Hardcover Books Become Shabby Chic Props!

During a project photo shoot recently I realized this girl is in serious need of some props!  Not in my budget too cheap to buy some, I was inspired by a few cool ideas I saw on Pinterest.

For those of you active on Pinterest you may have already seen these and been there-done that-got the t-shirt.  For those of you who haven't, we're going to have some fun painting hardcover books into shabby chic home décor props!

Painting hardcover books for home decor

I pulled some hard cover books out of the basement storage archives.  I read these many years ago and loved them.  Having no intention of getting rid of them I thought they'd be perfect for this project.  We're not talking Tolstoy here but ones from the personal growth/self help genre.  Not exactly coffee table books nor the subject matter you want to display to your guests.

So here's what I used for this fun and easy project.  Notice I already applied a coat of Graphite chalk paint to the outside of each book?  Let's face it, some neurosis just need to be kept private!

Painting hardcover books for home decor before

I applied two thinned coats of Graphite to completely cover the titles as well as the exposed pages followed by a thin coat of Old White. After it dried I sanded the books to reveal the Graphite underneath. Next I attached the self-adhesive stencils that I purchased at Michaels to each spine and cover and pounced Graphite over them. Once dry I carefully (using tweezers) removed the stencils and lightly sanded over the graphics to give them a worn look.

Painting hardcover books using chalkpaint and stencils

When I applied the clear wax they took on a wooden box appearance and I just love it!  Using a lint free cloth I rubbed dark wax on the spines, edges, corners, and exposed pages where they would naturally age over time.

Painting hardcover books and giving them the appearance of wooden boxes

Hardcover books painted and stenciled for home decor

And there you have it - an easy peasy way to decorate your table tops, book cases or in my case to use as photo props!

Hardcover books painted and stenciled After

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