Pretty Book Decor {A Ballard Knock-Off}

Everyone loves decorating with books.  It’s an inexpensive decor item, especially when you buy them at the thrift stores.

As I was admiring the new Ballard’s catalog the other day, I came across these Antique Book Bundles they are selling.

How easy to recreate those right?  And it won’t cost you $18 or $25 like they are charging for a set.  Just rip off some covers of old books and tie with string.  So that’s what I did.

Pretty, right?  You can stack 3 or 10 books, there’s no right or wrong.  Have fun with it and stack them wherever in your home.  I know some book lovers might be cringing that I tore off book covers, but these don’t have any sentimental value to me since I maybe paid .25 for each of them at the thrift store.  Probably less, but I don’t remember.  But the older, more worn books the better, because it gives more character.

I have these as decor on my winter mantel which I’ll show you soon. :)

Do you love decorating with books too?  It makes me feel educated having books in random places all around the house.  :)

Sharing this post at My Romantic Home, Just a Girl, Tatertots and Jello, Funky Junk Interiors, Between Naps on the PorchUnder the Table and Dreaming and The Shabby Nest.



  • Click to Share:
  • Share This Post on Facebook
  • Email this Post
  • Share this Post on Twitter
Also find me here:
  • Follow on Pinterest
  • Follow on Google+
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Follow on Instagram


  1. Love decorating with books. Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn both have the same bundles in their newest catalogs. When we were recently in the PB store near us, must hubby just about died…they are charging what??? for old books with the covers torn off??? Don’t get me wrong, we love PB, but that is a bit much. I assured him I’d take the less expensive route and go to Goodwill for my books!

    • Haha that’s funny. I can’t believe what they are charging too. I am in love with the new catalogs everywhere! I’ve never seen these books till I got the Ballard’s. So easy!

  2. That looks really good. I believe if I walked into your home I would think, ‘Hmm, she most really love to read to wear the covers off of those books.’ I would think you were very well read.

    Question though. I see Lauren goes to Goodwill for her books. I seen some worn out books at Antique stores but their still $12 a book which I thought was a little much for the grouping that I would need. Where do you go to find them?

  3. Mary@home says:

    What thrift store do you shop at that sells books for .25? Our local Goodwill charges $3 for a hardback – when they told me that, I took them off the checkout counter and put them back. I don’t want to pay $3, even to read them :) I think I need to expand my horizons beyond Goodwill.

  4. Cute! I’m so doing this. My husband is a librarian, but since he only had a minor fit when I made my book wreath I’m assuming his reaction to this won’t be much different. :)

  5. Great idea!! I love it. Thanks for sharing. Can I feature this on my blog next week??

  6. Ooo… I likey! But man, I don’t know if I’d be able to rip a cover off a book… it seems very taboo to me!

  7. This reminded me of when you did the stamping on the books that you saw on Ballard (which I tried my hand at here I have bought these type of books already done by crafters just out of plain laziness. They were on my “to do” list but I knew I would never get around to it.

  8. GENIUS!! I will have this on my entry table by the end of the week! THANK YOU! :)

  9. That’s beautiful. And you can use those covers for altered books as well!!

  10. great idea!!! those look lovely…and I can’t wait to see your mantel!

  11. I couldnt agree more that books add interest and character to a home. Read my post on the same idea here:

    Nice pics and looking forward to seeing your mantel.

  12. I’m going to cry! This is too, too easy! I’m headed to the thrift store in the morning! Oh so smart! Love it!

  13. Love it! I did the same thing on my side board display for fall and Christmas and think stacks of books around are fab. Looking forward to seeing your mantel. I need to be inspired for mine!

  14. I love it! So easy and so inepensive. The best of both worlds, eh?

  15. This is something that I have been planning to do myself. Thanks for giving me the push I needed girl! Yours turned out beautifully! I love them Emily!

  16. LOVE this idea! I don’t decorate with books, but I should!!!!!

  17. wow, this is awsome. So simple and cheap. Forget spending $20.

  18. I couldn’t believe those when I saw them in the catalog! C’mon! You’re right – how easy to do that yourself instead of paying them plus shipping! You done good girl!

  19. Charming idea…. I can’t wait to try it. Please come up with more ideas for books. We are all bibliophiles in my family with hardly a shelf to put them on. ^.^)

  20. Love this look…I got lots of old books….a good place to find some is at library books sales…you can fill up a grocery sack for anywhere 3.00-5.00 a bag….if you fill it right you can get lots in there….also you
    can use the book covers to do something like this that Cathe made…
    Happy crafting…

  21. I featured this today on Today’s Top 20!


  22. Love these! Totally going to make these :) For anyone wondering where to get cheap books, check your local used bookstore- a lot of times they will have a $1 or $2 rack or even a free bin. Would love to see this project on my linky party!

