Anyone that knows me knows that I can never resist a bargain, anything vintage, or any form of upcyling. I also cannot stand to waste anything – all those weird odds and ends that most throw away, I will generally find a use for. What can I say, I’m a thrifty girl! Though I am NOT a hoarder, lets be clear on that lol
Anyway, I recently started using a lot of book text in my artwork, which had me scouring the web looking for a good source of lovely old vintage books. My word, I was NOT prepared for the prices attached, and just couldn’t justify the cost for something that was gonna to be torn, scrunched and covered in paint! So I head to the op shops (that’s thrift stores for my OS friends). I found some absolute gems at next to nothing, and even managed to score a bundle from the half price table!
I then came home and starting ripping pages out, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Of course, once you use the papers up, you’ll be left with the covers. I mulled it over, trying to find a way to keep the thriftyness going and then inspiration hit – why not use them in place of canvas panels? And so, a tutorial, of sorts, is born!
What you’ll need:
Thrifted books – choose those that have a hardcover. My favourites are those with a fabric feel to them, as this gives a more realistic canvas look.
Craft knife or scissors
Gesso, paint or paper to cover – whatever your heart desires!
Your cover will most likely have a rough edge, with frayed fabric, and torn paper etc. It is entirely up to you if you wish to neaten this up or leave the rustic look . Btw, don’t throw out that extra spine piece – it makes an awesome bookmark!
Prepare your ‘canvas’ for your project. Cover it in paper, or gesso to create a primed surface, ready for painting etc. You could also leave it as is for a fab vintage look! FYI, I know my gesso’ing here is shoddy. It needs another coat for sure! And no, that’s not mustard in the background – it’s my gesso bottle lol I use Matisse brand (though I am NOT a fan of the quality) and it comes in a big tub that is awkward for me to use, hence the squeezy bottle.
I hope this little thrifty tip was helpful for you! If you decide to give ti a try PLEASE link me up, I would love to see your creations!