Damaged, Stained old books? … Don’t Throw Them Out!


January 10, 2016 by Terry

We all have a stash of old books somewhere that are just sitting there taking up valuable storage space and are well, just plain ugly!

I have a box full in my garage that have seen better days for sure.  Some of them I have never read and to be honest, do not have any interest in.  The  box of books had been given to me after I did the French China Cabinet with the book page backboard.


While book pages are great for adding detail to your projects and for doing other fun things… I really didn’t need that many :)  I also didn’t want to just throw them out and some are pretty old.  While they are old ( one was from 1927!) they aren’t in good shape and aren’t rare. So for all you book collectors out there … don’t panic and don’t hate me … they were already damaged :)

During my recent room refresh I needed some visual interest in the room and decided that I would use these books to fill an old antique sewing machine lid that I bought a year or so ago.  I bought it solely because it was so dry and tattered and I liked the look of it.

I never knew just what to use it for.  It was falling apart pretty good and was quite fragile, hence the twine holding it all together.

So I took my old books and removed the covers, rolled them in half and tied them with a piece of hemp twine.  Simply threw each one into the sewing machine lid and continued to do so until it was full.

The result was simple visual interest.  It sort of reminds me of and old kindling log made from newspapers.

I quite like the look of the yellowed rough pages and the bare spines.  Old paper has such a different feel from what we make books from now.


rr9I have placed this under the end table next to my French Carved Salon Chair that I upholstered this past summer.


The neutral colors of the natural wood tones, the book pages and the fabric on the chair help to create a relaxing feel in the space.

Things are really coming together!

Have a great weekend!



Sharing at:

Stone Gable


12 thoughts on “Damaged, Stained old books? … Don’t Throw Them Out!

  1. The look is so elegant. The neutral color scheme with the different textures is so soothing.


  2. Terry, that’s a great idea that definitely adds some visual interest and probably will become a conversation piece as well!


  3. What a great idea Terry! I have sooo many old books kicking around as well and as a book lover I hate to throw them out because they are old but most really aren’t in great condition. I love, love, love this idea! Have a great week. Hugs, Lisa :)


  4. Great idea never thought of that. Thanks for sharing on The Scoop!


  5. I love all the neutral natural colors together and your chair is gorg! Great idea!


  6. Totally stealing this idea!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. vanessasmodernvintagehome says:

    I swoon over old books!!!! swoon! Great job dear girl! I do love it

    Liked by 1 person

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Thank you so much Larissa @prodigalpieces for tagging me in today's #trashure fun!  I don't know that this French chair was trash to begin with but it certainly did make its way into being a treasure indeed! This is my most recent makeover!💕#makeover #beautiful #statementpiece #upholstery #frenchchair There are 2 sides to everything and in this makeover too!  Velvety glam on the front and a modern statement in peacock feathers hugging the back!  Soooo pretty! 💕💕#thecuratorscollection #obsessed #sofine #soglam #feathers #velvet #statementpiece #beautiful #makeover #upholstery I am obsessed!! These (there are 2!) might just be the most luxurious chairs I have ever re upholstered! Gorgeous metallics mixed with luxurious fine velvets!  Wait till you see the backside of these chairs!  They will be delivered to their home tomorrow morning!  Can't wait!! #luxury #glamglow #makeover #upholstered #stunning #thecuratorscollection #soglam #sofine #obsessed Okay... here's a peek at the "during" of these two sweet chairs. They were  my client's Nana's chairs and it is my hope that Nana would be pleased with this makeover. #nanaschair #thecuratorscollection #makeover #upholstered #velvet #newlook #soglam #metallic So this is what has been keeping me busy these days... actually there are 2 of them! Without giving away what they look like now I thought I would share what the choices for fabric were first. My client chose the print for the backside and the velvet for the front side with exquisite soft pink velvet for the welting and the arms. I also gave the orange looking wood a glamorous look with some warm silver metallic paint. I hope to share with you soon! I don't want to share the reveal before the owner has had a chance to see them :). #thecuratorscollection #upholstered #makeover #velvet #soglam #mynanas Soooooo this is my current situation.... I'm on sewing machine number three in 2 days and a deadline nearing the end in 4 days! 😬 I SWEAR ITS NOT ME! Lol... hubby is trying to fix mine after bringing me home one from one of his co-worker's wife's ... how sweet is he? 💕huge shout out of gratitude to Mrs. Schafer for helping me in a pinch! 😘🌷#stressfulday #sewing #upholstery #deadlines #sweetpeople #thankyou #gratitude

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