I collected all sorts of vintage text books including history, physics, music, language, plays, even a 1970 thesaurus. I try to choose books that have a certain type of paper - quite yellowish, lots of markings and stains, and thick in texture - almost velvety to the touch.
I've used the papers in various ways.
The first idea is to stitch them together to make paper binding - which I have then folded and stitched onto hessian for a centerpiece table overlay.
|stitched paper edge binding|
|binding with mitred corner|
The second style of overlay is made of stitched papers which have been hand stencilled with black gesso, and then taped onto a brown paper backing. I've folded the edges of the backing paper back over the inlaid section to give it the nice wide edge binding. Then I stitched all around the edge.
|mixed papers including hand stencilled pages.|
|hard at work!|
|brown paper backing - with double sided tape to secure paper while stitching.|
|brown paper folded over the edges to become the binding.|
We are having mini blackboards for the table numbers - I was going to use blackboard paint, but discovered that black gesso works well as the blackboard surface - so just painted up a whole load of cardboard and cut to size to fit the frames I sourced.
|mini blackboard table numbers.|
The centerpieces will be glass hurricane lamps with candles, and they will be standing on a small stack of books that I've covered with brown paper. Each table will have 3-4 books with the family names of the people at that table printed onto the spines.
|covered books packed and ready!|
Lastly, the hall will be decorated with this gorgeous bunting which I've just finished making. I had a roll of vintage measuring tape lying around which came in handy for this!! Each triangle on the bunting is 2 pieces of paper just to give it strength. I tried to make sure that while putting all the papers together, that I had an interesting assortment and variety and also that there were no two of the same next to each other! Mad! But it looks really good.
|sewing the bunting onto vintage measuring tape.|
|the finished bunting - with all the assorted papers.|
I also designed the invitation, reply cards, DVD covers and programmes, for the event which continues the theme of the vintage/brownpaper/etc look.
I'm looking forward to putting it all together at the event - but for now, my family and I will be happy to clear out our dining room - which has become my workshop!
The room looked spectacular and the styling was so well received it made all the hours and effort worthwhile.