DIY Decorative Books For Spring Vignettes

During your next visit to a thrift store be sure to peruse the book section. Hardcover books are perfect to use for accessorizing a room. Stacked on a coffee table, used to raise decor on bookshelves, set on a dresser wrapped with pretty ribbon - the possibilities are endless. To make them even more eye-catching what about painting them in pretty colors? Here I show you how to paint decorative books in soft pastel colors for Spring and how to make them look old.

DIY Decorative Books Spring Vignette

If you're an avid reader like I am, you probably already have stacks of old books you can use for this purpose. I grabbed some self-help books from the '80s that I have no plan on rereading. No one's going to know after they are painted, especially when bound together with pretty ribbon. 😏

DIY Decorative Books For Spring Vignettes

This is such a fun and easy craft project and what a great way to keep those old books from ending up in the landfill. These pretty pastel books will be used for my Spring coffee table vignette but would look pretty on a dresser in a child's room. But the color possibilities are endless for making them work with your home decor.

Decorative Books Painted Pastel Colors

I chose four books around the same size, one slightly smaller than the other to add visual interest when stacked. I'm one of those people who love things asymmetrical and a little less perfect so my preference is to stagger the books on the stack.

DIY Decorative Books Pages Painted Metallic Gold

The ends of the book pages are glistening with metallic gold paint and aged along the edges.

DIY Decorative Painted Books Aged Spines

Bound together with sisal twine and embellished with a small birds nest, they are ready to be displayed for Easter and the entire Spring season.

Decorative Painted Books With Birds Nest For Spring

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience so you can see what products I used or recommend to make this project. See my full disclosure policy.

So here's how I did it...

Paint the book pages

The first thing I did was with the books closed, paint the outside edges of the pages with gold metallic paint. The gold looks so pretty with the pastel colors but we'll be doing more to the gold later in this post.

Decorative Books Gold Painted Pages

Paint the book covers

The possibilities for painting the covers are endless - choose colors that work well with your decor. For mine I painted them with soft pastel leftover chalk paint in the colors pink (vintage cupcake), mint (pistachio), yellow (creme brulee), and blue (I think Elegance but the jar wasn't labeled). All from the Country Chic Paint line.

Decorative Books Chalk Painted

Two or three thin coats of chalk paint look better than one thick coat. Chalk paint dries quickly so you can apply the second coat within 30 minutes.

Age the painted book covers

Once the chalk paint is dry it's time to have fun by making the books look aged. It's really quite easy and I'll show you how.

Decorative Books Aged With Wax

If you've never done this before it may seem intimidating but just remember dark wax can always be removed with clear wax while it's still wet. The key is not to get too much dark wax on the rag and don't apply too much pressure with your finger. Also, it's important to age just one book at a time.

First, apply a coat of clear wax without buffing to act as a resist for the dark wax. I used white wax to soften the pastel colors even more. You can use a brush but my preference is a lint-free rag.

Use one end of the rag to apply the white (or clear) wax and the opposite end to apply the dark wax. Dab a little dark wax onto your rag and with light pressure feather the wax along the edges and spine of the book (pictured below in Step 1).

Decorative Painted Books Aged Step 1-2

Before the wax has time to absorb blend the excess dark wax towards the center of the book in up and down motions, leaving more dark wax around the edges (pictured above in Step 2). Don't panic if you put too much dark wax in some areas. Dab some clear (or white wax) over those spots to remove the excess dark wax.

Age the book pages

With a small artist brush, apply dark wax onto the book pages around the spine of the book (as pictured below). While you still have dark wax on the brush feather some on each end of the book pages as well where they naturally age over time.

Decorative Books Aging Spines With Wax

That's it, you're done!

To make them even prettier displayed as a set, wrap pretty ribbon, lace, string, twine, or sisal rope, like I did, around the stack of books. Tie pretty embellishments onto the twine like beads, charms, whatever you like.

Embellish painted books with a birds nest

I embellished mine with a tiny birds nest and decoupaged wooden tag for Spring and Easter.

