Fabric Covered Books

A little over a year ago I shared the fabric covered book I made to put in our guest bathroom to class the joint up a bit.  Well, a few days ago I went bananas and started covering all of my thrift store and yard sale hardback books with fabric.  So I thought I’d share this super easy and inexpensive DIY with you.  Some of you may wonder why covering books with fabric is necessary.  Answer: it’s not.  But fabric covered books are pretty, cheap decor pieces that you can disperse throughout your home.

how to make a fabric covered book

So a few days ago I went a little crazy covering a bunch of books with fabric, which helped me perfect my book covering technique.  However, when it came time to photograph the process I had run out of books.  Whoopsies.  I decided to run to Goodwill since it’s the closest “thrift store” to our house.  I grabbed a book and headed to check out.  When the cashier said, “that’ll be $2.66″ I was all “say whaaaat?!”  Forgive me, but I don’t think a pre-owned book published in 1987 should cost more than two items on McDonald’s dollar menu.

This book debacle has solidified my boycott of Goodwill.  I’m over it.  I’ve been on the verge of breaking up with them for a while, especially after reading this article and this article and viewing this news report and watching their prices slowly skyrocket.  ($9.99 for an ugly, 1970s lamp– sans lampshade?  Me thinks not.)  One of their employees with a disability would have to work for 12 hours in order to pay for the book I purchased.  I get that this practice is legal, but it doesn’t sit well with me.  I can’t support a “nonprofit” that prides itself on doing good, though it operates the way it does.  So if you see me shopping there I give you permission to punch me in the throat.

Now, I’ll dismount my soap box and head into the meat of this post– the tutorial.

I prefer to use interesting books for this project– ones that will surprise the people who open them.  This specific literary masterpiece is Vanna White’s autobiography, published in 1987.  While I’m not a Wheel of Fortune fan (Jeopardy is my jam), I’ve always liked Vanna and her sparkly gowns.

fabric covered book materials needed

To recap, you’ll need:

hot glue gun
butter knife
spray adhesive

Before you get started, I recommend ironing the fabric if there are any creases in it.  And remove the book jacket, obviously.  Also, cut your fabric with roughly 1-2 inches of overhang all the way around the book.

Note: it’s best to put down some newspaper, or the like, before breaking out the spray adhesive.  Unless you prefer glue on your table.

Begin by spraying the spray adhesive on the back book cover and spine.  Don’t go too wild and crazy.  Just give it a nice coating.  Turn the book over, position it on the fabric how you want it, press down, turn it over so the back is now facing you, and smooth it out with your hand.

fabric covered book instructions

Do the same for the front cover.

fabric covered book tutorial

You should leave at least 1 inch of excess fabric around the book.  You can always cut the fabric down if you have more than an inch.

book covered with fabric

Cut two slits on each side of the spine.  We’ll come back to the spine later.

fabric book

Grab your glue gun.  Add some glue along the longer edge of fabric where it will meet up with the book.  Don’t go completely to the edges of the fabric.  Fold over onto the inside cover.

book tutorial

It should look like this.

fabric book tutorial

Put a dab of glue where the fabric meets on the corner.  Press the fabric together.

fabric book instructions

Run some glue along the edge of the fabric.  Secure the fabric to the inside of the cover.

DIY fabric covered book

I fold the outer corners in a little bit and glue them into place so the finished product looks like this.

DIY fabric covered book instructions

Now, onto the spine.  I recommend cutting the fabric to 1/2 inch.

fabric book how to

Get that butter knife and use it to fold the piece of fabric into the spine.  You can use a little dab of glue to secure the fabric if you want.

book with fabric

This is how the spine should look after using the butter knife.

book how to

And now you have a beautiful, fabric covered book.  Added bonus: it’s all about Vanna White’s mysterious life.

book covered in fabric

Remember, this DIY shouldn’t break the bank.  Use old hardback books you already own or pick up some at garage sales.  Utilize leftover fabric from other projects.  If you’re going to buy fabric use a coupon.  I never pay full price for fabric– that’s just silly.

how to make fabric covered books

fabric covered books

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DIY Gold Striped Vases

Remember a month or so ago when I shared my gold dipped vase?  Well, when I made that particular vase I also made some other goldlicious (yep, totally a word) vases.  I’m finally getting around to sharing them with you because now I have pretty peony blooms from my garden to put in the vases.  If you follow me on Instagram (@twotwentyone) you know what I’m talking about.

