Vintage Thingies Thursday - My Vintage Paper Struggle

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I have a dilemma.

Do you see that photo above? Does it make YOUR heart go pitter patter? Because it SOOOO makes my heart go pitter patter!

I love paper. Seriously. I love it a lot.

Yes, I, of course, love fresh, new, crisp, just off the presses beautiful colored papers that I use for crafting, but that's not all.

Walk into a library and inhale. THAT, my friends, is one of the most beautiful smells in the whole world. Pure, old paper. Paper that is discolored from lignin and has been in contact the oils of many hands. It's fabulous. Simply fabulous.

The thing is... I don't JUST love paper, you see, I also LOVE books! And I love to paper craft.

Herein lies my dilemma.


Vintage papers from old books in all kinds of fabulous languages, old maps, and various ephemera from times gone by are wonderful for crafting, but in order to use these treasures you must remove them from the tomes in which they reside.


I can't do it. I simply CANNOT destroy a perfectly good book just so I can use the paper. It doesn't matter what is in the book, whether I like the content or not is not an issue, the point is simply that it is a book and that it is printed matter and it needs to live on forever. Period. Really.

I told you that I love books.

They serve such an amazing role in society and culture and to destroy even one is to in essence remove a piece of the history of which that volume is a part.

Not. Okay.


But just look at these! Seriously. Aren't they just fabulous? I really do love the paper. I love that thin, fragile, delicate feel to it. I adore the smell! And it looks...well....it just is perfect. Aged perfection. All ready for crafting.


I cheated. I ordered this stash on Etsy. I am going to tell myself that the books that these beautiful pages were taken from were already torn and even partially burnt, so in actuality, I am helping to save at least a portion of them by incorporating them into my art.

That's my story. And I'm stick'n to it.

I thought it would be easier, since I didn't have to pull them from books, but, alas, the guilt is still pressing in on me in quite an oppressive manner. Not sure what to do about that. I should probably make something. That's bound to make me feel better!


But just LOOK at those! Don't they make you happy? Those thin, fragile pages? They make me happy. They really do.


I think I may officially be an evil person. What do you think? What are your thoughts on vintage book pages and such used for other stuff? Tell me your thoughts.

Don't forget that we still have a little less than a week left in the month long giveaway event!!!


  1. That's probably the only way I could do it too. I love books so much!
    Dropped by from SITS.

  2. I completely agree! I have old books that would be perfect for creating with and I just can't do it. Oh yes, and that library smell... just love it!

  3. i totally agree with you..love the look, feel & smell of vintage texts mmmmm!!..love the photos of your vintage papers :)

  4. I feel the same way about taking things apart and using them. But if its something that isn't worth much, you might as well use it in crafts.

  5. Love the photos. I agree that it is dreadful to destroy a good book but if is damaged or not really a great book by all means create!

  6. yes, my heart went pitter patter. I have no issue with tearing out a page or 2 from an old book..as long as I got it from goodwill!

    I've been wanting to try an altered book project

    and that paper smell, that's what I love about opening my scrap room door...

  7. wow.. great papers.. look at the illustrations and the printing.. just lovely..

  8. Oh,I love old papers too! You are right, they smell so devine. Weel, you can always make copies of the pages you want to use, and distress the edges to make the paper look old. It seems a lot of people do that instead of using the actual old papers.


  9. Those papers are pretty fabulous!

    Along those lines, my little sister gave me a vintage copy [printed in 1948] of my favorite book ever, Mr. Popper's Penguins. I'm going to post about it, so watch for it. It's beautiful!

  10. I will come over and tear them apart for you (does that make me an evil person). I don't have a problem with "taking apart" books :D

  11. You are so funny....but I know exactly how you feel.

    I would have a hard time destroying any book I thought someone could still gain some enjoyment from.

    Now, I'm sure that the pages you purchased came from books that were already partially destroyed and could no longer be used in their traditional way.

    You are now giving those pages new life. :)

  12. Oooh, those papers are SOOOOOO awesome! I am drooling over here! Yes, I'm a lover of books, too, and I can't bring myself to destroy them, even if I never have any intention of reading them. If I found one that was already starting to come apart then MAYBE I could take some of its pages. But I doubt it...I would probably loving try to tape it back together. That's just who I am.

  13. Tattered, tired, & worn...are the best. I posted on my love of books just this week. I have not attempted projects with them as yet, but am working up to it.
    Thanks for sharing!
    Living it up at Lakewood,

  14. I love your papers and can't wait to see what you might do with them! I wouldn't pull apart a book, but have no problems taking loose pages and re-purposing them!

  15. I totally agree! I won't cut up books myself, but I'll buy pages from people who already have. Is that like contracting a hit instead of doing the murder yourself?

  16. I agree. I won't cut or mark up books either. I posted about some of my vintage books yesterday. This is my first time participating in VTT. Please stop by and visit -

  17. I love old paper too and have acquired a "small" amount of old paper items and publications. My favorite are old postcards and vintage calling cards. The graphics on these are wonderful. Thanks for sharing your paper collection.

  18. I know what you mean, I love the photos, and the newspaper is great. Ebay is great for things like this...at least I feel better about it! Have a great VTT!

  19. I totally see the dilemma. I LOVE books, I am a librarian! But sometimes I want to take them apart for crafts or to frame something... it is a hard choice to make. I worry that some preservationist somewhere is going to come get me.

  20. I think that they would make a great craft project!

  21. I also love books.....love,love,love them. However, if a book is so old and coming apart..why not take the parts that are usable and use them..give the book a new life and a new purpose. It's how I feel about vintage quilts, that are so fragile they are most coming apart. I make Christmas stockings or angels..something that won't get much use, and yet the quilt has a new life. Good luck with your paper crafts, I know they will be beautiful. xx Happy VTT..have a lovely weekend.

  22. I'm an evil person too! I do it all the time......cut up old books! I admit it. I love to make collages with layers and layers and layers of old papers, pages, and photos. I enjoy looking at it on the wall......I forget about it if it is in a book somewhere on a shelf! Go ahead.......CUT!

  23. You are too funny! The old books are beautiful.


  24. I love the smell of vintage paper too! I can't wait to see what you do with it!

  25. sooooo...that's where all this "paper" comes from on vintage layouts that I have been seeing....mmmm....I think recycling is great...especially if the book is damaged!

  26. Make a copy of the page of an old book - - - "age" it with tea water, save the old book and use the aged copy for the craft.

  27. This is an interesting issue that you raise. I was discussing this a few months ago with altered art/mail artist Mandy Collins when she wrote an article about the use of vintage postcards as components of altered art.
    I guess there isn't an easy answer to that one - except that it's nice to see people thinking it through beforehand!
    Evelyn in Montreal

  28. My problem is book covers. I have been up to my ears in vintage papers for a while. I have finally started to destash some.
    I have spent years collecting discarded books. Lots really are damaged beyond use but have many nice pages left.
    I've struggled a lot with what to keep for myself and what to list but I struggle more with what to do with the covers. I can't stand to throw them out.
    But anyway you are doing a great service think of all that beautiful paper going to waste on a shelf somewhere of no use in its original form. You give it new life so that it may be enjoyed again. And trust me most of my stuff was headed for the dump.People tease me for saving this old stuff but I love it.


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