Today I want to show you how to make a simple but powerful decor statement in your home: a vintage book bundle. I got this idea from Pottery Barn, whose magazines I can hardly look at unless I’ve spent adequate time with Jesus. My “wanter” starts wanting too much; but if I indulge healthily, I can appreciate the pristine beauty and creative genius that is Pottery Barn’s decor. Hidden in the backgrounds on some of their magazine’s pages are vintage book bundles. I don’t know if it’s because I like reading, but whenever my eye comes across a bundle of cover-less books bound together in rope or twine, my heart starts racing.
Pottery Barn no longer sells the bundles–if they ever did. But I see them now and again in their ads and I still love them. I’ve also seen these naked books for sale on other websites, and they cost a little bit more than I’m willing to pay. Before I take you through how I created my own version, let me first preface this by saying that I am no craft wizard. I love to make DIY knockoffs. But I never do them precisely right. I’m not a perfectionist, and I’m a far cry from being Martha Stuart. I hope that if you’re anything like me, you feel empowered knowing that if I can do this, so can you.
For this particular project, I first went out on a quest for books. You can use new books, but then you’d end up with a white bundle, which might throw off the vintage look. So I went to a local antique store which I knew sold random books on the second floor in a small closet. Seriously, a closet of weird books. And the books I got were vintage in that the actual definition of vintage means the product is over 25 years old. But you can find a book that was published only a few years ago too, just as long as it has a soft back and looks weathered. The more distressed, the better. Consequently, you’ll end up buying cheaper books because most places mark down distressed books. If you aren’t sure where to locate an antique store (although most cities have them and most antique stores have a book section), hit up your local Hastings or Half Priced Book store. I chose books of varying length, so that my bundle would look less uniform. So think outside the box. And no, I didn’t choose books I had read or loved. No one flips through the pages of a bundle of books tied together with jute. So just buy books. A science book, a health book, a racy romance novel, you name it. In fact, its probably better that you attempt to rid the world of trashy books anyhow so feel free to buy bad books, if you’re willing to suffer the curious gazes of the cashier.
For the remainder of this project you simply need a spool of jute. Jute is found at Michael’s and other craft stores. But if you’re really having a hard time finding it, look for anything that looks remotely close to jute. Or if you’re feeling especially romantic, choose a thick ribbon or a thicker rope.
It’s your craft.
There are no rules.
Simple steps to make a vintage book bundle:
1. Remove the soft casing of the book and make sure to remove any printed pages that precede the blank page. Most books have one blank page before the work of the book begins, so you want to leave that page as the top “page” of the book. As you remove the cover, don’t worry about peeling off the binding, the more weathered your binding looks, the more vintage appeal your bundle will have.
2. Stack the books however you like them. For me, I had the larger books on bottom, and I love the way it turned out.
3. Wrap the books with the jute like you would wrap a ribbon around a present. You can tie a bow or not tie a bow. It’s up to you. It’s your vintage book bundle.
4. Place the vintage book bundle strategically in your home. I had an empty cage that I used, but my books weren’t tall enough so I used a thick dictionary underneath and covered the dictionary with burlap cloth and placed the books on top so they had a prime location. And the vintage book bundle cage now sits on top of our media center in the living room, ensconced by a pillar candle and the frame of an old door I picked up at a local antique store for ten bucks.
And, voila! Your own vintage book bundle! It’s a conversation piece, and a lovely, cheap way to decorate your home. That’s one thing I love about shabby chic decorating, the more distressed and imperfect your crafting, the better the result. So heartsick crafters, take courage! Imperfection is now perfection.
So, what do you think of my vintage book bundle??
Copyright © Charis Freije, Moms of Faith®, All Rights Reserved
Amanda Shaw says
I REALLY NEED to get this book bundle! I just moved into a new home and am so tired of my house feeling plain and unorganized and without that comfort feeling! I need help!
What a great weekend project! Adds a great dash of style with a creative twist on how to display all of those books hanging around. Gotta try this at our house.
Christina Kelbel says
That is very nice. I love antique and vintage looking pieces like that.
Michelle L says
I like this. Thanks for the idea.