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Scrapbooking Project Ideas Using Vintage Papers

I have a large collection of vintage books.  At the risk of offending any (‘all in one piece’) book lovers, I will confess and tell you that I tear them apart!  But, don’t get me wrong… I am still a book lover. I love them so much that it is difficult to tear into them, but there are so many possibilities for making wonderful projects using vintage papers that it makes it so much easier to do so.  Take a look at some of these ideas and maybe you too will see the possibilities. 

This 90 year huge family bible (left) won’t be torn into though, at least not if Todd (my significant other) can help it!  (It’s not our family bible, but since he was the one who found it I guess it’s his!)  

I was lucky recently however, and found 2 volumes of a 1950’s photography manual.  I’ve had a lot of fun using the pages from this book.  (You can see some pages used in our Mini Books Project e-book.) One of the pages showing some charming camera illustrations can be seen at right.  A perfect subject for scrapbooking, non?

At left you can see a project I’ve recently started lining a pretty box with pages from a 1950’s cookbook.  This was from a set of cookbooks that my Mom was getting rid of.  I doubt she had any idea that I would be tearing them apart when I gladly told her I would take them off her hands! 🙂 Right now the box is storing my polymer clay supplies, but I have plans to make cardboard dividers and a shelf that lifts up inside.  Since the box closes like a suitcase and has a latch, I plan on using it to store a traveling scrapbook kit for taking camping or on other trips.  I’ll show more photos of this project once I complete it.

The backdrop of this 8 1/2" x 11" layout, shown at right, contains a whole leaf from an old book.  

The packing tape transfer on this mini book spread was transfered from a vintage book page.  Photo at left.

We’ve shown this heart garland project before, but at right you can see an ‘in progress’ photo which shows the background being built up using text from an old book.

Instructions for making these key chain fobs/charms, shown at left, can be found in our Mini Books Project e-book.  This fun project is made using images and text from vintage books!

Here are some more ideas we’ve come across using vintage ledger papers, cookbooks, sheet music and text from old books:

Boxwood Cottage used vintage sheet music paper to cover a wall box.

Look how the wings on this paper doll book cover are made from vintage sheet music.

Secret Leaves Paperworks shows a journal made from vintage papers.  Also, take a look at their blog for some beautiful creations!

A couple of ATCs also made with vintage papers.

The Beautiful Life Blog shows a pretty lampshade covered in pieces of vintage paper.  One photo is shown at right and you can see more here.

Vintage Lily covered some candleholders in vintage sheet music.

Now, don’t overlook old books when you see them at your local yard sales or thrift shops – put them to good use! 


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  1. txscrapaddict
    September 9th, 2008Posted | Permalink

    I do the same thing with vintage books! I LOVE the lampshade!!!

  2. September 9th, 2008Posted | Permalink

    Hi! Thanks for the mention and link. I also so that lampshade on the Beautiful Life blog and thought it was super-cool. There are more cool examples of stuff to do with old paper on the Curious Sofa and Adventures of Elizabeth blogs, if anyone is interested.


  3. September 9th, 2008Posted | Permalink

    You’ve shown so many pretty ideas here! Such fabulous eye candy. 🙂

    I’ve been known to tear vintage books apart too, but I usually can’t bring myself to do it unless the spine is already thrashed or the book is already really damaged in some way.

  4. September 9th, 2008Posted | Permalink

    Wow, perfect timing on this article Angie!!! I literally just got home from an antique store, where I bought a pile of old sheet music today. I have been on the hunt for old papers and books since I went on some great antiquing trips this summer. I will let you know when I blog about them :). Speaking of blogs, I gave you an award on mine yesterday :).

  5. Jennifer Barksdale
    September 9th, 2008Posted | Permalink

    love the idea! All the projects are beautifully done with the vintage stuff!

  6. September 9th, 2008Posted | Permalink

    This is a great post, I too like to use those vintage books for paper projects! Great examples you have here, thanks for sharing ideas!

  7. September 9th, 2008Posted | Permalink

    everything I can save and use vintage I do….my fav are old game boards and stacks of dictionary’s…thanks for sharing I loved these projects…-l.

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