Fresh Perspectives: Vintage Book Art

By Ellen Miller


Old books are a treasure. When you find one completely intact, it’s quite a feat. Historically, I’ve passed on purchasing finds in not so perfect condition – until now! In this issue, I’ve breathed new life into some beautiful vintage book pages, giving a Fresh Perspective and creating adorable graphic art.


Getting started requires discovering the perfect book and the rest is quite effortless. I have a soft spot for old etiquette books. The contents are charming and occasionally downright silly. Good manners never go out of style so why not put them on display (as seen here). Right?


This technique is perfect for any subject matter. Determining the space where you plan to display them may help you to decide on a theme.


Find a specific page or a series of pages you want to use and remove them carefully with a sharp knife/razor and set aside. Here’s the creative part, find a coordinating graphic/clip art online to illustrate the page content. Let me give you an example; one of my pages explains the proper way to tip a hat (I told you it was an old book) so I found a charming top hat graphic.


Save your selected graphic(s) into a specific folder on your computer. (Tip: There are many free graphics/clip art online; just make sure it does not have a watermark or copyright.) I also chose book pages with black text only, no pictures. I like the contemporary graphic contrasting the old page…juxtaposition! But experiment and create what you prefer.


Once you have your page(s) removed and clip art saved, create a new Word document. Adjust the settings for the page size and use the insert picture feature to add the clip art to the blank page, placing it in the best location for the book page. Set the printer to the correct page size and use best quality printing feature. I practiced on plain paper cut to size to get familiar with the process.


When you’re ready to print, insert the book page into printer, following the printer’s instructions and print away. It’s that easy! Let the printed page sit for a couple of minutes to insure the ink is dry. Insert the printed page(s) into a frame and admire your work. ***Note: The book page may have to be trimmed to fit into a standard picture frame.


Keep Creating!


(For more on Ellen and her Fresh Perspectives projects, click here.)