How to Make Spooky Books for Halloween

Good morning friends! Can you believe we are in September? Are you ready for fall? We will have some time to go here before it gets cool. It doesn’t get cool here until about Halloween. But, I have a wedding to plan and it will a traditional wedding, but then a gothic pirate themed reception. So this is the time of year to find the perfect items to decorate with. It’s also fun to find different things I can make ahead of time. Today I am showing you how to make spooky books!

Item List:

  • Hardcover books
  • Plastic bin that the books will fit into
  • Tea
  • Paper towels
  • Mod Podge and brush
  • Bleach and water
  • Stickers, wood decorations, any other decorations you want to use
  • Black, gold, and silver paint and foam bruss

I found some outdated hardcover books at a thrift store. It doesn’t matter how new or old they look. Just find the size you like. Next, make yourself some tea! Not to drink though! I made some sun tea and then poured it into a plastic bin. Now, dip your book in! I just did the pages, not the covers. You could also use a brush if that is easier. I dipped in all the sides, letting them soak for about 5 minutes. Then I set them out on a towel to dry.

If you don’t think they are dark enough, go ahead dip them again. The pages get a little wrinkly, but that’s ok. It gives it an older look!

Now that the books are dry, you can move on to the next step. Take your pieces of paper towels and trim them to fit the book. I cut the top and bottom of the paper towels the same size as the books, but I folded in the ends. The books won’t be opened after I am done.

Fill a spray bottle with water and spray down the paper towels on the books. Crinkle them up a bit once they are wet. This is going to give you the old weathered look you want in the end.

Once you have the paper towels the way you want, brush on the Mod Podge. I poured some onto the book and then used a foam brush to spread it all over the book on all sides and edges. Let the books dry. I let them dry overnight.

Now you get to decorate the book! I am making these for the wedding, not just Halloween. I found the scrolly piece and wood piece at a thrift store. So I laid them out the way I thought they would go. I also added stickers. My stickers go along with the wedding theme and last name initial. It won’t matter the colors you use because you are going to paint over it all. Once you have your pieces how you want them, glue them on. I even glued on the stickers so they wouldn’t fall off later.

Once your glue is dry, paint the book. I used black spray paint, but you could also paint the books with acrylic paint. Make sure to get in all the nooks and crevices. Now you can see how the paper towels give it that old look.

Just the black looks kind of boring, but now you get to add the finishing touches! I used a silver paint and lightly went over the raised areas of the book. I used a little gold paint as well. You don’t want too much gold or silver, just some slight touches.

I also bought a strap to keep the book closed. I found it in the fabric department at Hobby Lobby. I glued it on the front and back of the book.

Here are the stickers once they are painted. Looks good, right? Since I didn’t want the books to open, I used some rope, also tea dyed, to tie two of the books together.

I placed the books on my mantle along with some other black and spooky items. Some of them I have also made over.

I love how they turned out! I’m just waiting for a date to be set so I can put it on the third book.

So what do you think? Would you do this to a book? I’m so glad I gave it a try!

Our New Project!!

Good morning! How have you all been? I have been good, but so busy with a new project! I’m so excited about this one! My husband and I bought a new travel trailer and are doing renovations on it! I’ve wanted to do this for several years and now I finally get the chance to do it!

I loved our last little trailer, but now that my kids are adults, it was just too small for all of us. You can see a partial makeover I did on that trailer here.

rv makeover full view

As you can see, this trailer is much bigger! It’s actually bigger than what we were looking for, but the timing and the price were right, so we couldn’t pass it up.

I was specifically looking for the separate bedroom so I wouldn’t have to make up the couch or table every day. I love all the storage too! These pictures were from the sales ad. I love the walk around bed!

Can you believe the size of the bathroom? Most trailers with this layout have the bathroom split with the hallway down the middle, but this one is all on one side, so it is quite large. There are two doors into the bathroom, one from the bedroom and one from the hallway.

Are you loving all the brown!? The couch and the table are part of the slide-out, which gives so much space! I really like this type of dinette because it goes room for more people to sit around it. You can see the arm of a chair at the bottom corner. There are two swivel chairs that sit in front of the big window in the back of the trailer.

