How I use books in my decor

One thing I’ve noticed at thrift stores is the plethora of used books.  I can usually find them costing ten cents to a dollar.  Sometimes they’ll have a BOGO sale or a BOG2 sale and I can’t pass on a bargain like that.  Why do I need so many books you ask?  Well, I use them almost everywhere!  So today I’m going to show you how I use books in my decor at the farmhouse.

Deconstructed Books

De-constructed books embelleshed with scraps of fabric and twine

I deconstructed the set above by using a sharp blade to cut off the covers.  Then I simply stacked and tied them together with scraps of fabric, ribbon and twine.  The little burlap doily is just another embellishment to make them even cuter than they already are.  These sit on my bedside table/chest. 🙂

deconstructed books used in farmhouse decor

Wow, would you look at that?  No wait, don’t!  I can see dust on the table above!  Goodness, now you know how I roll – blogging before dusting and decorating before baking!  But in my defense, I don’t live here on a daily basis.  Just certain weekends.  Getting back on track – these books are a little more rustic looking and highlight the antler and vintage door knob (hopefully not the dust) .  Ugh.

Painted Books

Painted book with Glidden Paint with Primer that didn't work even after 5 coats

I’ve painted some books with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  That stuff worked like a charm with only one coat.  With the red book above I wasn’t so lucky.  I used left over Glidden Paint with a built in Primer and gave up after 5 coats.  It’s still pink.  See it in the picture below?  I do like pink but not for this project.  The navy and green books turned out fine with the Glidden paint.  In Glidden’s defense though, it doesn’t say it’s for “books”.  But who uses paint only for it’s labeled purposes?  Hello, not me.

Painted books for farmhouse decor



With these lovely painted books I simply used a Sharpie Marker and wrote PRAY on the paper edges.  You could also turn them around and write titles, numbers or anything else really.  These books are sitting above the TV.

Books that were painted and had the word PRAY wtritten on them with a Sharpie pen for farmhouse decor

Below are two of the other painted books used only to blend in with the table and elevate the clock a bit.  I’d rather have the antique box with hydrangeas and the clock be more noticeable than the white painted books.

White painted books used in farmhouse decor

Color Clumping

If you’d rather not paint or deconstruct books, you can clump like colors together like these below.  I turned them around because the bindings were distracting and I wanted my sons school project to get highlighted rather than the busy bindings.  Isn’t he a beauty – in a weird, crazy kinda way?   Even though it has bulgy googly eyes and a broken tail, you know this momma doesn’t care.  It’s special memories.

books in decor highlighting special objects

I love the cartoon below.  It’s totally me.  But if I had all of the books turned around facing forward or had the book jackets still on, you’d probably not see it.  That’s why I keep similar colors together or turn them around.  It’s less distracting when the book covers and pages are related in color.

Layering books for decor

Layering items in the front and back gives the display depth and excitement.  Like the books below.  All I did was switch out the pale green comic with a coordinating colored sign and then include a wreath behind the books.  Just the added layers make this book vignette more interesting.

tan books with layers for decorating

Different Ideas

Books don’t have to sit on a shelf.  Below I wanted some red so the living room looked more patriotic during the fourth of July celebrations.  So by adding a few books in key areas, it sends your eyes around the room instead of stopping in one place.

red books used in decor to add color for a patriotic display

Different Ideas

Don’t forget cook books can be used in decor too!  This one by The Gathering of Friends is so pretty I don’t want it hidden between stacks of others.  It sits on the counter in the kitchen looking all dainty and sophisticated.  I have about 5 of these recipe books.  If you can find one, get it.  They are beautiful!  The book holder is from them as well.  I added the silver spoon with hot glue to the top.  It’s so stinkin cute – I love it!

recipe book used for decor in kitchen

Well there you have it, that’s how I use books in my decor.  Next time you’re at the thrift shop or at a garage sale, pick up some books and go crazy implementing them into your decor.  I bet you can come up with a few ideas I’ve not thought of.  And if you do have a brain surge, don’t forget to tag me when/if you share them on Instagram!

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Pretty Pintastic Party

8 Comments

  1. Barb
    August 8, 2017 / 7:46 am

    I love to use books too but you gave me some great ideas. Thanks Cindy

    • August 8, 2017 / 11:01 am

      Oh yay Barbara! I love knowing you were inspired. Are you on Instagram? Post a picture of how you’ve used books – I’d love to see them!

  2. Lynn
    August 8, 2017 / 8:06 am

    Cindy, I love your posts! Keep ’em coming!

    • August 8, 2017 / 11:03 am

      Thank you Lynn… for reading, commenting, and loving them of course. It makes my day when I see comments. Big hugs!

  3. Valerie Williams Bigler
    August 8, 2017 / 11:58 am

    Cindy, I don’t have a DIY, or decorative bone in my body, but I love seeing what you have done! I really enjoy your blog, great job!

    • August 8, 2017 / 1:16 pm

      Thank you Valerie! You’d be surprised how much you can learn just from pictures. Keep reading and commenting and I’ll keep posting. So glad you enjoy my little blog. 😊

  4. August 17, 2017 / 3:02 pm

    Cindy I too love to use books as decor. I had a wall unit full of them and it was driving me crazy so I turned them backwards just like you are showing us. And boy, what a difference that made. All of a sudden the room was so much quieter and I had an instant canvas for my knick knacks. Your use of the red color is masterful. And your boy’s little monster is just adorable.

    • August 17, 2017 / 3:51 pm

      Thank you Mary! Turning them does make a huge difference. 😊