DIY gold striped vase

This is one of the easiest and most inexpensive projects in the history of DIY.  I used leftover vases, purchased from Dollar Tree, that we used for our wedding.  Hello, $1 vases and a $4 can of spray paint.

For the first vase, I used Frog Tape painters tape and washi tape.  Yeah, washi tape.  Then I goldified (yep, totally a word) the vase with Rustoleum’s gold metallic spray paint.  Two light coats is all it took– don’t go bananas or you’ll get drips.  I waited about 5 minutes and carefully peeled off the tape.  Don’t wait too long.

For a detailed tutorial (with photos), see the gold dipped vase post.

how to spray paint a vase

But I couldn’t stop there.  So I made another vase.

gold striped vase

For this one, I used only the painters tape– swirling it around the vase and using a little on the lip.

gold painted vase

Seriously, when you have 20+ leftover $1 vases sitting around its hard not to stop.  So, you guessed it, I made another.

DIY gold vertical striped vase

I used the blue washi tape on this one, creating vertical lines.  Then I used the painters tape to cover the top part of the vase.

spray paint a vase

Aren’t they gorgeous for being dollar store vases?  They look like something you’d find at Target or Homes Good for a fraction of the price.

pink and fuchsia peonies

They’re the perfect hostess gift, in my opinion.  Stop by the grocery store on your way over and pick up a bouquet to put in them.  Or, if you’re in the sharing mood, clip some blooms from your garden to put in the vase.

pink peony in gold vase

Remember, you can do this to practically any clear vase you have in your home.  There’s no reason to go out and spend more money if you already have some random vases hanging out in a cabinet.

DIY gold striped vases

Who’s feeling the itch to golidify some vases?
Don’t they look 5 times more expensive than what they cost to make?
Who’s tired of me posting peony photos on Instagram?  (Don’t answer that.)

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Springified Card Catalog Vignette

Guess what?  I got my camera back.  Woot!  The camera body and both of my lenses had issues.  (Not my fault.)  Craziness.  Now that I have it back I’m able to get down to business.  Blogging without a functioning camera is very limiting, as you can imagine.  Although, I’m very proud of my iPhone 4s for standing in for this post and this post.

Anyway, I recently springified the card catalog.  I used some things from around the house, and I bought a few new things.

spring card catalog

I used the canvas of us k-i-s-s-i-n-g in some trees since, well, there are trees in the photo, and trees are green and springlike.  Although this engagement photo was taken in the fall, but you can’t tell.

spring card catalog vignette

The books were Christmas gifts– great coffee table books, by the way.  I scored the coral from Kohls for $10.  The agate slice under the coral is from a rock and gem show in Arizona.  You may have seen the photo I posted on Instagram of my treasures.  My middleman, Caitlin, from Desert Domicile was my agate slice scout.  I put those little cabinet bumper things on the bottom of this slice so it wouldn’t mark up the book.

books agate slice and coral

Sidebar: Didn’t Caitlin pick out the most gorgeous agate slices for me?  More on what I do with the rest of them later.

agate slices

I picked up the wooden crate and greenery ball thing at Home Goods with a Christmas gift card.  I already had the books and candle holder.  In case you’re wondering, which you probably aren’t, the candle is Coco Loco from Bath & Body Works.  If you know me, you know I have an obsession with coconut scented candles, reed diffusers, car fresheners… basically anything that smells like coconut.

crate with books

I didn’t get an up-close photo of the blanket basket, but I used the same quilt and knit blanket I always keep in the wire basket below the card catalog.  The thing I love about the multicolored quilt is that I can fold it so seasonal colors are showing.  For Christmas, I folded it so red and green colors were showing.  I’m pretty sure my great-grandma had this in mind when she made it decades ago.

Have you been springifying your home?
Do you have agate slices mixed into your decor?
Who loves coconut scented things as much as me?

two twenty one

Easy Art: Framed Ticket Stubs

In case you haven’t caught on, I like to save things.  Some may define it as borderline hoarding, but I call it treasuring memories.  It’s not like I’m holding on to empty milk jugs and cereal boxes.  So there.

