There’s just something about books. A home decorated (or strewn) with books an instantly comfortable place. Lately it has become a popular thing to wrap books, shelve them backward, or otherwise distress them so that they become a neutral. Eh, maybe that’s not for everyone. Personally, I tend to leave my favorite volumes well enough alone. But if you like the idea of decorating with volumes in a way that looks like a million bucks, check out this interesting uncovered book twist from our favorite fun-to-knock-off retailer, Restoration Hardware.
They call them “antiqued uncovered book bundles,” though I call them simply “naked books.” And they are easy to do. See?
How to DIY an Antiqued Uncovered Book Bundle
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thrift store books
jute string (or similar)
I picked up the books for this at a local thrift store. Go for older volumes – the ones with rough cut pages and yellowing pages if you can find them. Most of these volumes came from the 1940s…ish. No, they are not worth much so don’t get all sentimental.
Next you’ll need to split the covers off by cutting along the inside edges. Like so.
The spine will be covered with paper, then a sort of netting, and adhesive. Get off what you can, leave on what you think looks attractive. There are lots of methods you can google for removing the adhesive. I tried them, they didn’t work. So I just scrapped them with my knife. I don’t have any photos of that because, well, fingers.
Next I raided my supplies and found some white thread. I simply looped it around the book at the top, middle, and bottom, going around twice to add a bit of thickness. I did some of the books this way and skipped others. You can use clear tape to hold this and save yourself from having to wrap all the way around if you like.
The final step is to wrap the entire bundle in string. I think a thicker jute would work well, though I just used whatever I could find laying about the house. I turned some books around so the pages are showing, and left others spine out. One still has some brown paper on it because I liked the look. Be creative, do your thing.
I plan to use these to decorate a nightstand, though they would go great in a number of places. They are a terrific neutral that says “the person that lives here has both intelligence and class.” Or maybe they just look good. Whatever.
A final word: This is a great project to knock out while you watch home renovation shows, but you can also find them on Etsy by searching for “uncovered book” if you are feeling truly lazy. Hey, I don’t judge.