Many books are works of art in and of themselves. Old, worn hardbacks can look lovely as is. However, other titles are less than comely. Take any out of date reference book for example. (Damn you Encyclopedia Britannica!) Those and other ugly ducklings are just waiting to be given a makeover. Here's three ways to breathe new life into books, thereby turning them into objets d'art.
First are burlap wraps, kind of like the ones in the image above courtesy of Restoration Hardware. (Close up below.) Grab some goofy hardbacks, some burlap a few inches larger than the books themselves and a glue gun and get to work.
If you don't like burlap, kraft paper is another option. Wouldn't even need the glue gun for these. Just cut the paper to height and about 6 inches longer than the book's measurements when opened. Tuck 3 inches around the front and back covers and close the book.
This next idea works for hard back and paper back books, and it just might be the easiest and cheapest book makeover imaginable. Just rip the covers off and truss them up with some twine. You can actually buy these bundles at Ballard Designs for 18 to 25 bucks.
Or these from Pottery Barn for $39 a bundle.