Bookish DIY: Painting My Book Pages

Painted Books 1.jpg

I can’t take credit for this gorgeous idea, I found the tutorial on Tumblr. Rather, I saw the tutorial quite some time ago, wanted to try it but failed to save it in any way, and happened upon it again last week.

So I tried it. I was impatient to, so for the first book I didn’t have painter’s tape and used invisible tape, which I did have, to cover the edges of my first victim (Prodigal Summer) in scrap paper. Which worked, though it took longer to set up. Before I did the other four, we actually had a power outage and went to buy batteries, and I picked up painter’s tape too, since I was right there–and then we got home and the power was back on, despite the power company predicting it would be down for three days! (I’ll take that as a win, but if we’d known it was only going to be two hours instead, we never would have gone to the next town over to go shopping, we would have waited it out. C’est la vie.)

So my theory in choosing Prodigal Summer first was that, despite it being a first edition hardcover in excellent condition and one of my favorite reads of the last several years, it would be easy to replace. Since buying my copy, I’ve seen it pop up in used book stores and at book sales at least six or seven times–and once, I bought a second copy as a gift for my mother-in-law. So I figured, hey, if I ruin it, it won’t be long before I spot it again, probably.

But it turned out beautifully, and it didn’t take me nearly as long as I’d feared to separate all the pages.

Second victim: A Thousand Splendid Suns. Basically for the same reasons. It, too, turned out well, especially because taping the edges of the book went so much faster than covering them with scrap paper.

I moved on to a treat-for-myself project: the All Souls trilogy. Because when I read them, they were library books, and just recently I’ve managed to wrangle a set of my own copies, all hardcovers. They seemed like a perfect choice, because I’ve been meaning to reread them soon (before I read Time’s Convert, anyway) so instead of being painted and put back on the shelf, not knowing when I’ll ever read them again, I at least have a tentative plan to get to these in the next year or so, and experience the joy of reading a pretty painted book or three.

Once I finished them, I made myself clean up my craft area and put away all the supplies. I won’t be doing any more soon, because if I don’t stop now, I’ll do all my hardcovers. (Will this work with paperbacks if I’m careful? Possibly. But I’m in no rush to try, because if those covers get stuck it will be harder to separate them.)

I’ll wait until the mood strikes again, because I do have a lot of paint.

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