DIY “Antique” Books in Five Minutes

Anyone else feel like this week is dragging on forever or is it just me? I usually never feel like that, but SHEESH. This week has been so slow and kinda blah to be honest. I don’t really know why, it’s just been one of those blah kinda weeks. I’m ready for January to be over I guess! Anyway, today I wanted to pop in and chat about how to create DIY “antique” books in five minutes. You guys know how much I love my antique books and I always get questions about where I find them. Usually I get old books at antique shops, but I also have a super easy trick to make ANY book look like an antique. And the best part of all is that it only takes about five minutes. Really, it’s the easiest little trick ever!

DIY "Antique" Books in Five Minutes

DIY Antique Book Steps

All you need for this project is dark wax. Any dark wax will do, but for this post I’m using some of the Annie Sloan wax I already had on hand. Rust-Oleum also makes a great option too that is more affordable. You’ll also need a dense brush like th one I have here. A dense makeup brush could even work for this! Next you’ll want to gather up some books. You can use books you no longer want or pick some up super cheap at a thrift store. There are two ways to do this. You can either remove the book cover or leave it on. I’ll show you how to do both!

DIY "Antique" Books in Five Minutes

Ok so for this first book I removed the cover and also the first few pages of the book. (This was an old novel I found for $4 at a local thrift store!) Then you’ll want to apply a tiny amount of wax on the brush and do light strokes all over the book. You do not want a lot of wax on your brush or it will be way too dark! Think of it like dry brushing the book. I suggest wiping off the excess wax on a paper towel before you start on the book.

DIY "Antique" Books in Five Minutes

Make sure you do the spine and all sides of the book! It’s seriously so easy. Here is how two books looked after applying the wax. Nice and “antiqued”.

DIY "Antique" Books in Five Minutes

Now if you want to leave the cover on the book, simply apply the wax to the outer pages like I did below.

DIY "Antique" Books in Five Minutes

Use light stores to apply the wax to the pages.

DIY "Antique" Books in Five Minutes

Here’s the finished look:

DIY "Antique" Books in Five Minutes
DIY "Antique" Books in Five Minutes

So easy, right?! And they totally have the old, antique look now.

DIY "Antique" Books in Five Minutes
DIY "Antique" Books in Five Minutes

If you love the look of antique books I hope you give this little trick a try. It’s so fast and easy, plus it’s a great way to repurpose books you no longer want or use!

Also this post is part of a fun DIY blog hop with a few buddies of mine, so if you have a couple of extra minutes be sure to drop by these other great blogs to check out their DIY project today:

Rooms For Rent Blog

My Vintage Porch

Randi Garrett Design

Fox Hollow Cottage 

Love Grows Wild

Maison de Pax

Sarah here! Nice to meet you. I’m a mama to three, wife to my high school sweetheart and accidental blogger. We recently moved to our little homestead on ten acres and we're loving the small town life in Colorado. I hope this space can inspire you to create a home you love and enjoy the simple moments the most.


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  1. 1.30.20
    Cheryl Atkinson said:

    Hi Sarah! I love old books and I have never thought about adding some dark wax. I’m definitely going to try it. Thank you!

    • 1.30.20
      Sarah said:

      Give it a try, Cheryl! It’s so easy and a great way to repurpose books into decor!

    • 1.30.20
      Shirley said:

      Can you do on card stock? I have botanical prints and they need some aging…
      How long do you let it dry?

  2. 1.30.20

    This really great Sarah. I have taken covers off books but never quite knew how to age them with out getting them wet. love this! Thanks Sarah. xoxo

    • 1.30.20
      Sarah said:

      Yes! This is so much easier than staining them or getting them wet.

  3. 1.30.20
    Sherri said:

    Love this idea Sara..They look authentically old!!

    • 1.30.20
      Sarah said:

      thank you Sherri!

  4. 1.30.20
    Dianne Horton said:

    Hi Sarah…Just love your style! Was wondering where you found the all glass frames…one has a chain for hanging! I have alot of vintage post cards that would look really cute framed in something like that. Thanks!

    • 1.30.20
      Sarah said:

      The glass frames with the chain were from Target! I don’t believe they sell those particular ones anymore, but they have a great selection of frames.

  5. 1.30.20
    Randi said:

    Love! What a simple, fun idea! xoxo

    • 1.30.20
      Sarah said:

      thank Randi!! xo

  6. 1.30.20

    Why are books so perfect for styling? And aged ones, even more so! These are perfect!

    • 1.30.20
      Sarah said:

      Thanks Shannon, I’m obsessed with these!

  7. 1.30.20
    Ruth said:

    Thanks so much for the great idea! I love old books. Sometimes, in thrift stores, the books labeled classic or vintage are way more expensive. So this helps me to get the look without the cost!
    Love your style and personality!!

    • 1.30.20
      Sarah said:

      ah thank you so much Ruth. I appreciate that!!

  8. 1.30.20

    I love these Sarah! What a great idea! I’m going to need to try this!

    • 1.30.20
      Sarah said:

      thanks buddy!! xo

  9. 1.30.20
    Kathy M said:

    Oh my gosh! That is brilliant!

    • 1.30.20
      Sarah said:

      thank you Kathy! xo

  10. 1.30.20
    Gina said:

    I love this! I loved the look of your old books- found 2 that I use but one is musty smelling. I will be heading to good will to grab some to look “old!”

  11. 1.30.20
    Debbie Hernandez said:

    I LOVE this, I use books all around my house for decor and wish they looked old so now I have the method to use. Have you ever chalk painted a hardback cover of a book. Was wondering if you painted the cover you can help that look old too.

  12. 1.30.20
    Loretta DeSpain said:

    This is so simple and brilliant. Thanks!

  13. 1.30.20
    Mary said:

    Ty for your blog!
    in re skin care, what skin type are you & what are you aiming to treat? ( i was looking @ your Tula Coupon & recommends) Ty in advance
    All the very best! ♥

  14. 1.31.20
    Crystal said:

    Hi Sarah, I’ve used other techniques for antiquing (shoe polish for one) but I like the wax idea! The real reason I’m commenting this time is that I had difficulty opening this post because I got a Glaring DANGEROUS WEBSITE message on my screen. This is the first time that’s happened on your site and thought you’d want to know. Something about a scam and my Norton Protection didn’t want me to open it…..

  15. 1.31.20
    Matt said:

    Really cool idea. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this anywhere else. Well done!

  16. 2.1.20
    Tracy said:

    I love this ! I too love old books and with this method I’m excited to try! Yeah!!

  17. 2.3.20
    Carolyn said:

    Just wondering the best way to remove the covers? I got 4 books at Goodwill for $2 and want to do this!!

  18. 2.17.20
    Jennifer said:

    Your blogs are so inspirational!!

    • 2.18.20
      Sarah said:

      ah thank you so much Jennifer!