I love stencils! I mean, what easier way could there be to dress up something Plain Jane and give it a whole new look? I was super excited when Plaid sent me some of the brand new Handmade Charlotte stencils. I knew almost immediately what I wanted to make, and its the perfect home decor project for my in-the-works living room makeover!
I recovered some old unused books with fabric that I dressed up even further with the Handmade Charlotte stencils and FolkArt paint for some fun decorative stenciled book covers!
I received this adorable stencil pack as well and some stencil sponges and lot of FolkArt paint in fun colors.
These stencil designs are super trendy.
This particular pack includes chevron and honeycomb which are both super popular right now!
I decided to upcycle 3 books from our bookshelf that have been doing nothing but collecting dust.
I'm not sure how a couple of them even made it into our collection, and the Harbrace Handbook (from my high school English classes!) is so out of date that it wouldn't do anyone in this house any favors.
You could also scavenge book at your local thrift store for super cheap.
Just be sure your books are of descending size so they will look nice when stacked.
Lay the fabric you are going to cover the book with out on a flat surface and then place the open book on top of it. Trim the fabric down to size leaving at least 1.5-2 inches around all of the edges.
Measure approximately where the spine of your book is and mark it with either a disappearing fabric pen or with some tape like I did.
The Handmade Charlotte stencils are made of a heavy cardstock material. The designs are perforated so you just punch them out. To paint the spines of my books, I only punched out what I needed to which helped prevent me getting paint in unwanted areas.
Tape down the ends of the stencil so that it doesn't move around. Use the stencil sponge to daub on the paint.
Tip: Always pounce a stencil; never brush or you will end up getting paint under the stencil.
Since this particular book is going at the top of the stack, I also want to paint a design on the top of the cover.
I used the raindrop pieces I punched out of the stencil as a mask on top of the book cover. I used small Glue Dots to hold them in place. I used a regular paint brush to paint along the edges of the mask. Then, for a more eclectic look, I splattered some of the paint around the top of the book cover by running my thumb along the brush.
I love how it turned out!
Now, notice the notches above and under the spine?
To make those, lay the spine of your book along the pre-determined spine of the fabric cover.
Trim the fabric to within 1/4-1/2 of an inch to the end of the spine.
For the my next book I went with the chevron stencil.
If you mess up a stencil with straight lines like I did with this one, you can easily correct it with a flat firm paint brush.
And for my last book I went with an all over polka dot look!
Did you notice I also numbered all of my books? The numbers were included in the Handmade Charlotte pack!
And everything is better with numbers, right?
Okay, let's work on attaching the book cover to the book, shall we?
Lay your fabric out upside down on a flat surface.
You can add a small amount of double sided tape (or rolled masking tape like I did) to the spine to prevent the fabric from slipping while you work. Lay the spine of the book on the spine of the fabric.
Working on one side of the book at a time, fold over the top and bottom sections of fabric and tape them in place. Then fold the side like you would a piece of gift wrap and fold it over onto the book and tape in place.
Repeat the above process with the other side of the book. If the spine is slightly off, make adjustments. Once you have it perfect you can either leave it as is or go back and glue the fabric down.
Now we need to make the ends of the spine pretty!
You can choose to use an adhesive for this or not. On this particular book I did not need to. But for the other two I used some Glue Lines to hold the fabric down.
What you need to do:
Using a tool with a pointed end or a flat end (I used a combo of a paper piercer and the flat end of a bone folder), fold over the material over the lip of the spine. If you can, tuck it behind where the pages of the book are bound together. If the material flat out refuses to go there, use a small bit of adhesive to hold it in place. Then tuck the rest of the material down for a nice finished look.
Didn't these turn out fun?
I couldn't resist adding my little glittered elephant to help show them off.
Now that I have some custom decor to add to the living room, I'm in all the more mood to get that room complete and off of my to-do list!