In December, I got it into my head to try taking old book covers and filling them with new pages or empty journals. I watched two videos (here & here) but only got to try the first method both times. I bought supplies aaaand…here’s how that went.

The First Book

The library where I work received donated books from a patron. However, the pages from one older book fell right out. Obviously, we couldn’t use the donation in the library or at our library book sale, so I got to take the cover home.



After thinking long and hard about what I wanted to paste into the book. I was going to fill it with blank pages at first, so it could be a journal, but I decided to spice it up some. At a school supply store, I found a thin workbook on astronomy, so I bought and gutted it. I kept most of the pages, but between them I put colorful printer paper and beautiful patterned paper. I even bought some space stickers and added those here and there as well.  A couple pages fell out here and there as the glue for the binding hadn’t caught them all, but no matter. It’s 95% fine, and that’s great for a first attempt.



The Second Book

My next project worked about 95% well also. I wanted to do the hidden spine method shown in the second video, but I had already cut out a lot of pages, so I knew that would have to wait until my next book.

My dad’s birthday was this December, so I wanted to take one of his dad’s old books and reuse the cover. (His dad passed away in 2000.) While gutting the book, however, I cut into the spine some. Yikes! But I didn’t want to cover it on the outside, so I tried to patch it on the inside. It turned out alright despite that mistake.

Inside I had a lot of white pages but also the table of contents and appendices from the textbook. I glued in a loose paper from another of my grandpa’s books (an elementary school math book) on top of the first page because it had his name written in it over and over.  Again, I added some patterned paper. However, I also added a couple of envelopes, inside of which were mementos of my grandfather’s—things like an old college schedule and his veteran’s cards.  I wanted to paste in copies of his war letters and perhaps some pictures, but I didn’t get those in time. I did, however, sketch the cover of his General Principles of Psychology book and write a few quotes from it. The binding still wasn’t perfect, but I glued in the loose pages I saw. Either way, my dad loved the gift.

Future Projects

I have paperback notebook sets that I bought recently, and I want to try the hidden stitch binding to put them into a nice hardback cover. I have an unopened set and a set into which I added tabs. You can guess what they might be used for.

One day I also want to try turning old paperbacks into custom hardbacks. I’m not sure what paperbacks I’d choose yet. At any rate, I need to get myself to a used book store and buy some nifty hardback books I don’t mind gutting. Unfortunately, that may have to wait a while. Funds, why are you so little?!

Have any of you tried these kinds of projects before? How did they turn out? If you have any advice for an amateur like me, I’d love to hear it.

Take care, and…

Welcome to 2017!



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