DIY Farmhouse Stamped Books
*Maxley Designs is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with the Amazon products mentioned below, or any of their subsidiaries or affiliates. Just a girl who knows what she likes!*
So you want your own stamped books huh? So did I! I knew it couldn't be THAT hard, so I gave it a shot, and well... they turned out perfectly! (And now I must make more for every season and saying *insert unashamed face here*). You probably have most of these things around the house already!
What you'll need:
- Newspaper, butcher paper, or other tablecloth that can get messy
- Old paperback books
- White chalk paint (I used Waverly)
- A flat paint brush (any smooth, flat brush will do)
- A tray for your paint (you can just use a paper plate too)
- Stamps (I borrowed my 4-year-old's Melissa & Doug stamps- win win!)
- Ink pad (I use ExcelMark for my logo on my wood frames, and it doesn't bleed!)
- Permanent, fine point marker (I used a Sharpie Pen I had)
- Twine (or whatever else you want to tie your books with- lace, more twine..?)
Here are the books I found at a garage sale for 50 cents! (People just give these things away at garage sales).
**PRO TIP: Try to find newer books where the binding isn't caved in (see the top green book?) You'll see why in a second...)**
Rip the cover (and a few of the first pages if you need to) and the binding off. This was surprisingly easy!
And don't forget the back cover. (Sorry Catherine)
When all the covers are off, they should look something like this. Don't worry about the frayed edges because the paint will take care of that.
Here's their "before" photoshoot *paparazzi noises*
Here's a layout of how I started. I just poured a little of the paint onto my palette (I just Googled "thing you hold on your thumb when painting" because I forgot what that was called...)
I started out with a thin layer and just made sure that there weren't any big clumps.
I covered the whole front page, with just enough paint to cover the text.
I also covered the binding with about the same amount of paint.
I did this to all 3 books, obviously.
Even with a thin layer of paint, the pages started to curl. Gah! There are methods of doing these books by JUST painting the binding. I don't like the text showing, so I decided to paint the whole thing, and they turned out beautifully anyway. Just wait, you'll see!
I didn't want to do this, but I decided to paint the edge of the pages, to try to get them to stick together and stop curling. It worked surprisingly well!
I let them all dry on the butcher paper for 24 hours. (They did NOT stick to the butcher paper because I didn't paint the bottoms *insert lightbulb emoji*). Chalk paint dries REALLY quickly, but I am a naptime hustler, and my bosses were calling, so I did the stamping the next day.
My bosses, Max & Riley (hence, Maxley Designs) have these Melissa & Doug stamps. If you don't have any, they are GREAT to teach your kids how to spell! (Fair warning: If you have anxiety like me, these might be better suited for when your child is calm and doesn't feel like stamping every surface within reach. And not the 2 year old. 4 and up, minimum) The set didn't come with black ink, so I used the ExcelMark ink pad I use to stamp the backs of my wood frames.
**PRO TIP: If you like them aligned to the right side like I did, write down the words you want to use on a separate piece of paper, then stamp them BACKWARDS, starting with the last letter, so you don't mess up the spacing.
Ok, here's where the concave binding comes in. If you scroll back up and look at the smallest (top) book before I ripped the covers off, you'll notice how used/worn/folded/concave the binding is. This was my first mistake. But since I didn't feel like tearing apart one of my old college paperbacks (they cost a fortune in 2003, and they might be worth something someday, OKAY?!), *ahem* I just went with it, and stamped it anyway.
I knew it was going to be bad... In addition to my anxiety, I'm also a perfectionist. I didn't like the 30% stamping quality on the concave book, so I Sharpied it. Yep. Keep scrollin'
Oh, the horror.
You might be wondering, "Well, Melissa, what on earth is wrong with THAT?!" And my friend, I say to you, "EVERYTHINGGGG." I LOVE how the "n" turned out, and I may have gone overboard on the Sharpie-ing of the j, o, and y. *Facepalm*
So I painted over them... Do NOT, I repeat... Do NOT paint over them! The ink (from the ink pad AND the pen) smears everywhere, and it took a minimum of 3 coats to fix this. Just go get an old college book and start over, ok?
Ok, here's coat 24390823. As you can tell, this kind of worked in my (very lucky) favor BECAUSE. The paint made a more raised and smoother surface, which made it easier to stamp onto.
Here is the final product, and you can't even tell I totally screwed up the top book! I use twine wrapping in my product packaging, but it's really thin, so I took 3 pieces and just braided them together! Then I tied the braid around the books like a present, stuck some vintage metal keys and some greenery on top, and voila!
(If you're wondering about the keys, they were really cool, dark red, rusted-over keys from an antique store- I added a drop of black acrylic paint to my white chalk paint to make a gray chalk paint, then sanded parts down when it dried)
I hope you ROCK your own DIY farmhouse stamped books, and let me know in a comment how they turn out!
P.S. If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen this picture, and you have voted in my stories on whether or not you want to see more blog posts!