Monday, January 28, 2013

DIY: vintage book mobile

I love old things.

I love their musty smell, even when they faintly smell like Depends and formaldehyde.

I love the obvious care with which they were made. They just don't make things like they used to.

My favorite quote about old vintage-y things comes from my favorite episode of Doctor Who.

Sally Sparrow: "I love old things, they make me feel sad."
Kathy Nightingale: "What's good about sad?"
Sally Sparrow: "It's happy for deep people."

I have a humble-sized collection of old vintage gardening books. I bought them at a library discard book sale in my hometown a few summers ago. I would have purchased more (they had over 1,000) but Southwest airlines only lets me put fifty pounds in each suitcase. Anyway, much to my dismay, I feel in love with some vintage children's book mobiles at a local boutique the other night. I knew they were the perfect things to hang above the rocking chair where I read to my hobbit. Unfortunately, they were SIXTY DOLLARS. Paul would have murdered me in a back alley if I spent sixty dollars on a book that we can't even read. So I decided to make my own.

Use an exacto knife or the edge of a pair of scissors to separate the pages from the book binding. Try to leave the cover in one piece.

***OPTIONAL fabric attachment***
You don't have to do this, but my vintage book didn't have a very attractive epidermis, so I covered it with a piece of fabric. I ironed the fabric into the shape I wanted and then hot-glued it to the inside of the book cover. It would also be cute to do a blanket stitch to attach it.

Then, I used an embroidery needle and thread to make the loop used for hanging. I added two giant cross stitches for decoration. Once the mobile was completely finished, I threaded a long piece of vintage thread through the loop and hung it from the ceiling with my metal hook.

Next, I ran a glue stick down the edge of the page and molded it into the oval shape I wanted. I would recommend doing all of the pages like this first before attaching them together into the book cover.

Then I glued each page back into the book. Each time I stuck a page in between two other pages, I would pinch the edges just to make sure they were attached. Keep layering and attaching pages in between others to form the "tails". 

and voila! Perfect to hang in Lily's nursery.


  1. ummm, i will be making this soon. and i have the PERFECT book in mind!!

  2. Definitely pinned this on Pinterest in my "Creativity" folder. The world will know your great idea and talent!

  3. Great tutorial Mandy! Thanks for sharing (: I added it to my crafty love pin board too!

  4. We don't read books in our house, we just brutalize them and hang 'em from the ceiling. On weekends we burn the really thick ones. :)

  5. Sooo cool and pretty. I had a lot of fun making it!