Stamped book stacks are so popular right now & what’s not to love!? They are such a great way to add some vintage looking decor to your room that you can make personalized with any seasonal words, inspirational sayings, or family names & important dates.
They are perfect to change out for the seasons, add a touch of ribbon &/or greenery, & they can add such a great highlight to your decor! When styling a table top, they also add a perfect element to add height & dimension to complete your decor.
And, the best part is….they are so simple & inexpensive to make!! Keep reading to see how I make the words WITHOUT using stamps or painting them by hand….it is AWESOME!!!
There are TWO BASIC METHODS FOR THE BOOK PART.
- Hardback books – Paint them w/ chalk paint.
- Paperback books- Tear off the cover.
LET’S GET STARTED!!
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- paperback or hardback books
- white chalk paint
- grey chalk paint (optional to paint the page edges)
- foam paint brushes
- printer paper
- Microsoft Paint program on computer
1. Find the books you want to use. Perhaps, you have old books around your house that you want to use, but if not check out yard sales & thrift stores and even ask friends who may be happy to clear out some old books taking up space. Decide if you want to do hardcover books and paint them or do paperback books where we will tear off the covers. Decide how many books you want in your stack, generally 3 or 4 works well, depending on the words you want to put on them. Select a grouping of books that stack well together based on their size and thickness.
2. Paint the hardcover books. I recommend using FOAM PAINT BRUSHES, these are from Amazon. They are so easy & inexpensive. We always keep an assortment of them on hand. I use WHITE CHALK PAINT (link to Amazon) to paint the books. I do 2-3 coats on the books. A small jar will easily do more than one set, but just keep in mind that the chalk paint will go pretty fast if you have more than one stack you are doing and it may be a better value to get a larger jar. A piece of cardboard from a large box works great to paint on. Allow the first coat to dry for a few hours and then apply the second coat. I also paint the edge of the cover that rolls into the inside cover, just to keep a more uniform look and that there isn’t a color peaking through on the edges of the book.
Once the cover is done with the 2-3 coats and is dry, I also found that on the hardcover books, I like the page edges painted, as well. I have some books that had colored pages that were noticeable, so I did it on the first one I did and thought it gave a really nice tone to the book and make them look cohesive as a set. For this, I use grey chalk paint. I use the foam brush, but have little on the brush. It also doesn’t hurt if there is a little bit of the white still in your brush, the mix of the colors creates a more worn look to the edge that works quite well.
3. If you are using paperback books for your stack. Tear off the front and back covers, as well as the spine of each book. Do this for each book you want in your stack. You can also take a look at the top page you want exposed for the book that will be on the top of your stack. Perhaps, you want a page that is more blank or maybe you like to see a full page of text. You can always tear off a few sheets to pick which page you want to see.
4. Now we are ready for the AWESOME PART!!! CREATING THE WORDING!!! You are going to love this trick. I first saw this method from an amazing blogger I follow on INSTAGRAM. Janna Allbritton at Yellow Prairie Interiors is just one of those people on social media who is so warm and a joy to follow. Janna shared this method to create a painted wooden sign in her home and it is just the best. I believe she shared that she learned it from another blogger she follows. I just love how we can all share great tips we learn along the way to help each other out! What I love about this method is you do not need to go out and buy stamps. Stamps can work great, too, but then you are stuck to one size and one font. I love that this method allows you to create any size and font in seconds, yay!! Also, you do not need to buy paint or stencils!! So….what do you need??? All you need is a printer!! We will use Microsoft Paint. Open the program and click to create a new textbox.
Select your font, I used Courier New in the stacks shown in this post. And, select your font size, which depends on the size of your books and how much text you want to fit on them. You might want to play around with the font size a bit. Once you have your text, you are ready to flip it! To do this, first, click on the HOME tab.
Next, select ROTATE & then ROTATE HORIZONTAL.
Once you do this, you should see the image now rotated and appear in mirror image.
You can now print your page.
5. Once you have your printed page of your mirror image text, you can now do the tracing to transfer the text to your book. Simply, place the word over the spine of the book where you want it to be, checking to see that it is straight and adjusting for how much margin you want on either end of the book. Then use a pencil and trace over the letters to transfer the ink onto your book. Magic!!!
This tends to create a somewhat faded looking version of the text. I prefer this style as it goes with the aged, vintage look I am trying to create. If you prefer a darker look to your words, you can then go over them with a fine tip Sharpie marker.
6. Then, it is time to style your book stack. You can simply wrap them in twine, or add some layers of twine and ribbon, which is a great idea for seasonal themed book stacks. Also, depending on how you want to display your stack and how big the words are on it, you can wrap the ribbon either horizontally or vertically around the books. Finally, consider adding a little touch of greenery or other embellishment to finish the look.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope this helps you create your own book stacks quickly and easily…and best of all CHEAPLY!! Enjoy & please let me know how you make out! What do your book stacks say??
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