Old books still have lots of life! So, how do you repurpose old encyclopedias or books that you know some one paid a few hundred dollars for about 30 years ago and can’t bear to throw out? Especially when you come across a huge stack at the thrift store and can’t bear to leave them behind!
It’s hard to believe a few short years ago, if you needed to know the population of Samoa, you had to look up everything you wanted to know in an actual book. Do you remember hunting through these doing your history homework? And depending on when they were bought, the information might be out of date and no one thought twice about it. There was no up to the minute news bites or telling the kids “we’ll Google it.” In fact even in college, when the internet had just begun taking off, we were only allowed to use it as a resource as a last ditch effort….And we were told not to really trust the answer….
So when my mom hauled up a set of A-Z from the basement, I know she hated to just dumped them, but they really weren’t worth anything.They weren’t old enough to have any great pictures or text or just “be cool” as old books. I always see tons of these at the thrift store just sitting on the shelves, so I told her I would play around with them a bit and see if I could give them some new life. It’s an easy fix to repurpose old encyclopedias into aged display books.
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They first received a coat of white acrylic craft paint. You could also use flat paint, or if you are a chalky paint fan, you could use chalky paint too.
I liked these because the spines were embossed and I knew they would pick up distressing really well.
I didn’t make the paint too perfect, I wanted the unevenness to add to the aged look, it really adds to the look when you repurpose old encyclopedias. You could also remove the covers and create this cute stamped book stack.
Once all of the books were painted, I glazed both sides. You could also play with wax on them. It might have a really cool effect.
I also gave them a quick spray with a matte sealer to make sure the ink wouldn’t smudge.
They are all ready for a new life as display books( A few might just have to sneak their way back into her house. ):)and maybe a bit of a history lesson if I ever want to page through them again. 🙂 If I want to know the population of Samoa 60 years ago.