Due to my husband’s profession, we have a constant influx of absurdly enormous books. While some are aesthetically acceptable enough not to disturb the visual flow I have going on our bookshelves, others are obtrusive in color or design. Since our built-in bookshelves are open to the living room, I like to have a clean look while trying not to be too uptight about it. I thought leather-looking book covers would solve the problem at hand and contribute to the scholarly library look I am trying to achieve. I used recycled grocery bags and only a handful of additional materials to create inexpensive and classic book covers. Enjoy! — Brenna, Paper & Ink
Read the full how-to after the jump!
- grocery bags
- parchment paper (optional)
- Zinsser amber shellac (available at most hardware stores in the paint/stain dept.)
- disposable paintbrush
- masking tape
1. Completely flatten the grocery bag by opening it along the seams. Remove any handles.
2. Dampen the flattened bag. I gave it a little spray in our shower, dampening it on both sides.
3. Crumple up the bag into a tight ball. Un-crumple and crumple again. Be gentle, since the wet bag tends to tear easily.
4. Using the iron on a medium to high setting, iron the bag flat again. Leave wrinkles, but you are trying to remove the big peaks and valleys. Go gently, or you can use a layer of parchment paper between the iron and the wet bag to help the iron glide easily.
5. Let the paper dry completely.
6. Paint a coat of the shellac over the blank side of the bag. Cover but try not to saturate the bag completely. Let dry about 20 minutes.
7. Apply a second light coat of shellac for sheen. And let dry completely, at least 30 minutes.
8. From the unpainted side of the paper, reinforce any potential holes or tears with the masking tape.
9. Cut the paper down to size and cover your book.