  23. Wow! I love how something so affordable (your version, that is!) and simple is still so chic! It’s really pretty! (saw your linkup on Tatertots & Jello)

  24. This looks awesome. I saw these tonight in the Ballard’s catalog. I did cringe for a minute when I thought about copying this look and ripping off covers of my books…but then I thought I will go to goodwill tomorrow…there are so many old books there – that no one will ever read – I won’t feel as bad to rip the covers off. Great idea. I am gonna get going on this one.

  25. This is a great idea! I always see the old books but they have ugly covers…this eliminates my problem! Thanks for sharing. Come link up to my Sew Crafty Saturday Party! ~April

  26. Neat idea! I’m getting ready to fill/style a bookcase in my living room, and maybe I’ll use this idea there? Thanks for sharing.

  27. My first comment wouldn’t post so I’m saying this again: I’m totally with you on this one. I saw the BD and Restoration Hardware catalogs over the weekend and laughed when I saw these. I’m totally doing this after my next trip to Goodwill.


  28. I do use books to decorate with and this is a great idea that I haven’t seen before, I love when someone comes up with a good knockoff for decorating. This is one I can pull together in just a couple of minutes. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Great post! Find it and make it, so much easier than buying it!

  30. What a great Ballard knockoff! Thanks for showing us how!

  31. This is such a good looking project!

    I would be honored to have you add it to my blog party

    Amaze Me Monday Blog Party

  32. I’m a big fan of Ballard also, so I love to see ideas associated with this awesome catalog. Great job!

    Warmly, Michelle

  33. These look great! You have found some amazing looking books – I love the color of the pages. {I usually have to dye mine to get them to look like that} Thanks so much for linking to the Sunday Showcase – Hope you have a great week ~ Stephanie Lynn

  34. I love this! I saw these in a boutique last week, but didn’t even bother looking at the price tag! I have on OLD bible that is falling apart, but I still have the cover, so I may experiment with doing it with the cover on. Either way, it is an awesome idea!
    There is a God and it isn’t me

  35. great BD knockoff, actually better!

    please visit the blog of a newbie ;)


  36. I love decorating with books and these are so charming. Thanks for showing us how it’s done easily (and cheaply). I’m off to the thrift store tomorrow. Hope you’re having a great week :O)

  37. Well here I was thinking I was soooo smart! Well know I see your just as smart!!! haha! Ohh I LOVE you! We really might be long lost design sisters!!! Going to enter your CW giveaway so we can have matching curtain too! lol!!!

  38. I like your version even better than Ballard’s! I was so inspired, I had to give it a go myself. Check it out here, if you want:

    I love decorating with books too — simple and easy, but lovely. Thank you for sharing this project!

  39. In particular, the Foreign money is really a very good forex that has a very good level in the daytime,
    that’s basically night in the states. When people originally have a look at investing with make a living from binary options, one of many principal good reasons actually fascinated by this specific form of investment may be the utter velocity where profits could be manufactured. make a living from binary options gives a training curriculum pertaining to newbie investors, with the exercise program you’ll be able to make use of skilled stock chart, the make a living from binary options,
    selection constructor, the main one touch make a
    living from binary options plus more. Tools on the make a living from
    binary options program add some Above/Below approach, 1
    touch method in addition to our own choice constructor created to let end users stipulate your expiry of commission and also other issues from the business, plus
    the make a living from binary options which in turn expire inside of 59 mere seconds in the starting point
    on the long term contract. make a living from binary options provides a
    training curriculum pertaining to starter dealers, through
    the training program you’ll discover ways to make use of skilled chart, the particular make a living from binary options, option contractor, normally the one feel make a living from binary options plus more.

  40. Many you should do is hold out until they are not gambling and also
    you learn they’ve got any fragile side when you thrust them they may collapse with regard to nervous about burning off any further cash over a undesirable palm. The game involving world-wide-web casino online may possibly appear to be acquiring on the internet along with, seriously, this only could possibly be!

  41. These make me so happy! I have tried wrapping old books with fabric or burlap, and this is sooo much better! Love it!


  1. […] I propped up the painted and stamped book next to the Ballard inspired stacked books. […]

  2. […] Thrifty Decor Chick, is simply DecorChick! The chick is Emily and she had a recent post about a Ballard Design Knock Off. Pretty smart and cheap! Woohoo! Shots for everyone! Oops, it’s a little early for the bar, […]

  3. […] see I have my yarn wreath, the Ballard knock-off books, and a lot of my antique goodies on here like the old window, the scale, and the giant […]

  4. […] Go see how she went about her Ballard Designs knock off. […]

  5. […] I sat a birdcage (I think from Michael’s or Hobby Lobby?) on top of my Ballard knock-off books. […]