More brown! It is so depressing! But here is the kitchen, with so much storage and even some real counter space! It has a nice size refrigerator too.

While I love the layout of the trailer and the space we will have, I was not loving all the brown. 🙂 So here is where the makeover comes in! The first step is to clean. Ugh! Prepping is the worst, but so important! Don’t skip this step!!

CLEAN

I washed down all the walls and wood with a mixture of TSP and water. Anything you are going to paint, wallpaper or add peel and stick tile to, needs to be cleaned. Our trailer was pretty dirty, so it needed cleaned anyways.

REMOVE EVERYTHING THAT HAS TO GO

After cleaning, we removed all the cupboard doors, drawers and anything else that had to go. We took down the valances over the windows and doors, a shelf, and took off the outlet covers to get ready to paint.

SAND

But before painting, everything needed sanded. Even the walls! The ‘wallpaper’ isn’t really wallpaper and it’s not worth trying to take it off. You don’t need to sand down to bare wood, but rough up the surface so the primer and paint have something to stick to.

TAPE AND PRIMER

Once everything is sanded, you need to tape around anything that isn’t going to get painted. We didn’t paint the ceiling, so we had to tape around the whole top edge. We also taped around window and door frames. Finally, it is time to use primer. I used my favorite, Kilz. On the walls we did one coat of primer, but for the dark wood, it needed two coats. Be sure to let each coat dry in between. All the cupboards and drawers were taken off, cleaned, sanded and then primered in our garage.

I took off all the knobs and drawer pull and handles and spray painted them gold. I even did the screws! Crazy, I know.

PAINT

Now it was finally time to paint! I had found a big 5 gallon bucket of Oops! paint at Home Depot a few years ago and I had plenty left. It is Behr, Swiss Coffee. It was the perfect color for a big freshen up! Again, we painted 2 coats of paint all over and some of the dark brown even got 3 coats. I went around after everything was dry and used a small paint brush to fill an any areas that were missed.

Yes, this is a ton of work, but so worth it!! The trailer looks so much lighter and now I have the fun of decorating! I’m going to give you a sneak peak, but I will post the whole thing in a couple of weeks. We are going camping in it and I can’t wait to try it out!

Here is the bedroom after primering. The cupboard doors were taken off to be painted in the garage. You can see the tape all around the top edge since we weren’t painting the ceiling.

Eeekk! Doesn’t this look so much better!!! I can hardly believe how much brighter it is!

One more peek! The dining area is all painted but no curtains or many accessories yet!

I can’t wait to show you the finished trailer in a few weeks!! It was so much work, but I am so glad we took the time to do it right and now we can just sit back and relax!

Have you ever redone a trailer? I loved looking at all the ideas on Pinterest! See you in a few weeks!

Easy St. Patrick’s Day Art

Good morning! I was hoping to have this out earlier today, but that just didn’t happen! But this is such an easy project, you can definitely finish it in time for St. Patrick’s Day! Also, it could easily be changed for other holidays, like Easter, which is just around the corner!

I started out with an old canvas I had. This actually had a picture on it and I painted it, but picking one up from the store is super easy. I also had some burlap squares on hand.

I cut the burlap a little larger than the canvas so that I had enough burlap to wrap around the sides. I did iron my piece too. 🙂

I used Elmer’s Craft Bond, which is a spray to attach my burlap. I sprayed it on the front and sides of the canvas and then laid the burlap on top and smoothed it out.

I folded in the corners as tight as I could and used hot glue to secure them.

Now I have nice smooth surface!

I dug through my fabric and found two green ones I thought would work. You could also use scrapbook paper or a thick wrapping paper.

I printed out two different sizes of shamrocks I found on a Google search. Then I cut them out and laid them on the burlap until I found the way the right layout.

I used chalk to trace around the shamrock onto the fabric and then cut it out with fabric scissors.

I used the spray glue to attach the shamrocks and then pulled out my buttons to add some accents to my shamrocks. I played around with them a bit, starting with green and gold, then some yellow and finally decided it needed a little bit of black to really stand out. If the button is the type with a shank on the back, I cut it off with wire cutters.

