I am obsessed with old books. I can sit for hours flipping through the pages trying to decipher the little pencil scribblings surrounded by worm holes, French if I'm lucky. Wondering which countries they have been to, which oceans they have crossed...who read these pages?
So, when we moved into our new house last year, I had a LOT of bookshelves to tackle. Coming from a house without many bookshelves at all, it was daunting because I always think that they can look so cluttered if you aren't careful. I really wanted it to look like I had a huge collection of very old books, but if you want them to be cream and vellum, which I did, they are very pricy. I allow myself one per year.
These are the bookshelves before we moved in...
A lot of people ask me where I found all of those old books???
Inspiration and secret:
Luckily for me, my mother-in-law has been a designer and antique dealer for years and she has taught me so much! Here are a couple of her collections:
She has the most beautiful collection of vellum books, so envious.
More vellum from magazines, favorite antique stores...uh, would love to have these.
So, to answer the question...I made my "old" books.
I went to Goodwill and bought only books with a "deckled edge". Here is an example of what that would look like:
I ripped the covers off of the books and tried to find a page with no writing for the front page.
Next, I put 1 cup of Sherwin Williams Stone Lion paint into a bucket and filled the bucket with water. I soaked the books in the bucket for about 5 minutes each and then set them in the sun to dry. I left them out in the sun for 2 days, allowing the pages to curl and crinkle. I gathered them in groupings and wrapped them together with jute, twine, string and french ribbon, all different. Instant old books!
Here is a close-up: