Thursday, January 29, 2015

Book Initial DIY Project

My dad loves to tell the story of the book letters that were used in the centerpieces at my wedding. It all started when I was walking through a cute little boutique while waiting for some girlfriends to arrive for brunch. I had arrived early and was perusing through the handmade candles when I came across a bookshelf of letters. I was fascinated when I realized they were made of books. Throughout the brunch, I kept thinking about them and ended up popping my head back into the store. Each book letter sold for $25 a piece. Of course, I started my typical research, looking on Etsy and online to see if I could find them for cheaper. But most were being sold for right around $20 per book, which was not in the wedding budget.

Well, I decided that I was going to try it myself. I went to my local thrift store and found that they had half priced books on Wednesday. And crazy enough, it was a Wednesday! I tried to find books that were decently thick, had neutral colors and had interesting or meaningful titles on the binding. It was harder than expected but in my first trip, I ended up buying about five books.

Thankfully, our initial is "M" so it was pretty easy to create a stencil for each book out of painter's tape. I used a utility knife to cute the front and back portions of the book. From there, I followed the lines and traced out the pages with the utility knife. Each book took around two hours, depending on the size.

After my second book run, I started into the process yet again. We had about 12 tables that would use the book in the centerpieces so I was not quite halfway through my book cutting. My sister was spending some time with me and saw my labor intensive process. She made me stop and brought a book to my dad. Soon, they took all of the remaining books and within an hour, came back with perfectly cut book letters! To this day, they continue to laugh at me and my silly DIY ways. I was grateful for the saved time and clean cut that they were able to achieve.

They ended up using a saw knife to carefully cut out the letter. This would be more complicated if you needed a letter like a "G" but it wouldn't be impossible. The book M's looked darling on our tables in our library wedding reception. It was the perfect way to incorporate our married initial and bring in the book theme.

Like the majority of my wedding projects, there are at least two of these gracing our home. They also make great gifts for anyone with an "M" initial if they didn't already steal one from their table at the wedding. I love the unique and timeless look that this piece brings!

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