A literary table runner PERFECT for bookish weddings

Guestpost by CameraObscura on Apr. 28th

I thought it would be really cool to have table runners made up of lots of pages from books all stuck together, like an organised mess. My future husband found some old wood veneer contact on a garbage pile a few years ago, and we finally had a use for it! Here's how we made these table runners out of old book pages.

What you will need:

  • Self adhesive contact: preferably something heavier like the veneer rather than clear book contact because once the paper is off it won't curl onto itself, which is handy!
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Old book or books that are falling apart and will tear easily away from the spine. We used old David Edding's books that my future husband has had since primary school that have been well loved. Things like old photos would work well, but once its stuck down you can't get it off.
  • Glue stick to stick extras on top.
  • A tea bath/black coffee to splatter to age or decorate the pages. Better to do the tea bath first and wait for the pages to dry, but the coffee could be drizzled after completion.

Step 1: Your Veneer

This veneer was about 450mm (18 inches) wide, which would be too wide to be runners at our venue, so we had to cut it in half. We weren't too sure on the length either, so we went off our dining table and did ours at 2 metres (80 inches). Remember that the pages will overlap the edges so you don't have to cut these perfectly straight.

Cut to your desired length and width.

Peel the contact away. If you are using a more lightweight contact it may be necessary to weight it down a lot, but ours stopped curling once the paper was off the veneer.

Step 2: The Pages

Tear or peel the pages away from the spine. Ours were quite old books and came away quite easily. If you would rather use a newer book, such as a favourite book, you will probably end up with more torn edges as the glue is pretty strong. It felt so wrong to destroy books, but it was going to a good cause! We used books where pages were falling out and were just generally unreadable condition because of floppy spines etc. You could even go to a thrift store or op shop and buy some old books very cheap for this purpose.

Apply the pages however you choose; you could do them neatly overlapping all in one direction, ramshackle like ours, all torn and burnt… so many possibilities!

We made twelve of these table runners all together, and it took about 2.5 hours and cost us nothing. They look amazing! Good thing we have such a big lounge room! After we were finished we just stacked them on top of each other and they don't really take up any space.

Here's another picture of how our lantern centrepieces look on the finished table runners — awesome!

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About CameraObscura

CameraObscura is a photographer and full time TAFE student. She's worked as a corset fitter for three years and it's one of the loves of her life, and she's also extremely interested in historial costuming. She's lived with her partner since she was 15 years old, and everyhting is still running smoothly, so they're planning an October wedding in an Elizabethan village.