Welcome to Kelli's Olympic Nest's tale of how we are creating a home we love through thrifty DIY projects, crafty ideas, and a willingness to get dirty. In between, there's the stories reminding us to also live the life you love. 

DiY coastal farmhouse decor:  beautiful personalized stamped books on a budget

DiY coastal farmhouse decor: beautiful personalized stamped books on a budget

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Welcome to July’s DiY Challenge: DiY Stacked Book Decor

If you are looking to add coastal farmhouse decor without spending a whole lot of money, then you came to the right place. Today I want to show you how to easily make a personalized stamped book set. This step-by-step tutorial can easily be modified to fit your own home style.

Diy monthly challenge blog  hop

Before we begin let me introduce you to Terrie from Decorate and More with Tip who hosts the monthly DiY Challenge. Each month all us DiYer’s are introduced to a theme and then challenged to reimagine it to fit our own style. Last month we made coiled rope baskets which you can check out here.

Terrie over at Decorate and More with Tip

Patti over at Pandora's box

Dori over at This Full Life 5

Kelli over at K's Olympic Nest

Danya over at Barnhousemess

Sheri over at Savvy in the Suburbs

Shae over at Sweet Southern Grace

Carol over at Bluesky at Home

Teresa over at Through a Vintage Door

Jessica over at Jessica Simmons

Hollie over at HeyitShod

Make your own coastal farmhouse decor

Farmhouse stacked book sets are all the rage. What I love about them is that you can style them however you want. Don’t want to destroy your books with paint? Cover them with paper, music sheets, fabric, etc. The thing about books is that they are easy to find and purchase for practically nothing so it isn’t like you are investing a lot of money to add that touch of farmhouse style.

farmhouse decor ideas that you can make yourself without spending a lot of money.jpg

For this month’s challenge I went with more of a coastal farmhouse look rather than the traditional white and neutral look.

Let’s get started…

How to make your own personalized coastal farmhouse book set

Step 1: find books of similar size and thickness

There are several places you can get hard bound books for little to no expense. Dollar Tree is one place. Also check-out local thrift stores or yard sales. These three came from my classroom’s personal library. No worries…my students have not read these books since I added them to the shelves many years ago. Sad, I know.

easy to follow tutorial to make your own personalized painted stacked book decor.jpg

You might want to use soft-back books which doesn’t take as many steps to complete but does come with some drawbacks.

Next remove the jacket covers.

step-by-step tutorial for making your own stacked book decor .jpg

Heading: painting stacked books

Step 2: select the paint that fits with your home decor style

My home style is a bit coastal, a bit rustic, and farmhouse. So does that make it coastal rustic farmhouse? My favorite color is blue from dark navy to the cool aquas. I pretty much love them all. Hence I decided to create a coastal farmhouse stacked book decor.

Since I had the perfect chalk paint from when I made over this chest dresser, I quickly got to work.

Two of the books were painted in Waverly Inspirations Chalk Agave color. I began with the outside but if I were to do this again, I think I would have started on the inside. Don’t think I would have needed to do as much touch-up in the end.

The third book was painted with Rust-Oleum Chalked ultra matte paint in Linen White.

How to make your own painted hand-stamped books decor.jpg

As you can see with hardbound books you will want to give the inside a coat of paint as well. Which brings me to the next step.

Step 3: prep the inside front and back of your books

If you book includes a solid color page you will want to remove as this will show. See that line of red in the picture above? That’s what I am talking about.

Simple tutorial to make your own personalized painted book decor.jpg

You will need an X-acto knife or box cutter to remove the colored pages.

how  to make book decor from hardback novels.jpg

Carefully cut along the spine. You may need to run the knife over it again. Gently remove the page.

Now you are ready to paint the inside area.

DiY painted hand-stamped books for a coastal farmhouse look.jpg

Step 4: seal stacked painted books

Since I used chalk paint I want to make sure to seal them. This will help prevent the paint from chipping or getting scuffed. It also will make it easier to keep clean when it’s time to dust.

how to paint stacked books for a coastal farmhouse style.jpg

I gave each book one coat. The colored books will look streaky but don’t worry this will dry producing a solid clear coat.

coastal farmhouse decor stacked books DiY tips.jpg

You can see I tried touching up some of the agave paint that made it onto the pages with white. I am hoping when I stamp this, it won’t be as noticeable.

How to hand-stamp books to add coastal farmhouse decor

I spent some time looking for 3 word quotes and which mostly were: Home Sweet Home, This is Us, Always and Forever, Let’s Stay Home …. None really fit with wanted I wanted to create. The idea of home, living in the country —a pacific northwest lifestyle.

Some that struck a cord were: Sunshine and Rain, Home is Happiness, and Imperfection is Beauty

Then there is Kenny Chesney’s song “Blue Rocking Chair” which always gives me a happy vibe as it’s a song about relaxing in the sand.

As I write this and continue to wait for my stamps I ordered over a week ago (another story), I still have no idea what I want to stamp onto my coastal farmhouse books.

After letting these options simmer for a bit, I decided on “Home is Happiness”. One reason is that it captures how I feel about our home and two I may decide to gift this so it makes more sense to go with something that isn’t so personal like “Sunshine with Rain”.

Step 5: how to letter stamp book set decor

For this step you will want a napkin or paper to tap some of the ink off of your stamp.

Begin by writing out your message. This will help you track the letters and ensure you don’t accidentally misspell something.

TIP: practice stamping onto a piece of paper before you stamp onto your book set.

Next, if you are placing your message on the left side of the book pages or spine, you will want to begin with the last letter of the word. Gently roll the stamp onto the ink pad. Now tap the edges onto the napkin or paper to remove excess ink.

Place your letter stamp onto book pages and press. Repeat this process until you are done.


As you can see, ink around the stamp ended up onto the book pages. To fix this I covered it with some white craft paint with a small paint brush.

To dress up the book set I added burlap ribbon and jute twine. Finished with a paper flower. Again, you can dress your stacked book set however you want to using supplies you already have on hand.

easy diy coastal stamped book decor tutorial.jpg

I love the look of my newly coastal farmhouse decor book set. For this project I did buy letter stamps which you can check out from the Materials Needed list below.

Materials Needed:

-3 books of the same size and thickness (hardbound or softbound)

-chalk paint

-paint brush(es)

-chalk paint sealer


-ink for stamps

-twine or ribbon

step-by-step tutorial on how to make painted stamp book set for a farmhouse style #stackedbooks #coastalfarmhousedecor #diy.png

Affordable handmade farmhouse gift ideas

There are so many ways you could personalize these DiY stacked books. We have a wedding to go to in July and how sweet would it be to give them a personalized set that reads: [last name], est., July 23, 2019.

But why stop there. Make one for a house warming gift or as a birthday present. They could also be made to fit in with seasonal decor and we all have a friend or two who would love something like this to dress up their home for the holiday.

And why not add your homemade stacked book decor to a DiY coil rope basket basket? Rather than throwing away wrapping paper or a gift bag, they now have a functional and stylish storage basket. Whoot-Whoot!

You might also like these DIY frugal farmhouse projects from the K’s Olympic Nest

Love to hear new ideas. Let me know how you would create your own book stack decor and whether or not you plan on gifting them or not.

Oh, I almost forgot…don’t forget to give me some love and share this with others. Thanks, friends.

Now let’s hop on over and see how the other creative Diyer’s made theirs…

You can follow this challenge on Instagram by searching for #diychallengeswithtip. Enjoy!

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