Beautiful Upcycled Books with Dixie Belle Paint & Iron Orchid Decor Transfers

April 06, 2019
 Books are always in abundant supply at the thrift shops!  In fact, one of the local thrifts sell hardcover books at 25 cents each.  

For this project, I tried to get older books, and three that would look great stacked.

(When you click on the bold Amazon, Old Sign Stencils or Dixie Belle Paint Company affiliate links you will be taken to the products I use for this project. If you order it does not change the price or service at all. As an Amazon Affiliate, Old Sign Stencils Affiliate or Dixie Belle Paint Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

I guess I don't have photos on all of my steps for this project!  (Ugh, I hate when that happens).

My first step was painting ALL three books with a cheaper latex, Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Latex in Flat Black.  I painted the sides of the pages as well!

The black latex is my base coat. 

I then painted one book with Dixie Belle Chalk Finish Paint in Vintage Duck Egg, one with Farmhouse Green, and the last one with Soft Pink.

I used two coats.

The black painted page ends were painted with one coat of Dixie Belle Chalk Finish Paint in Drop Cloth.

I then distressed the books with 220 grit sandpaper.  I prefer to have the black showing through rather than add dark waxes.

I will again be using the Prima Marketing Iod Decor Transfer that I purchased recently.

The transfers do have a learning curve, as I did manage to ruin a few!

So the next step was to cut out phrases from my transfer that would fit on the spines of the books.

The transfers are sticky once the white paper backing is off, so make sure you have them positioned correctly before you let them touch down.

I rubbed the French phrase transfers with the enclosed stick, making sure that the entire graphic was stuck down before pulling off the clear top.  

It is pretty easy to lay the clear plastic sheet back down and rub a little more to get it perfect, if a few spots are clinging to the clear top sheet.

I then cut out a small floral area from the Prima Marketing Fuchsia Sunset transfer.

This is a large, two page transfer, that I am hoping to use on a furniture piece soon!

I used the stick to rub this transfer onto the smallest book cover.

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I painted a little brown paper tag with my soft pink paint and stenciled it with the date 1812.  

Waxing the books will make the "halo" around the transfers seem to disappear.

I applied Dixie Belle Best Dang Furniture Wax in Clear with a wax brush, and then wiped down the wax in 15 minutes with a fiber rag.

Beautiful Upcycled Books with Dixie Belle Paint & Iron Orchid Decor Transfers #dixiebellepaint #primamarketingtransfers #IODtransfers #oldbooks #upcycledbooks #thriftshopmakeover
I tied the books together with sisal twine, and attached the tag.

Very shabby chic!

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I picked up this metal bucket (that had been spray painted white) at the thrift shop.

I'm sure it was part of somebody's wedding decor.  Many times brides end up selling some farmhouse/shabby chic/boho wedding decor at the thrift shops.

IOD Transfers on a Painted Bucket
I decided to give the bucket a little personality with more of the transfers.

This is where I had most of my problems with the transfers.  The sticky back cannot touch the pail at all until you are sure you have it in the right spot.  

I had one a bit crooked and was unable to move it, even though it had not been rubbed down with the stick.  

Also the paper backing falls off on small snippets pretty easily and can start sticking places you don't want them!  

IOD Transfers on a Painted Bucket
I am sure that my next sheet of  IOD transfers will go better.

I haven't waxed this bucket yet.  I may spray it with Krylon Clear Coatings Aerosol in Satin.  

Details on this pedestal planter project from thrift shop parts are HERE.
Thanks for reading my blog, Carlene

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  1. Carlene the books are so adorable! Love the colors and the transfers! ❤️💚❤️

  2. You did a fantastic job on refurbishing these books. They do look old, yet elegant. Love the paint colors, also and how you bundled them up. Love the transfers.

  3. Really love the finished products! The colors work very well together. Love that flower transfer!

  4. Really cute and my favorite colors!

  5. Carlene, I love the way you distressed the books with black paint first....very clever idea!
    The finished books look great with the colors you choose and the transfer. Wonderful!


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