I recently came across an image on IG that I just fell in love with. It was a stack of old, antique, worn books covered in a dark green velvet. The edges of the books had just the right amount of wear to look shabby, but so cool. They also had an old, yellowed label at the top of the spine. I decided I needed to recreate them for myself to display on my mantel. I recently found an amazing vintage paint by number and I knew something like that would pair perfectly together. I wanted to share with you the process for creating vintage-inspired green velvet display books so you can make your own; It’s as easy as making a fabric book cover. You can also watch the video with this post of the process from start to finish.
This is a great way to repurpose old books laying around. I used some books I read that weren’t such great reads, but they are perfect for projects. If you don’t have any books laying around, the thrift store or even dollar store has books that will work. If you want to make them look more like a set than random books, make sure to choose books of the same size. You can even make larger ones with encyclopedias like these upcycled ones that I made over with paint.
The supplies to make velvet covered books are: White craft glue, hot glue, velvet of choice, scissors, paper, small number rubber stamps, cream paper, Distress ink in (Tea Dye )brown.
I found my green velvet on Etsy, but JOANN Fabrics also carries different shades of velvet. These would also be amazing in a dark blue or even a beautiful deep mustard color. That’s the best part, these fabric covered books can be completely customized to fit in any decor.
You can also grab all of the supplies on Amazon here.
To start covering your books, cut a velvet rectangle two inches larger than the size of the book. You can do this a couple of ways. You can do like I did an just eyeball it, or you can lay the book down and trace around it, giving it a one to two inch allowance all of the way around. Once you have your velvet cut out, the next step is to glue the fabric to the book cover.
Spread white craft glue somewhat evenly (but not perfectly) on one side of the book and press the velvet on top pressing firmly and smoothing to get all of the wrinkles out. Flip the book over and repeat with the other side, making sure not to miss the spine area. Let dry.
Once the white glue is dry, trim the velvet with scissors, cutting off the corners on a angle. Also make small cut marks on the edge of the crease where the book cover meets the spine. That will be trimmed closely, folded over and glued at the end.
Use hot glue to then glue the edges down. You can use white tacky craft glue, but it doesn’t stick as readily and the edges may need to be taped down until the glue is dry.
Press to ensure good adhesion of the velvet to the book cover and glue the remaining edges.
Trim the excess velvet at the top of the book along the spine. Leave enough to apply a drop of glue and fold over to create a finished edge.
Once the book is covered in velvet, create a vintage looking label to glue on the spine of the book to add even more character.
To make a vintage looking label, trim a piece of cream colored or parchment paper paper to fit on the spine. Use number stamps to create a “catalog” number. I just picked random numbers that I thought would look old. I even used a old date stamp from the early 2000’s to stamp underneath the larger number block to add some interest and rubbed the edges in the Tea Dye Distress Ink.
Apply white tacky glue to the label and press onto the spine of the book. After applying the vintage label, it’s time to give the velvet book a little “age”.
To make my velvet books look slightly more worn by rubbing a sanding block over the edges to remove a little of the velvet. It did create a little dust, so I would recommend wearing a mask when doing this. After sanding, use a brown stamp like the Distress Ink stamp pad to rub on the edges and spine and label to make the velvet look worn.
They are perfectly aged and worn! They go perfectly on my restyled mantel. They are the perfect prop to display with and add charm and character.
I recently gave my mantel a holiday to winter makeover and used the books, you can see that here.