The books on my "floating" book shelf caught my attention the other day, and the thought crossed my mind to purchase white and black books to replace the colorful clashing ones currently displayed. However I quickly dismissed the idea because I could not justify buying books for mere decoration; it just seemed frivolous and wasteful.

A couple of days later I came across some scrapbooking pages and it dawned on me that I should just create covers to give my old books new life instead. After shopping around for some pages I found a ton of 12x12 and 8.5x11 pages with cool new designs and textures (who knew scrapbooking paper followed the current styles and trends?!). 

I wanted to make a quick, simple tutorial showing you how I created book covers to match my decor, as well as link to some of the supplies I used incase you're interested in using any of the products I mention in your DIY. 


I think the books look best on the floating shelf if they vary in size and thickness. Hardback books work best for the bottom of the stack since the shelves have two (very small) pieces that stick out from the bottom to prop up the back cover and keep the book from falling open (the main shelf piece is placed in-between the final page of a book and the back cover so that it is hidden). If your largest book is paperback you will have to add a bit of tape to the last page to keep the back cover in place.

If you do need any additional books for this display check out your local thrift store. My local goodwill has shelves and shelves of preloved books and they are incredibly cheap!

I went to Michaels and picked out some sheets from the scrapbooking area. The majority of the ones I ended up using were the 12x12" size, but I used a few of the 8.5x11 pages as well (I included links at the end of the post for the pages I could find online.) I was really surprised at all the different options they had; I felt like there were more than enough choices for the specific look I was going for.

Place the book at the edge of the sheet and use a ruler to trace a line to use as a cutting guide. Leaving a little bit of the page at the top allows a little room for mistakes and ensures that your book does not show beneath the new cover.

Applying the pages is easiest when the sheets fit with space on the ends to spare.

This marble sheet was from a pack of fold-out pages made up of different designs by mambi and were the biggest sheets I had (they are about 18x26").

In order to know where to write on the spine of the book I folded the paper over the book as if I was applying the cover. Putting pressure to either edge of the spine creates a crease on the page to use as a guide.

I wasn't sure how exactly I wanted to write out the title and author so I measured out the spine and traced some practice ones on a scrap piece of paper.

I also recommend writing on your cover with pencil first before tracing it in pen. I would have ruined multiple sheets if I wasn't able to erase my first attempts.

Then I tested out some pens / markers to decide which one I liked best. I decided to skip the black sharpie because it was more thick and threw off the minimal vibe I was going for. (also I'm glad I tested them out because what is that white calligraphy marker doing)

First stack done!

Some of the pages, like this pink one, were sheer and the original cover showed through. Although this may be a cool look if that's what you're going for, I wanted to match the rest of the books and lined the sheer sheets with a white one. 

Just stack your books on the shelves and you're done!


All of the items are from Amazon (Prime) and the best value available I could find.

Pens / Markers:

Scrapbook Sheets:

Need a camera to top your shelves? Thrift stores usually have a few options to choose from (the two I have pictured are from different goodwill trips years ago), but it seems like these vintage cameras have become a rare find since film has made a comeback.

Here are some cool options I found on Amazon that fit the monochrome / minimalist vibe. And since these cameras are new they will definitely work so you can grab them off the shelf from time to time and put them to good use. I love using Holga cameras because you never really know exactly what you are going to end up with.

I hope you enjoyed my quick & easy DIY, if you end up doing this project please feel free to leave a link in the comments; I would love to see what you come up with! 

Thanks for reading, I'll see you on the next post. xx

All content copyright 2016 Shauna Hundeby; all rights reserved.