Vintage Book Bundles

2:05 PM

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I was browsing my Ballard Designs catalog, and really liked their antique book bundles, which range from $18.00 for 3 books to $25.00 for 4 books.

Their catalog explained they were old paperback books with the covers removed and tied in bundles.  That seemed easy, and way over priced for what they were.

So the next time I went to the thrift store, I browsed the paperback novels.
And $7.00 later came home with all these novels, most being harlequin romances, the funniest title being Slinky Jane.

But as I was browsing, I noticed the 1970s publishers had a unique trend, adding colored dyes to the outside of the pages.  So most of my books are from the early 1970s, so nearing 40 years old.
I got a stack of red for the master bedroom, and mustard for the family room.
I could only find one turquoise book, so the rest of that stack was regular paper.  I did tear the book in half to have 2 blue books in the bundle.

So all you do is tear all the covers off.
I also tore off the advertising publisher pages in the front and backs.
The stacked them together and tied them with jute.
I didn't have any specific method to tying the books together, just played around until I thought it was good enough.

I did take a little time to pick interesting cover pages for the top of each stack.

After they were bundled, I sprayed them with water to help age and curl the pages to look more worn.
I wish I had really awesome photos of how they'll be used in my actual decor.
But I actually haven't had any specific plans for any of them just yet.  So you can check Ballard Designs for different ways they use them.  They are scattered throughout their catalog.
Also, I wish I'd thought of this in the summer when there are lots of yard sales with books 5 for $1.
I felt I spent way too much paying $.50 per book from the thrift store.
Also, if the colors are too bright, the torn bindings look really cool with the different layers.  You could display them on a shelf or something with the bindings out, or obviously just get regular books without the 70s dye job.
Anyway, an easy little knock off project.  If you had a bunch of old lame books already to tear and bundle that would be even better!

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  1. ugh. you're awesome. LOVE THIS! as if I needed another item on my to do list this one is totally going on it! fingers crossed that I find some amazing colored pages!

  2. they look awesome and easy...
    and how do you beat 'Slinky Jane'?
    you don't.

  3. You should submit this to Knock Off Decor! Really great idea!

    BTW, are you biting your fingernails now that Week 2 projects are posted? I am!

  4. fab idea! i initially didn't like the bright colors, but now they've grown on me and i love them. need to find 70's paperbacks now! and, your tying of the books is just grand.

  5. I eyed these books in Ballard as well and had the same thought to try...thanks for the colored page ideas. I stack books all over to add height to accessories and such and can't wait to add a vintage touch.


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