One of the things I like to save are ticket stubs from important events.  I’m not talking about a regular movie ticket stub– those get thrown away.  See, I’m definitely not a hoarder.  I’m talking about ticket stubs from vacations.  As you can see below, I framed the ticket stubs from my visits to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.  To me, they’re like little pieces of art.  And I love how the Louvre ticket is stamped with the date and the cost of the ticket.

framed ticket stubs

The framed Paris themed ticket stubs are currently residing at the top of my home office gallery wall.

home office gallery wall

I recently got around to framing Brad and I’s tickets from the Zac Brown Band concert we went to last summer.  Why did I frame these?  Well, because they were my first wedding anniversary gift to Brad.  According to tradition, your first wedding anniversary gift is supposed to be paper.  I gave myself a pat on the back for coming up with the ticket idea.

framed concert tickets

We’ll never forget that concert.  Partly because it was to celebrate our first wedding anniversary, and partly because we had never sweat so much in our entire lives just standing still.  This was an outdoor concert in 104 degree humid heat.  We brought extra bottles of water, and I brought a couple mini menopausal neck fans to try to keep cool.  But seriously, if there was a call out for wet t-shirt contestants I would have volunteered just to be doused with water.  Cross my heart.

I recently came across my ticket stub from when I kissed the Blarney Stone.  I still need to frame it.  I mean, how could I not frame it?  Making out with a piece of rock on a castle while being dangled seven stories high is definitely a monumental event in one’s life.

blarney castle ticket stub

So the next time you’re on vacation consider holding on to your ticket stubs.  I think they’re pretty cool pieces of one’s personal history.  And they’re easy and interesting pieces of art to have in your home.

Read more about my most treasured travel souvenirs here.

Do you hold on to ticket stubs? Did you give paper gifts for your first wedding anniversary? Have you ever been to the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, or Blarney Castle?

two twenty one

Home Office Details

Thanks for all your amazingly sweet comments yesterday about my home office makeover reveal.  You guys are the bomb diggity.

Today I’m sharing some more details about the makeover and where I purchased everything.  And you know how I like transparency, so I’m also sharing the approximate cost of the makeover.  I’m going to give the prices of things I specifically purchased for the makeover.

ikea expedit

Wall color: Voyage by Valspar… $30

Workstation: 6×6 Ikea Expedit shelving unit and Expedit desk… $200 + $50 = $250 (BUT it was technically free to me because I cashed out some credit card points I acquired through paying for our wedding expenses.)

White boxes and magazine files: Ikea Kassett… $55

Pink boxes: Hobby Lobby… $35

Bridal bouquet canvas: Canvas On Demand (Groupon)… $45

ball canning jars used for craft storage


Clear Ball mason jelly jars: Goodwill… $12

Turquoise Ball mason jars: Yard sale and Goodwill

Bakers twine: eBay (18 spools)

Washi tape: Target

Vintage thread spools: Grandma

Buttons: JoAnn Fabric

printer cart

Printer cart: Gift

Greeting card organizer: Gift via Amazon.com (read about it here)

Here’s the before and after of the printer cart.  I used spray paint to spruce it up a bit.

printer cart before and after

home office makeover 2

Chair: Craigslist

Table: Goodwill… $9

Whale:  Kohls

Pillow: Home Goods

Blanket: Handmade gift

Curtains: Target… $20

craft room makeover 1

Gallery wall frames: Ikea (full details here)… ~$100

Katie Daisy print: Katie Daisy… $15

Sewing cabinet: Gift… but, the makeover cost around $40 (read about the makeover here)

Pink storage box: Kohls (read about the makeover here)

Apothecary jars: Micheal’s and Home Goods

Pink threads: thrift shop and grandma

craft room makeover

Fabric covered faux nailhead trimmed memo board:  Upcycled old cork board… $12 (read about the makeover here)

home office hydrangeas

Pink vase: Gift

Personalized lucite tray: DIY project… $15 (read about it here)

Gold polka dot candle holder: Target

Small white bowl: Goodwill

stenciled file cabinet

File cabinet: Gift (read about the makeover here)

Calendar: Anne Taintor via Amazon.com… $13

TOTAL AMOUNT SPENT: $651 – $250 (gift card from credit card points) = $401

A room makeover for less than $500?  Not too bad.

Who’s itching to go to Ikea now?
Any other questions?

two twenty one

Home Office Makeover Reveal

Today’s the day!  My home office/craft room makeover reveal.  I hope it lives up to your expectations.

This room makeover has been in the works for hmm 17 months.   The process was slow.  Obviously.  This goes to show that rooms don’t come together over night.  Remember that.