DIY Painted Decorative Books Aged

The Easter floral picks, mini foam eggs, feathers, and moss were all purchased from the dollar store.

Painted Decorative Books Embellishment Supplies

I used a small nest from the floral pick and removed the blue eggs. Next, I hot glued some moss inside the nest and replaced the blue eggs with green speckled ones that came in a package of 30. I found a bag of assorted craft feathers and glued a couple in the nest. Easy peasy way to embellish the books!

Embellish painted books with a wooden tag

You can buy these wood tags readymade but I made mine with a sheet of craft balsa wood that I had on hand. Easy to make with a straight edge and sharp craft knife. I stained one side with this water-based stain and decoupaged pretty floral scrapbook paper onto the opposite side with Mod Podge and a foam brush. Super easy!

Decorative Books Decoupaged Tag Embellishment

So what do you think? Have I inspired you to go through your old books?

Pastel Painted Decorative Books Vignette

For more DIY Easter and/or Spring ideas press HERE.

If you have any questions about this makeover, please leave them in the comment section below or press the Contact Me button at the top of the blog to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!

DIY Decorative Books Painted For Spring

I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.

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Talk Of The Town Party 166

Hello friends, thanks for joining us again this week! The snow is FINALLY melting over here and I couldn't be happier. So ready to kick old man winter to the curb and welcome spring with open arms.

You can see from our DIY features this week that we each had furniture makeovers on the brain. I'd love to dig into each of our delicious recipe features, starting with the monkey bread muffins with my morning coffee. Have a great week 😁

Talk Of The Town Party 166 Features

Welcome back to Talk of the Town!
First, let's take a look at what you may have missed from your party hosts.

Garden Inspired Paper Towel Holder Wood Kitchen Tote

Last week at My Repurposed Life
Last week at Interior Frugalista
Here's what we're talking about from last week's party!

Herringbone Dresser Top
Herringbone Dresser Top - Beckwith's Treasures

Monkey Bread Muffins
Monkey Bread Muffins - Spaceships and Laser Beams

Key Lime Pie Pudding Shots Recipe 
Key Lime Pie Pudding Shots Recipe - Ann's Entitled Life
Now, it's your turn!
PLEASE NOTE – There are now *2* separate link ups; the first is for DIY/Vintage/Repurposed links and the second for recipes. Thank you!

By linking up at Talk of the Town, you agree that your photos may be used to promote the party, or in other round-ups.
***Please keep in mind that linking up with stock photography or using photos without express permission by the photo owner is not allowed. Links of stock photography or photos that are not owned by you will be removed without notification.***
TotT Something to talk about
DIY|Vintage|Repurposed Links
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Recipe Links
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

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How To Beautify A Curvy Embossed Leather Footstool

Footstools are perfect to practice chalk painting furniture and trying upholstery for the first time. They are far less intimidating than a large piece of furniture and they don't take a lot of time to finish. My curvy embossed leather footstool took under two hours to complete and most of that time was waiting for paint to dry.

I should have titled this post the footstool that ran me dry because I used the last drop of paint in the jar, the last drop of clear coat, the last large piece of leather hide, the last strand of decorative trim, and the very last glue stick in my stash.

Curvy Embossed Leather Footstool Makeover

Curvy Embossed Leather Footstool

Today I'm joining my friends in the Int'l Bloggers Club where our challenge this month is to create something with leather. I knew my small curvy thrifted footstool would be the perfect candidate to use the last piece of embossed leather hide leftover from the Art Deco Headboard Bench.

If you're new here and haven't heard of the International Bloggers Club, we are a group of friends from around the globe who come together every month to share a themed DIY project. Links to my friend's leather projects are included at the bottom of this post. The last month that I participated in the challenge the theme was Valentines Day where I made a Burlap Ribbon Heart Wreath.

To truly appreciate this makeover you have to see what the footstool looked like when I bought it for $8 at Goodwill.

Embossed Leather Footstool Makeover Before

Big difference between the before and after, right?

