what’s hiding in your attic?

Last weekend Mr. Q and I took part in our annual holiday tradition of getting the decorations out of the attic.

We can access our attic two ways.  There is a small door to it inside the guest room closet, plus the doors in the dining room (shown below) also open into the attic space (which is technically just above the kitchen and not the rest of the house).  I should mention that our attic is only about 4′ tall at most, so you can’t actually walk in there.

Mr. Q is always gracious enough to take the crappy part of the job, which is crawling in through the guest room closet and then lying on his stomach to hand things down to me through those doors shown above.

As a result, I never actually see what all is up there in the attic.  So this time I asked him to look around and see if there was stuff up there that we could discard.  Turns out we’ve been shoving things in there and forgetting about them for years.  I couldn’t believe all of the boxes and boxes of stuff that he was pulling out.  We’re still in the process of dealing with all of it.

Mr. Q even pulled out two boxes of old books that I had completely forgotten about.  They came from my parents when they moved out to Las Vegas.

Mr. Q claims that he has read every single one of them.  He went through them one by one and read them on his lunch hour back in the 90’s and it took him the entire decade.  But really Mr. Q?  Did you even read the Freud?

Anyway, I decided that I would try painting a few of these as holiday decorations and see whether or not they sell.  I’ve painted books a few times in the past and I’ve always loved them.   Here are some I did way back when I first started blogging …

I usually paint and then stencil mine, but I saw quite a few of them at the Holly Jolly Market that were painted and then stamped with words on the spines like “joy to the world” and such.

So I pulled out some Dixie Belle paint in Drop Cloth and painted a few.  But instead of stamping them with holiday words, I decided to try adding some Prima Marketing holiday transfers.

I first used the leftover bits from the Gingham Red transfer that I used on the kiddo sized chairs that I shared a couple of weeks ago just on the spine of one book.

This is a great way to use up some of those leftover scraps!

Then I pulled out the Christmas Greetings transfer and used sections of it on the other books.  I started out just using the smaller portions of the design that I thought would fit well on the book covers.

But then I realized that I could use the bigger sections and just wrap them around the spines, or cut them off at the edges.  Even though it feels a little wasteful to not use the entire image, I often prefer the look of a design that goes edge to edge like this.

Once I had all of my transfers applied, I sanded the books lightly to smooth out the finish and distress the edges.  Then I used Dixie Belle’s Big Mama’s Butta to add a light coating of wax for protection.

The final step was to put them in bundles and tie them with ribbon.

I’m betting that a few of you will totally relate, but do you have some crafting supplies that you never use because they are just too precious and you don’t want to ‘waste’ them?

That’s how I feel about this gorgeous vintage velvet ribbon.  I have to laugh because I only paid $2.50 for it at a garage sale, but still … I treat it like it’s gold or something.

I’ve had it for years but have only used the smallest bits of it.  And in the end, I didn’t actually use it on the books because I felt like it covered up too much of the transfer.  It sure looked pretty for these pictures though 😉

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co and Prima Marketing for providing the products I used to restyle these books.

If you’re looking for Dixie Belle products you can find them here.

If you’re looking for Prima Marketing products you can find local retailers here, or online sources here.

And if you’re looking for my painted books you can find them at Reclaiming Beautiful in Stillwater, MN while they last.


22 thoughts on “what’s hiding in your attic?

  1. I love your painted books! It reminded me of an episode on “Escape to the Chateau” when Angel used books in place of traditional Christmas crackers at each person’s place setting. She cut out a section of the interior pages and put little gifts for each person inside. Your books would look gorgeous on a Christmas tablescape!


  2. Such pretty transfers and I’m sure they will blow out the door. Love the way they turned out. I did find myself wondering why y’all don’t use the photo cottage to store your Christmas stuff. Then I remembered your temperatures plus the snow. We swear every year we are going to build shelves in our garage instead of making 20 trips up to the attic and then down to the first floor. By the way are you still blogging over at Reclaiming Beautiful?


    1. Yep, the photo cottage is not weather friendly. Neither is the carriage house for that matter. We could start storing these things in the basement though, that might be a better option since our attic gets really, really hot in the summer. As for Reclaiming Beautiful’s blog, I’ve really been neglecting it lately although I did post there this past Friday.


  3. I can’t use our attic for storage. I got up there one time in the summer and it was so hot you could barely tolerate it! My storage is mostly in our garage, but you can’t get a car in it now! Those books are awsome! I have velvet ribbon too, on an old spool and I hate to use it as well! It is not as beautiful as your ribbon! I have a spool of green, a spool of red and one in teal. Don’t know why I am saving it! It is just pretty to look at!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Think this is how I will learn to do transfers. Better than taking on a big project the first time. Tell Mr “q” if it wasn’t for husbands and long handled wooden spoons we women wouldn’t ever be able to get anything from the top shelves!


    1. Well, that doesn’t totally apply in my case because I’m 5’10”. At work they sometimes call me ‘tall girl’ and always ask me to get things down from the upper shelves 😉 But I definitely rely on Mr. Q to get things out of creepy, spider webby, dark, attic spaces!


      1. LOL. You miss out on so much!! I’ve used wooden spoons, tongs and I use a large salad fork to turn on the ceiling fans! The end of the pulls goes between the tines just right! But then I stir my paint with a whisk. That may be why my family doesn’t want me to cook. And that’s a good thing!!


  5. How in the world did I miss this fantastic post?!?!? I love painting books and you’ve inspired me in the past with the stenciling you’ve done on them. But, these books are on an entirely new level. They are absolutely stunning! I don’t know how you come up with these ideas but am so glad you share them with us. I may just have to give transfers another try!


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