Two exciting things are happening today.

And I am here for both of them.

  1. I’m going antique shopping for the first time in over a year.
  2. Baylor Bears are playing in the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP.

One of the things I’m always on the hunt for is vintage books. And some of the questions I get all the time is where to find those books and how to style them and how to decorate with them and general vintage book information.

So today, on this glorious, incredible, amazing Monday, I’m going to share it all.

Wait.

Let me take a sip of coffee first.

Okay.

Now my books and I are ready.

Before we get started

I put together a list of links from the blog that might be helpful.

  1. What is on my yard sale (and thrift store) list this year
  2. How to decorate with vintage finds (in case books are not your situation)
  3. How I cover books that aren’t that cute
  4. This amazing thing my sister did with a vintage book
  5. How to fold book pages to create words
  6. Five book page projects
  7. One of my favorite book stories

Whew.

Who knew I had so much book information?

Q: Where can you find vintage books?

I can’t get enough of vintage books. Seriously. They have so much character and age and personality. The challenge? If you are looking for a specific book or numbered edition? Books can get very expensive. I like my vintage books on sale so here are a few places that I’ve had great success in the vintage book acquisition department:

  • yard sales (hello captain obvious)
  • thrift stores
  • my attic (you won’t believe what you can find in an attic)
  • my mother’s attic
  • Books By the Foot
  • Half-priced books (look in the vintage section)
  • eBay
  • Etsy
  • Thriftbooks.com

Q: How to recycle old books?

A lot of time books that you find at yard sales or the attic will be damaged.

Not just a little damaged—but almost beyond repair.

For example, I had a set of encyclopedias that Buddy decided to chew the edges off of.

I took book page lemons and made book lemonade with a fun wreath idea.

If the back of the spines are damaged?

One fun idea is to remove the damaged spines and stack them on top of each other and tie them together with twine.

One damaged book is a little sad. But five damaged books stacked together and tied?

You can add a pumpkin (or any decorative object) and use it to decorate like this.

Or this.

Or sitting on a chair like this.

Q: What to put on top of a stack of books?

This is one of my favorite things to do EVER.

  1. I take a stack of books (three books are my favorite).
  2. I slightly turn them this way and that so they aren’t even.
  3. The larger book goes on the bottom.
  4. The smaller book goes on the top.
  5. And then? I add something on top.

The possibilities for book toppers are endless.

You can add a strand of wood beads.

You could add a decorative brass orb.

Or a smaller wood orb.

Or a box.

Or an ampersand.

(I could have taken the first two books, laid them flat and added the ampersand on top).

Or a faux plant.

Or a wood speaker that your brother made.

Here are a few other ideas:

  • whiteware
  • vases
  • pitchers
  • wood baskets
  • rattan boxes
  • picture frames
  • wood orbs

And on and on and book decorating on.

Q: Any fun ideas for decorating the book itself?

Yes.

I love to make the book the art sometimes.

You could tie a velvet ribbon around the book and display it.

You could take paperback books and take the back covers off.

Then paint them and stamp them.

Then tie them in a stack with wood beads and a tassel.

And then decorate with them.

Like this book stack from Christmas.

Or this book stack from the fall.

(total aside: you can make pumpkins like this here.)

Or stamp them with your name and add a mini perpetual calendar.

The possibilities my book-loving friend are ENDLESS.

If you are staring at your bookcase or hutch or built-in or coffee table or side table or mantel?

Don’t waste another minute.

Grab a stack of books and get started.

It’s time to turn over a new leaf. 🙂

(So sorry. I couldn’t help it. The pun was just sitting there waiting for me.)

PS If you aren’t about decorating and you need a little story to entertain you?

Here’s one just for you.

Photo credits: Kennalynn Photo.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.

Comments

  1. Image for Katharine Moore Katharine Moore

    I have done something similar for the base of wedding reception centerpieces. I use quotes related to the couple as the "titles". I LOVE your palette, as always!

  2. Image for Karen Mary Karen Mary

    In gradeschool we were required to cover every one of our schoolbooks. We used brown paper sacks. It may well be one of the most useful things I learned in gradeschool! Now I do it decoratively and am always reminded of those textbooks. Love the idea of tying them with a velvet ribbon. Velvet elevates everything. :) Thanks Karianne!

