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Restoration Hardware DIY Vintage Style Books

By Adrienne Boswell @chiccalifornia1
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Restoration Hardware DIY Vintage Style Books

After an appointment yesterday morning I found a few spare minutes to pop into my favorite home decor stores. One of them being Restoration Hardware. I couldn’t help but notice all the vintage books they use in their styling. They fill jars and wooden bowls and create huge stacks on bookshelves and side tables. And they are totally lovely. I love decorating with vintage books which you can see here. But have you really stopped to consider how much it costs to use vintage books in big stacks and piles? If you buy them from RH, you might be spending your kid’s college fund. And at most vintage markets a good old book (with little value on the antique book market) will run you anywhere from about $6-12. More for bigger books. Now you need how many to fill that basket? Yikes!

Restoration Hardware DIY Vintage Style Books

It’s a good thing I’m here to share with you how to take new-ish books and make them look old. Just like the kind you would find at RH.

New stack of books

I found these old Readers Digest books at a thrift store. I love the Readers Digest books for their colorful covers. They are great to use for decorating on their own. And these are a pretty easy and cheap find. I paid $1.00 a book but if I searched more, I’m sure I could get them for even less at a garage or estate sale. I saved the books that had the pretty covers but I was left with books whose covers just aren’t that great.

Cutting Cover off book

So it was time to bust out the Exacto knife and cut those covers off. Don’t worry, no book covers were harmed in this project. They are intact and ready to be crafted into something else down the road.

Book and Tea bags

Here comes the fun part! You’re going to need tea bags, lots and lots of tea bags. Brew up some really strong tea. I used about 10 tea bags per every 4 cups of water and I ended up making a few batches since I aged so many books. I also just left the tea bags in the bowl. For some of the books I just piled the used tea bags on top to stain the top pages.

book in tea

Start dunking those books! Get all the pages wet if you can and let each one soak for a bit if you have time.

book outside to dry

Luckily, California living allowed me to just put all the books on my back steps to dry. But if you are snowed in, you could place these on a drying rack for a few days. Or if you have a front loading dryer that has a shoe drying rack, you can place the books on that and run the dryer for a bit. You want your pages to get dried out and wrinkly. The older looking, the better.

DIY Vintage Style Books

When they were dry, I stacked my books and wrapped them in twine. But you can also roll them up to put in jars.

DIY Vintage books

Some of the books I aged with tea turned out darker than others and I love the variations. This is one that sat in the tea for a few hours.

Vintage Style Books

And I love the gold edges on the Readers Digest books.

Vintage Books

Now I have enough vintage style books to make my own Restoration Hardware inspired displays. Without the RH price!

Restoration Hardware Vintage Book Hack


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