Today is one of my favorite projects that I’m reviving from 2011! How to make your own vintage inspired book page ornament. This is one of the first things I found on Pinterest when I joined (back in 2011) and it is very easy to make. Follow this tutorial to make your own version, plus I have a book page printable you can use to make these ornaments if you don’t have any old books on hand. You can find it at the bottom of this post!
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Supplies List for DIY Book Page Ornaments
- Clear glass bulb ornaments (approx. 3 inches in diameter)
- Mod podge (glossy finish)
- Tim Holtz distress ink pad (Walnut Stain used in gold ornaments, Brushed Corduroy used in light colored ornaments)
- Glitter or Stickles (I used the Platinum Stickles for the light colored ornament)
- Paint brush or foam brush
- Sponge or Tim Holtz blending tool
- Wax paper or Craft Mat (I use this one by Ranger)
- Vintage book pages OR the my book page printable (you can download mine from my free resource library – get the password at the bottom of this post)
How to Make Book Page Ornaments
Below are the steps to make the light colored version of the ornament with photos. However, anytime I did something different for the gold version, I will add a note for you in that step.
Step 1: Separate the Ornament Parts
Separate the hanger part from the ornament bulb. Set it aside to add glitter later on.
Gold ornament option: Paint the silver part of the hanger cap with gold acrylic paint. Then set it aside to dry and to add glitter at a later step.
Step 2: Prepare and Distress the Book Pages
Gather your old book pages or download the printable book page I made for this project from my FREE resource library. You can get the password at the bottom of this post.
Now, it’s time to make the paper look vintage. I used the Tim Holtz distress ink in Brushed Corduroy. To apply the distress ink, you can use regular sponge. The number one rule of crafting – ALWAYS test your technique on scrap paper! I did this and my sponge was applying the ink just a little too harsh for the color I wanted.
I ended using a dryer sheet that had already gone through the dryer and it worked out perfect! A paper towel or kleenex might achieve a softer effect as well. You can also use a Tim Holtz blending tool for alcohol inks since it has cotton pads and is softer than the foam blending tool that I used.
Once you are done distressing the paper, you will rip up the paper into small pieces and strips of different sizes. You can be as random or as uniform as you want. The key is that you create somewhat smaller pieces so you can prevent too many wrinkles and gaps in the paper in the next steps.
Gold ornament option: The original gold ornament I made used old book pages from a German book I found on Etsy. I used the Tim Holtz Walnut Stain distress ink, which is a darker tint. I also added more distress ink to the edges of each piece of the book page after it was ripped apart.
Step 3: Mod Podge the Glass Bulb and Add Book Pages
Now it’s time to begin the mod podge process. This will be quite messy, so you will want to do this over a crafting mat or put down a sheet of wax paper.
First, apply a very thin layer of mod podge using the paint brush to the glass ornament in the spot where you’ll begin. Then place the paper on top of the mod podge and began to bend, fold, and tear some of the edges to create a more smooth surface on the round bulb. You can either use the paint brush or your finger to add a little extra mod podge during this process.
Smooth out the paper as best as you can. Some of the ink will also start to appear to come off, but it’s ok. It will actually help soften the white torn edges as you move the mod podge around.
Continue to do this over and over for each piece until the entire glass bulb ornament is covered. Be sure to work in small spaces so you have areas to hold the ornament while the rest of the mod podge dries. One mistake I made was touching the bottom of the ornament that was not yet dry with a finger that had mod podge on it and it started to peel off some of the paper.
Step 4: Decorating the Ornament Hanger
While your bulbs are drying, get your ornament tops that you set aside. You can add some glitter. I used a product called Stickles in Platinum. Start with a small amount and add more as you go using a paintbrush or your finger. If you want to use regular glitter, first add a layer of mod podge and then shake on the glitter. Be sure to shake off any excess glitter from the hanger. Set aside the hanger to dry.
Step 5: Adding Glitter to the Ornament
Now it’s time to glitter the ornament. I used Stickles in Platinum on the main ornament similar to the hanger in the previous step. Squeeze out the Stickles product on a piece of paper and use a paintbrush or your finger to starting spreading it around the ornament.
If you want to use glitter, use a light layer of mod podge and spread it on top of the paper in small areas. Shaking the glitter on for this portion doesn’t seem to work well. I suggest using your finger to apply the glitter. Tap on the glitter with your finger in stages working from the top of the ornament to the bottom.
Set aside carefully to dry. Since you worked from the top to the bottom, you can lightly set the ornament on it’s top in the original carton or balance the bulb to let the bottom dry fully.
Step 6: Make a Tag (optional)
If you want to add any other embellishments or tags, make them while the bulb is drying. For the light colored ornament I didn’t add anything extra. However, for the Gold Ornament, I made handwritten tags that said “NOEL” using leftover paper.
I also distressed the edges and both sides of the tag with Tim Holtz Walnut stain distress ink. Make sure when you cut your tags, you leave room to punch a hole to attach it on the ornament.
Step 7: Assemble the Ornament
Now it’s time to assemble all of the parts. Be sure to check that everything feels dry and not tacky. Then put the ornament hanger back into the bulb. For the light colored ornament, that is the last step and you are done! Add an ornament hanger and put your finished book page ornament on the tree to see how much it sparkles!
Gold ornament option: Put the ornament hanger back into the bulb. Next, add hemp yarn to the tag and wrap it around the base of the top hanger piece. To keep the hemp yarn in place, use tacky glue to attach it to the bulb. Then you will add a piece of hemp yarn around the top hanger as the hook. And you are done! Another gorgeous option for a book page ornament!
DIY Vintage Inspired Book Page Ornaments
Although it’s a little messy, this is such a fun project to make for your own Christmas tree or give to someone else. It took me only just a couple hours from start to finish, including drying time to finish this ornament.
Book Page Printable
If you don’t have access to old book pages (or you cringe just thinking about tearing up a book), you can download this Vintage Book Page printable that I made just for this project. I found a cute story about “Christmas Every Day” from 1910 and styled it to look like an old book page. Sign up below to get access to my FREE resource library where you can download the file to print.
Let me know if you make this ornament – I would love to see how yours turned out!
Happy Holiday Crafting!