Updated: Oct 20
For our wedding back in September, the majority of the decor we used to accessorize the event space was made up of previously loved items. A lot of the things I incorporated into my design plans happened to be stuff I'd collected over the years, and had already been using as decor in our house. From thrift store finds to vintage treasures to hand-me-downs, if it fit into the vision I had in my head for that day, I found a way to put it to good use.
When it came to centrepieces, the last thing I wanted to do was spend a bunch of money on over-the-top floral arrangements. So, instead of doing that, I decided to use one of my favourite thrift shop finds to add colour, personality, and charm to each table: old books!
To be honest, I have Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper to thank for my hearty, vintage library. Anyone who's ever watched the show or is familiar with Gaines' style knows how much of an impact a set of worn-out books can have. And by mixing various sizes and colours together, you can come up with a look that packs just as much of a punch as a bouquet of fresh flowers.
Now, the point of this post isn't that Andrew and I saved a bunch of money by using miscellaneous garage sale and secondhand shop purchases to decorate our wedding venue. It's actually to demonstrate how some of those items — i.e. the old books — can be used for other things, like Christmas decor!
To find out how you can use pretty books from a thrift store to create an illuminated, miniature Christmas tree for your home, check out the easy-to-follow tutorial below.
Old green books in various shades and sizes
Mini tree star
Battery-operated LED fairy lights
As you can see, there aren't very many things needed for this project. Other than the books, I was able to find everything at the dollar store — yes, even the gorgeous fairy lights!
I should also point out that you don't necessarily have to stick to a green colour scheme when it comes to the books you choose to work with. I ended up mixing in a blue one here and there, and I think it really enhanced the overall look of my tree. And if you're feeling extra adventurous, why not go in the complete opposite direction and try a totally unexpected palette made up of pink, orange, or purple?!
To start off my tree, I had to remove the thin handle from my metal bucket. I simply used a pair of linesman pliers to break it apart, and then removed the remaining metal pieces from each side.
Doing this gave the upper rim an even surface. Once I flipped the bucket upside down, I was left with the perfect base for my tree.
Next, I took all of the books I wanted to use and figured out the perfect way to stack them. After a few minutes of arranging and rearranging, I managed to come up with a tree-esque shape.
As soon as I was happy with the order of the books, I transferred everything over to the bucket and restacked.
I then placed my perfectly-sized star on top and made sure it was centred.
Now, even though I was totally happy with the way my tree looked at this stage in the game, I knew surrounding it with a pretty strand of white lights would hit this DIY out of the park.
So, I popped a couple of 'AA' batteries into the necessary places, hid the power box behind my bucket, and began wrapping the fairy lights around the books.
When I reached the top, I tucked the end of the strand into a book, and, with a flick of a switch, I let the magic unfold!
Doesn't it look great?! Whether you're a lover of books or can't get enough of decorating with thrifted items, this Christmas tree piece is sure to make your heart sing.
If this project inspires you to get crafty, let me know by sharing your creations with me! Leave a comment or use #katiesaracreates on social media. And don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss out on future posts!