I used tacky glue to attach the buttons, layering some on top of each other and setting others into little groups.

I placed it on my mantle with a few other spring items.

What do you think? Pretty easy, right? I might even make a few more for other holidays, I hope you have a great week!

A Fun Way to Use an Old Frame

Good morning! I have a new project for you today! Lauren and I have been participating in some local vendor fairs and virtual fairs. She has been selling Disney Trading Pins and I am making boards to display the pins on. It’s been fun selecting all the different colors and characters. Of course, this doesn’t have to be done with Disney characters, but anything you like! Let me show you how!

I started with a frame from a thrift store. It doesn’t matter what kind of picture or if the frame is scratched. I like to look for frames that are a little different or have a design in them. I liked this oval one, because the curved ones are a little harder to find. This frame is just a plastic material.

The first step is to take apart the frame. Throw away the glass (unless you have another awesome idea to use it for!). I keep the back. It is good to use for tracing on the cork board and also to give extra support to the whole thing in the end. Make sure to keep any screws too.

Be sure to wipe off and clean your frame before painting. Then decide what color you want to use. I love the Rustoleum 2X Spray Paint. Since this frame is such a smooth surface, I used a primer first to give the paint something to grip. Once the primer was dry, I sprayed 2 light coats of the green.

This is where your back piece come in handy. I bought this corkboard from Hobby Lobby. I laid the back on top of the cork board, traced around it and then cut the cork with scissors. Depending on the thickness of the cork, you might have to use a razor blade. I found that 1/4 to 1/2 inch cork is the best. I really just depends on how thick your frame is and how thick of cork will fit inside and still be able to get the back of the frame back on.

For this board, I picked Tinkerbell. I looked up Tinkerbell silhouette in Google and then picked the one I thought would be easiest to cut out, without to much detail. If the design is too detailed, it’s difficult to be able to cut it out cleanly.

Once the design is cut out, place it on your corkboard. It might help to tape it down if you are afraid the paper might move too much. I used black acrylic paint to fill in the design.

I use a small brush that is pretty flat on the end. I start by daubing around the edge of the design and then I go back and fill in the whole design. Be sure to hold down the edges of the paper as you paint, so the paint doesn’t leak under. You may have to go over some of the edges with a small brush to smooth and even them out.

Doesn’t she look cute?! I love the bright green!

I’ve been making quite a few of these lately. Here are a couple of others. You can see that I used all different size frames and colors.

Princess crown…

and small oval.

These are fun to paint and the designs are endless! What would you put on yours?

Using Vintage Fabric to Bring New Life to Chairs

Good morning!

I know I haven’t posted for a bit, but I am so happy to show you this project today! Thank you for stopping by! I am going to show you what a difference a little paint and fabric can make!

I bought these chairs several years ago at a ‘Junk’ sale. The seats were covered with burlap, but as you can see, they were very stained and dirty. I had bought some vintage fabric at an estate sale and knew they would be perfect for these chairs.

I spray painted the chairs with Rustoleum 2X white semi-gloss paint. I didn’t even take the burlap off when I painted the chairs because I knew the seats would be covered anyways.

I debated whether or not to leave the burlap on the seats and just put the new fabric over it, but I was afraid the stains on the burlap would go through, so I started to take out all the staples on the bottom of the chair. I used a flat head screwdriver and a needle-nosed pliers to take them all out. It definitely took awhile! Thankfully the foam underneath the burlap was still in good shape.

Once the burlap was off, I used it as sort of a pattern for my new fabric.

I used 1/4 inch staples to attach the new fabric to the chairs. I pulled the fabric taut and then stapled all the way around.

As you can see in the photo below, the wood under the seat didn’t get painted. That’s because the burlap covered it before. I was going to cover the chairs the same way as before, but then decided to not cover that part of the wood. I like the chairs much better this way, but I did have to go back and paint those front pieces.

I set up this little table last fall on my back porch. It was such a lovely, sunny day. You can see the chairs with the table set for two!

The sun was a little bright over here. The fabric is much more vibrant.

I set up this little sitting spot on the other side of the yard. Can’t wait for all the grass to start coming in as spring gets closer!

I hope you all have a great week and stay safe!