Altered Antique Book

Altered Antique Book

This Altered book craft is a great way to recycle old books that you no longer want. This altered book craft creates a wonderful wedding piece.
I made this for the entry table at my wedding reception and it had a beautiful saying about marriage on it.
I simply placed my book in a store bought book holder to finish it off.

What you need

1 old hardback book
exacto blade
White wood/Craft glue or PVA Glue
Craft glue
Spray Paint
Greeting card or image


Step 1
Using an old hard book you have bought from a thrift store or garage sale remove any loose covers and place it down flat on the table.
Open the book up to find the centre of the book, then flip 10-12 pages over to create a New (uneven) center. This way you will not see any binding later.
Step 2
Now that you have your new center, separate around 10 pages on each side. These 10 pages will create the frame for your greeting card or picture.
Step 3
Mix your PVA or white glue with a small amount of water so that is nice and runny and easy to apply.
Step 4
Lay your cards or images down onto the book to get a feel for where you will place them. Once you have decided on your layout, draw around the pictures with a light pencil line.
Step 5
Using an exacto blade you will now cut a space for those cards into the 10 page layer. You do this by cutting a X shape so you will cut from one corner of your rectangle or square outline to the opposite corner. This will provide you with triangle flaps.
Step 6
Place a little bit of glue onto those triangle flaps and using a pen or pencil curl the flaps up by rolling the pen up and out. This will give you the detailed page curls you see in the picture. Secure with a little glue if its not sticking.
Step 7
You can also do the same thing with the corner of the 10 pages to show the pages curling in towards the centre of the book and again secure with glue.In this picture they have been left flat.
Step 8
Secure your 10 pages with some pegs or similar so you know where your 10 are.
Step 9
Starting at the beginning of one side you will begin gluing down each page by placing a small amount of glue onto each page. You could use a spray adhesive with this if you have it on hand. As you can be sure to shape the pages in your book to get a bevelled/ curved page look as shown in the picture. You can control how rounded or how flat your book is by the way you glue down the pages.
Step 10
Do exactly the same thing for the other side of the book making sure they match.
Step 11
Allow these pages to dry completely.
Step 12
Add any embellishments to the book that you want sprayed gold. I added small wooden hearts and some braiding.
Step 13
Once the book is dry, use a spray paint to spray the complete book gold or other color, making sure to tilt the book at different angles to get it into the curls and along the page lines.
Step 14
Slide in your photos and secure the top ten pages down with glue.
Step 15
Embellish the book with dried flowers, ribbons and other items. I added some plastic doves and some gold ribbon to my wedding book.
Place the altered book onto a plate stand or book holder for display.

You can make these altered books in every size imaginable. Make small pocket sized altered antique books as small gifts for loved ones and family.


  1. Love this project! Such a wonderful way to rescue a discarded book!

  2. Well, the library does sell it old book and there are lots of them in thrift stores. Some are just not modern or some are just throw away book, People will just throw them in the dump. So why not make something beautiful out of them, and they will be a keepsake item for years. I think it is a great idea and so pretty, keep up the good work on your craft pages.

  3. A fun challenge for anyone! Thank you for the idea. =0)

  4. love it using the idea for a memorial

  5. love it

  6. This is a great idea I saw a book kind of on the same order for a funeral was looking for instructions on how they did it thanks.

  7. luv it!!

  8. I have done other books like this one but not as a frame cut in the book. I will give it a go thanks

  9. Thank you so much, after searching the web for hours I came across your project for my summer program. St. Stan’s is going Green and this is perfect….. I love it…. I know the kids are going to love it too….. what a special gift……

    Janet Lugo
    St. Stan’s Green Team

  10. This looks lovely,I’ve seen similar projects in a museum using needlework as well as photos.

  11. Im for once in my life speachless

  12. Why would you destroy a perfectly good book? Maybe it’s NOT a perfectly good book….maybe it’s literature that shouldn’t have been published in the first place. I like it and might try it myself. THANKS!

  13. Why would you destroy a perfectly good book just because your tired of it? I don’t get it.

  14. it’s amazig idea to use old books even to gift…..

  15. Beautiful! A version that I recv’d for a wedding gift-book was painted creamy beige-invitation was decoupaged on right page-victorian painting of lady in carriage was decoupaged on left page-whole thing had been crackled with gold paint.

  16. absolutely beautiful. it doesn’t even look like a book in the picture. i’d love to try this. 😀

  17. I do love it, but I have a huge phobia about altering books. I just started trying. Used an old college text book. Not nearly as emotional about THAT book.

  18. Beautiful!! Ive made altered books before but neve thought of trying one like this…. made one for my newborn nephew

  19. Very inventive, i must say! Would be lovely for a christening, too!

  20. thats well nice =]

  21. You did a beautiful job and I think it is a lovely idea and very creative. Thank you for sharing!

  22. Loved it

  23. You are a very talented person! You should consider doing these as a business idea. I for one would pay to have one at my wedding! Excellent I love it!

  24. This has to be the prettiest looking craft for a wedding I’ve seen in a while…well done..well done

  25. Looks really great, and it’s hard to tell that it’s from an actual book, and not just made to look like one!

  26. Interesting idea

  27. My mother recieved a book like this from one of her friends as a wedding gift (It has a photo of her and my father in it). She has cherished it for 25 years. She keeps it on the wall of her bedroom perched on some nails.

  28. I love it! Perfect for a wedding!

  29. says

    Thanks for sharing your fine idea! Great job! Looking forward to designing my own!

  30. I like this idea and you made it look so beautiful.

  31. The instructions seemed pretty straight fwd, so I hope to make this successfully. thanks

  32. this book is beautiful! just wish they had step by step with some pictures

  33. This is a lovely idea but you must need a lot of patience. The effect is great

  34. So beautiful..

  35. have seen a pic of this before am thrilled on how it is done…amazing

What do you think of this project? Let us know!