Embossed Leather Footstool After

Let's take a closer look at that lovely gold crushed velvet velour that was on the top. Um yeah, that just has to go.

Embossed Leather Footstool Fabric Before

So much prettier with this gorgeous floral embossed leather hide - look at those lovely details!

Embossed Leather Footstool Top After

It's the perfect size footstool to pair with a small chair like the French Provincial Chair that used to be gold stripes until I painted the fabric white.

Embossed Leather Cabriole Leg Footstool

Whenever I stage photos with the table in the photo above, I always get asked about it. You can find that makeover here in my White Stacked Book Table post.

So here's how I did it...

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this makeover. See my full disclosure policy.

Prepping the footstool for paint and upholstery

First things first are removing the seat and prepping the wood base for paint. First I cleaned the wood with a liquid deglosser which helps with topcoat adhesion. Next, I lightly sanded the wood with 150-grit sandpaper to give the primer some bite. I probably went overboard with both the deglosser and sanding but I'd rather err on the side of caution.

Because I knew the tannins in the wood would cause paint bleed, I primed the footstool with a stain blocking primer.

Painting and protecting the footstool base

I painted the base with two coats of Buttercream chalk paint with my favorite round paintbrush, sanding between coats with 220-grit sandpaper to a smooth finish. Once the second coat dried, I distressed along the edges of those curvy cabriole legs with sandpaper.

Knowing this little footstool may suffer some wear and tear, instead of my usual wax finish I applied a more durable clear coat, applied with the same round paintbrush. I love this stuff because it gives a beautiful matte finish like wax.

Replacing the old fabric with embossed leather

Well, that was the easiest fabric removal I’ve ever done. Who upholsters furniture with nails and tacks?

Embossed Leather Footstool Removing Old Fabric

Lucky for me there wasn't a staple insight but if you're not as lucky, these inexpensive upholstery tools are a must. No more bandaids!

Embossed Leather Footstool Upholstery Tools

I only had one piece of embossed leather hide just barely large enough to upholster the footstool, so there was no room for error. You can find the floral embossed leather hide at The Leather Hide Store.

Embossed Leather Footstool Hide Remnant

Upholstery Step 1:

Always start in the center and work your way out, stopping about 2-3 inches from the corner. Work on the opposite side, pulling the fabric taut as you work and repeat on all four sides.

I prefer using a pneumatic staple gun because it's so much faster but an electric or handheld upholstery stapler will do the job too.

Embossed Leather Footstool Upholstery

Upholstery Step 2:

Pull the fabric point on each corner into the center (as pictured below) and tack a staple to hold it flat.

Embossed Leather Footstool Folder Corners

Upholstery Step 3:

Fold the point on each corner up and staple in place. You can see in the photo below that there is a lot of bulk in the folds because of the thickness of the leather. I'm in no way suggesting my way of folding the corners is the proper way of doing it when working with a thicker fabric like leather. Because I don't plan on selling this footstool, I wasn't too concerned about it being perfect.

If I had a larger piece of leather hide to work with, I would have sewn the corners much like I did HERE.

Embossed Leather Footstool Folded Corners

When I reattached the seat I wasn't fond of the small gap between the base and the seat (which was there with the old fabric too). To hide it I hot glued some decorative gimp braid trim along the edge.

Embossed Leather Footstool Gimp Braid Trim

I like how it dresses up the footstool a little bit.

Curvy Embossed Leather Footstool Decorative Trim

The upholstery, including the braid trim, took less than 30 minutes. The most time-consuming part of this makeover was waiting for product to dry. If you're new to upholstery I would not suggest you start with leather because it is much easier to fold the corners with fabric.

If you have any questions about this makeover, please leave them in the comment section below or press the Contact Me button at the top of the blog to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!

So what do you think? You'll be seeing this pretty little footstool in future posts as I plan on using it as a photo prop.

Curvy Embossed Leather Footstool Before and After

Please join me by clicking the links below to visit my friend's Leather inspired projects...

International Bloggers Club Valentine 2019 Projects

I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.

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