I must say I really love my office.  It’s my woman cave.  The place where I can display as many pink and feminine things as I want.  Forget about man caves, every chick should have a woman cave.

home office makeover

Let’s start with the largest piece of furniture in the room– the Ikea Expedit workstation.  I decided on this behemoth because it seemed like a good storage solution for my office.  So in May, 2012 Brad and I made the 2 hour drive to Cincinnati, home of the nearest Ikea, to get the workstation, white storage boxes, picture frames, shelves, and some chocolate.

Brad started on the Expedit shelving unit when we got home and had it assembled in an hour.  I don’t know why people complain about assembling Ikea furniture.  Tip: don’t use the supplied dinky Allen wrenches.  Get a cordless drill.  And a beefcake husband.  You’re welcome for the free tip.

ikea expedit

I’m not an overly girly person.  Don’t let this room give you the impression I’m the bubble gum and rainbows cheerleader type.  I’m not.  I just like the color pink.  I mean, our wedding colors were pink and green.

home office details

Speaking of weddings, I tried to sell my DIY wedding program box and card box after our wedding but that didn’t pan out so they’re hanging out on top of the Expedit.  I had my wedding bouquet immortalized on canvas this past summer.  But I still didn’t have the guts to throw away my gross, dried up bouquet.  It’s in the wedding program box.

ikea expedit

I originally bought these shelves (from Ikea) for our guest bathroom but they were too deep, so I put them in the office.  The Ball mason jelly jars I thrifted a while back fit perfectly on the shelves.  I also store my turquoise Ball mason jars on the top shelf.

ball canning jars used for craft storage

I store various craft and sewing supplies in the jelly jars– washi tape, bakers twine, buttons, and vintage thread spools.

ball mason jars used for craft storage

This wooden cart was given to us by Brad’s grandma.  I brightened it up with a little spray paint.  I use it to house our printer, modem, router, my greeting card box, and some of my books.

printer cart

I created a little sitting area/reading nook with one of the chairs I purchased off Craigslist and a table I scored at Goodwill for $9 on half-off Saturday.  The table looked a little rough, so I freshened up with a coat of white spray paint.

home office chair and side table

The blanket has made previous appearances on the blog– it was a wedding present knit by my Great Aunt.  The pillow’s twin has made an appearance on the blog too.

chair with chevron pillow

I showed you how I tackled the gallery wall a few weeks ago.  The process wasn’t as painful as I thought it’d be.

craft room makeover

white gallery wall

I spruced up my grandma Mildred’s sewing cabinet a year ago.  And I showed you how I took the storage box from ugly green to pretty pink last year.

craft room

Thrifted tatting threads and vintage thread spools are displayed in apothecary jars.

pink threads

Last year I covered my teenage cork board I stole from my parent’s basement with fabric and pushed 5,000 thumbtacks along the edge to give it a nailhead trimmed look.  I get phantom pains in my fingers when I look at it.  Just kidding.  Kind of.

craft room makeover

No room reveal post is complete without fresh flowers.  Write that down.

I picked up these hydrangeas for under $5 at our local grocery store.  Two of them were in the clearance section for $.89.  $.89!  And these puppies have lasted well over a week.  They look pretty nice next to my DIY lucite tray, no?

home office hydrangeas

I’m not opening those closet doors and showing you what’s inside. . . yet.  I have a little DIY project planned for the closet.  Hopefully, I’ll get to it within the next 5 years.

The C monogram hanging on my closet door is from college, and the canvas bag is my super cool Two Twenty One bag.  I’m legit.

craft room makeover

Oh look, it’s my stenciled file cabinet.

I had it under the desk, but I didn’t like how it was somewhat hidden so I put it here.  It fits perfectly in this spot.

stenciled file cabinet

The Expedit is pretty awesome.  It holds a whole lot of stuff.  Which is really nice for me because my home office really is my home office.  I’m a self-employed developmental therapist, and I provide in-home therapy in clients’ homes so my home office is my home base.  This room also serves as the Two Twenty One headquarters and my craft room.  Therefore, I have a lot of stuff.  I’m able to store my work related necessities (client files, paperwork, books) along with my blogging, crafting, and personal items in the Expedit.

ikea expedit for home office

Finally, no room reveal post is complete without the appropriate before and after photos.

home office makeover

I hope you enjoyed the home office/craft room tour!

 Find out more details about the makeover, where I purchased everything, and the approximate cost of the makeover HERE.

Budget Home Office / Craft Room Makeover

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