my "clasp" so they were flush with the edge of the book. You can also use sandpaper -the woodUbend moldings can be sanded just like wood. You can also drill holes in them - but that's a whole other blog post......
Once you have your moldings attached to your book - paint your woodUbend moldings to match your book cover. Keep in mind you can use ANY color and you can even get creative with some blending techniques, dry brushing etc. Note: See the cardboard inside the book cover? That helps keep the pages of your book clean.
After I had painted the "clasp" and the moldings on the spine - I decided to use a bit of "rope trim" (TR 61 - one of my favorites) to add a bit more to the front of the book. To use the woodUbend trim, just warm the coil. It will become flexible. Cut off the size you need with a pair of scissors (yes it's that easy) and apply with wood glue.
Then of course I had to paint the trim that I added at the last minute.....
I used a "no wax" chalk paint for this particular book and it just looked a bit too "new". Not the look I was really going for. So I used some 120 grit sandpaper to very lightly distress the paint finish - just to give it a bit more of an aged look. You can also use waxes at this point if you are using regular chalk paint. You could use a top coat but I do prefer wax.
Almost finished!! I used some antique gold gilding wax. Have you used this stuff? It is AWESOME to use with woodUbend moldings. Just put a little on your finger and lightly rub it over the molding to highlight the details. Let it dry overnight and it's a sturdy finish. Hint: If you get carried away with the gilding wax (I often have this problem....) and need to remove some - just use a bit of clear wax on a q-tip and it will take the gilding wax right off.
Last but not least - I added some twine and a key. Soon after I finished this -the woodUbend Spring 2019 catalog came out with.....you guessed it..... KEYS! and what they call "escutcheons" - otherwise known as "faux keyholes" Aren't they adorable? And there are several different styles. I'll give you a link to the shop on my website in a minute but for right now - back to the book.
I added some twine and a key and Voila!!! It's all finished!
Just for review - here's a quick video I made of the whole process.
I hope you've enjoyed this project and will visit again for the next blog post! If you haven't visited yet - please visit the website at www.tracysayerstrombetta.com. You'll find my original paintings and supplies that will help you create your own masterpieces - including #woodUbend moldings, #Satlwash texture additive, #decoupage supplies and more!
And so we come to the end of my fourth blog. If you've stuck with me until this part - THANK YOU!! I would appreciate any feedback and comments as I'm planning to do this regularly and would like to have a happy bunch of customers and followers. Take care and have a great day!!I