June 01, 2024

Lori's Notebook - Painted Book Edges

Lori's Notebook - 本の小口に絵を描こう
Lori's notebook for amirisu by Lori Ann Rushfeldt


I have painted the edge of a vintage book.

As a book collector I often keep every book I’ve read. A way to know at a glance which book has been read is to place it on a bookshelf backwards, with the spine facing in. Painted edges can be a lovely unexpected surprise, and a reminder of time spent with a good story.

I enjoyed this so much and look forward to painting other books as well! 


・ A book with a theme you'd like to continue on the book edge. Or let imagination inspire any design you love.

・watercolor paints. Paint brushes.

・two pieces of wood, the approximate size of your book.

・two clamps.

・a few sheets of clean white paper to cover the book. Tape to secure it.



How to make it:

1. Begin by securing the paper to the book, taking care to avoid placing tape directly on the cover (to prevent tearing). 

Lori's Notebook for amirisu by Lori Ann Rushfeldt

2. Clamp the book tightly between the two pieces of wood, lining up the edge to the wood. 



Lori's Notebook for amirisu by Lori Ann Rushfeldt
Lori's Notebook for amirisu by Lori Ann Rushfeldt
3. Sketch your design, when happy, it's time to paint!
I used a vintage book with aged, uneven pages, which made the paint have a tendency to bleed, less water helped. Try painting multiple coats and allow the paint to dry between each coat.

4. When the book edges are thoroughly dry, remove the book from the wood & clamps, carefully remove the protective paper.

5. Gently separate pages 

6. Enjoy your lovely personlized hand-painted book! 


Photos and text by Lori Ann Rushfeldt