PB Worn Book

Check out these old, worn out looking books from my latest Pottery Barn catalog. The are usually stacked, tied together, and slightly disheveled.

For some reason, I LOVE THEM! I gotta have them.

Here's what you'll need:
  • Cheap paperback books - you can't go wrong at the dollar store,
  • A sink, container, and/or casserole dishes for the soaking,
  • Herbs, tea bags, or flowers to soak in the..
  • Water you'll need,
  • Twine, thin rope, or embroidery floss (I used the floss),
  • Scissors
  • Child's watercolor kit and sponge brush.

So, if you are using tea or real herbs, start putting them in pots filled with water and boil. Let them boil for about 10 minutes and then steep for another 10 minutes.

While your water is boiling, start ripping the covers off the books. I always kept the title page on top or the dedication; one book had an awesome first page and I made that one the top page of the book.
 Soak in water, binding first.

While I soaked the binding, I liked to open the book here and there so the water would get in the cracks.  Getting water in there really made the pages of the book look uneven and made the binding of the book curl back a little. I also soaked the other edges of the book and tried to keep the middle of the pages mostly dry.
From there you can start accessorizing your book with wear and tear. To do this, I would ripe out a few corners, scratch the pages, roll pages back with my fingers, and anything that would give the book a worn feeling to them.

If you wanted the sides of your book colored, take your watercolor kit and sponge and gently stroke the edges of the book. This sort of replicates those older books with the red edges.

Next, let them dry. This part was brutal because it takes a few days for these babies to dry, depending on how soaked they got.
 Tie with string. I used embroidery floss because I didn't want anything heavy. When I got home, I realized a little too late the color possibilities one could have with embroidery floss...
 and ...VOILA!

I get inspired from your comments and reactions. I would love to get your feedback and ratings, "Uno" meaning you liked it, "Dos" meaning you loved it, and "Très Chic!" meaning it was the totally rad! 
Thanks for visiting! :)

BTW - I am being featured at Inside Out Design for the "Before & After Thursday" series - for this. 


Suzan said...

I am absolutely going to use your technique next weekend to make some aged books! Oh, I also love your black chest with the name on it...so I am stealing that idea, too!!

Brooke said...

I have been wanting to do this for a while because I've been totally admiring those old Pottery Barn books too!!! I am going to feature you tomorrow on my blog for my "Before & After Thursday" series. Thanks so much for the great step-by-step so now I can make my own awesome "aged" books!

Alex Christensen said...

Riva, I just love this idea. I love anything that looks old and well used. I miss you and your fashionable-self!

The Cottage Market {Andrea} ♥ said...

How fabulous is this idea!!! Just WONDERFUL!!!! hugs! thanks for sharing at Junkin Joe...your newest follower : )

Pieced Pastimes said...

Love this idea! I love old books and the stacked displays that are so popular now. Your table vignette is lovely.
Thanks for sharing,
Pieced Pastimes

Dianne said...

Great post, but I missed the part when you soak them in the tea...or whatever you choose. I only saw the soaking of the book in the sink with the binding...then the other sides. Is this when you put the book in the tea to soak for ______ minutes???

Thanks, I am planning on doing this for sure.

Riva said...

Great question Dianne! I didn't soak for very long, just until the pages got wet. You want take care with how long because you don't want your pages to turn mushy. I hope that's helpful. :)

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