  3. Image for Nancy Nancy

    Ok, I love your ideas on how to decorate with vintage books, but OH, MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!! You like so amazing! ❤️ Nancy

  4. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Where do you find the book case in picture #12? I am in need ( want😊) of a tall narrow piece like that. All of the vintage book ideas are awesome....love using old books in decorating. BTW, you look beautiful !

  5. Image for MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!)

    I love antique books! Always have a few of them displayed. Your ideas with the velvet ribbon and the wooden beads are great and I will definitely incorporate this with the old books from my Grannie! You never cease to bring us such great ideas, KariAnne! Your overdue book story is so funny! Have a great week! Blessings!

  6. Image for Teresa L Gonzales Teresa L Gonzales

    Great ideas! Have several books that I can use. Heard on the news about Baylor being in the National Championship! :)

  7. Image for Denise Denise

    Kari, I think you may be having too much fin shopping for cute new tops to go with your fab new body! Since we are practically neighbors, ( Waco- McKinney) I need to know where you go this cute top you have on. It just shouts sophisticated elegance!

  8. Image for Kathy Kathy

    This is about you not the blog content. WOW! You look great! This is the first time i have noticed your weight loss in your face! I am jealous! It’s so great to see someone who used the pandemic in a positive way. You go girl!

  9. Image for Maria Maria

    Oh I just love decorating with books. Old books, new books, just books. BUT I have never thought to tie them together! Guess what I'm going to do? That's right!! Thanks:)

  10. Image for Michele M. Michele M.

    Excellent post. Thank you!!! And seriously you look the same age as your twins. Serious. Go Baylor! Whoot!

  11. Image for Deb Deb

    A great source for antique books is the Friends of the Library sale at your local library. These sales fund a variety of library needs from summer reading entertainers to building repairs to computer replacement. A great organization with your community’s interests at heart.

  12. Image for Leila Jane Leila Jane

    Wow, Karianne, I almost did not recognize you! I haven't read your blog in quite awhile - even though it keeps coming into my Inbox - so if you've talked about your weight loss program, I completely missed it. BTW, no offense for not reading for awhile (It's a long boring story) and I want to talk about YOU! You look fabulous, girl!!! I also love your hair styled differently in the straight fashion. I always loved your curly hair before and your curvy body but there's no denying you look spectacular with your new look! Congratulations!!!

  13. Image for Janet Janet

    Being a librarian, books are my thing. I have two short display stacks of bird guide books that include ones that belonged to my grandparents, parents and new ones I've added. Sort of a family hobby themed display. Also useful since it's right by a window and I can grab one if I see a new bird!

  14. Image for Lissa Lissa

    I've surrounded myself with books my whole life and incorporating them into home decor. This is a fun, creative way to use old books and stamping too. Also, I gotta say... you look wonderful. You have always looked beautiful and joyful but I love the extra vibe you exude with your recent success. Keep doing you and looking great at it. Cute dress too. Happy Spring. -Lisa

  15. Image for Lynn Lynn

    Karianne, I agree with your other followers, you look just fantastic. We can see your weight loss especially in your face. Your blog is very entertaining. It's like sitting down with a good friend. You're the best!

  16. Image for Ivory Ivory

    I love how you got old books that’s falling apart and breath new life into them. I have a few old books that has almost failed apart. I had not thrown them out because for some reason, I still loved the way they looked. Now, thanks to you, I know exactly what to do with them. You took the confused frown off my face, and turned it into a big smile. Thanks again.

  17. Image for Amanda Amanda

    KariAnne, I first saw you in Amy's Circle and love your teaching style. But your story writing is so entertaining, I forget that my house is not as pretty! Hmmmm, will have to paint some books I think.

  18. Image for Tara @ Stilettos and Shiplap Tara @ Stilettos and Shiplap

    Girl you and me are kindred spirits! There is not a time I go to a thrift store or yard sale or flea market (or almost anywhere) that I don't keep my eyes open for books. Big books, little books, old books, new books, ugly books, cute books, kids books, adult books, cookbooks....just BOOKS! Vintage books are my FAVORITE to put almost anywhere around my home and I use so many of the same ways to style them as you do! Love this post!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.