Thursday, April 10, 2014

Salvaging Antique Books for Decor


Hi all, its Paula of flea.o.logy fame again.  Today I thought I would share one of my favorite blog post from my blog pollyanna-reinvents  If you love old books, and have ever run across a box of nice old books, with the covers falling off, you may appreciate this method of salvaging them 

I love decorating with old books. Leather bound are the best. But when you find them they are not always in usable condition. I recently had the good luck to find and purchase a box full of old leather bound books. About a third of them were usable.

Which means that two thirds of them were in the condition you see on the left. This book is just one example of the condition of the remainder of the lot. So, I gathered my 'faux book repair' stuff and set to work. Please note that if you have a valuable book, this is not the method to use. This method makes books solid enough to use in decor and is probably all kinds of archivally wrong, so keep that in mind before you start.

Above right you see that I use color copied marbleized end papers to cover the fact that I used clear packaging tape to put the book back together. (the original end paper I used for the copies is in the foreground) I also use Tacky Glue where needed, these along with the spray glue used to apply the faux marbleized paper, are, I am sure, full of nasty acids that will further destroy these books over time. Since these books are foreign language and old text books, they really have no actual value, other than their 'pretty repaired faces' .... so ....


After taping the cover back on, spray glue applying and trimming the new end papers, and sometimes using tacky clue to glue on the spine, if needed, I fill the crack (visible above left) with a tiny bead of tacky glue. Then using the bands that come on asparagus and broccoli, I band the books to let the glue dry.
The bands are great because they cause curved pressure on the spine, which is just what you need, and help to have the spine and front or back boards make contact with the thin bead of glue you filled the crack with helping it to form a bond.

In this picture you see a book with its original end papers in tack, on top of a book with my faux end papers.
Saving these books is great, they look super in stacks, or with statuary on them. They help you add layered height to your displays. 

Thanks for stopping by, now you too can go save some old books! 

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