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09 May, 2012

Vintage French Fairy Tale Book Covers

I had so much fun creating my most recent project…turning old paperback books into vintage French fairy tale books with just the addition of a book cover! But the best part was working with two of my frenchy favorites…Charles Perrault’s classic French fairy tales and Gustave Doré’s amazing illustrations!

024 Of course, Baby Kitty is also a big fan, since Le Chat Botté (Puss in Boots) stars one of his own! And he wants to point out that in the Perrault version of Le Petit Chaperon Rouge (Little Red Riding Hood), the wolf wins in the end! French fairy tales teach a lesson and are not for sissies! You can find the English translations of Perrault’s fairy tales (dating from 1697) plus more of Doré’s illustrations (added in 1867) for Little Red Riding Hood here and Puss in Boots here.

le chat botté cover
The real fun was in creating the graphic! The script in the background is actually the beginning lines from Le Chat Botté. I added a border from The Graphics Fairy and then one of Doré’s illustrations.

le petit chaperon rouge cover
Then I repeated the process for Le Petit Chaperon Rouge…gotta love those illustrations and the frame just makes it perfect…then I added the titles on the spine.

page Here’s how to do it…
1. Print the covers above at 8 x 10 size and fold them to fit a paperback book. Then trim the edges so that they fit exactly on the top and bottom, with a flap to fold over the sides. I trimmed the flap at an angle so that it would not show.
2. Next, place the cover on a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil and add a little strong coffee. Give it a few moments to soak in, then pour off the excess. Place the cover (still on the cookie sheet) in a preheated 200 degree oven for about 5 minutes or until the edges begin to curl up. Watch carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn!
3. When you have finished, it should look something like this! Start with the front and re-crease along the previous folds.
4. Place the cover on the paperback, making sure it fits properly. You may find that the back of the cover has shrunken a tiny bit, so it is important to start with the front first. Coat the inner sides completely with rubber cement and smooth them down. You can roll off any excess that comes out using your fingers. As a final touch, you might add some Distress Ink on the book edges with a small sea sponge to give them a vintage look. I started with an old paperback from Goodwill (so old its original price as new was just 60 cents! lol) so I didn’t have to do much!

052 And there you have it! They look pretty authentic, huh? That’s my favorite Quimper candlestick from a local antique shop and a peek at my $1.91 vintage bottle wrapped in wickerwork...from Goodwill! I’ll show you more later.

050And the books were virtually free! Don’t you love those illustrations? Now I am looking for more so I can add to my “vintage” collection!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a little peek at my French fairy tale book covers! Please visit these wonderful bloggers and their beautiful blogs to see what they are up to and to find a list of this week’s participants!
Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming for the Sunday Showcase Party
Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick for Before and After Monday (first Monday of the month)
Mary at Boogieboard Cottage for Masterpiece Monday
Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Metamorphosis Monday

Karen at The Graphics Fairy for Brag Monday
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life for Tabletop Tuesday
Beth at The Stories of A2Z for Tutorials and Tips Tuesday
Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesday

Anita at Cedar Hill Ranch for Cowgirl Up on Tuesdays

Kristin at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia for Tuesday's Treasures
Kim at Savvy Southern Style for Wow Us Wednesdays
Judy at DIY by Design for Swing into Spring

Gina at The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursdays
Sherry at No Minimalist Here for the Open House Party on Thursdays
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show and Tell Friday
Courtney at French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday
Honey at 2805 for Potpourri Friday

Heather and Vanessa at At the Picket Fence for Inspiration Friday
Debra at Common Ground for Vintage Inspiration Friday
Sherry at The Charm of Home for Home Sweet Home Friday
Donna at Funky Junk Interiors for Saturday Nite Special

See you next time! A la prochaine!


  1. Your book covers are beautiful, Debbie. Very clever! Love your candlestick!


  2. Love these!! So pretty how you added the illustrations and the Title! I am sooooooooo doing this! Thank you for sharing!! I'm pinning it, too!

  3. Those are amazing! They are absolutely beautiful. xo Diana

  4. What a wonderful job with these vintage book covers, they really look as if they have been kept in the book shelf for ages. I love them. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I love your book covers! You did a wonderful job on them. Your kitty it so sweet too!
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. What a fun and beautiful project! Love those vintage illustrations...and your own Le Chat Botte!
    <3 Christina

  7. What a super idea. You are so creative. Love it. Hugs, Marty

  8. Thank you SO VERY MUCH! I Love this and am definitely going to be making some journals with this idea! LOVE,LOVE,LOVE IT!!! and baby kitty is just so SWEET!!!
    Have a wonderful week,

  9. More clever and wonderful French goodness from your creative hands. Love the graphics.
    Happy Mother's Day!

  10. Great job, they are really great looking.

  11. That looks wonderful, Debbie! You are so good at this stuff ~ I am horrible at computer graphic stuff like this. I saved your creations and they will be perfect to add as accessories to the guest bedroom I am working on now. In fact, I just took a paperback book out of the box I have going to Goodwill and ripped the cover off it yesterday. I knew I could do a bundle or something with it. Thanks for sharing with us all again! : )

  12. Those are truly sensational! I'd love to try my hand at that some day! You are one talented and clever lady!!

    Have a wonderful day~


  13. Debbie, J'adore votre livres!!!

    Wow, you made these? They look great!

  14. Well, I'll say it again. You come up with the BEST projects! Love this, and I love your Quimper candlestick! laurie

  15. Your book covers are gorgeous! You have awesome graphic skills. I don't think I could ever get the placement correct.

  16. Thanks for sharing and bless your graphics know-how ~ these are wonderful. I'll be trying this. Baby Kitty is quite the handsome co-host.


  17. Oh I love these!! I have to go back and read step-by-step where you got the graphics from, etc. but this is definitely something I'd love to try!

  18. Debbie,
    Charming book covers. Even more charming is co~host, Baby Kitty! Now this might be a project I can sewing required! ha!

  19. Love these!! Would love to make them but apparently I'm more computer challenged than I even realized! And I made my living on the computer for umpteen years!

  20. Hi Debbie,

    Your book covers are adorable.


  21. Adorable vintage book covers... very clever and creative.

  22. Beautiful book covers. And thanks for the how-to.

  23. Those book covers are charming, Debbie. And your step by step process sounds so easy. Makes the books with ripped off covers and tied together with ribbon look sooooo ordinary! Linda

  24. Love your book covers, Debbie!..Christine

  25. Love these! Thank you for a wonderful idea.

    Susan and Bentley

  26. The book covers are wonderful.
    Thanks for sharing the inspiration.

  27. This is so cool! When I read about French Beauty and the beast, it wasn't for kids at all!

    There is a link party going on in my blog today. I would LOVE for you to share this :)


  28. Debbie amazing; this is so creative! I love anything French!

    Please come to check out my interview with Tina from The Enchanted Home; and be eligible for a crystal hurricane candle giveaway!

    Art by Karena

  29. The book covers look amazing. I love your Quimper candlestick but I have to say that Baby Kitty is the cutest of all.

  30. Followed over from Feathered Nest to see the French covers. I have a collection of French textbooks and plan to adapt this idea to make them fresh "old" covers. I hope they will look as tres belle as yours! (love the photos of your kittikins!)

    Distressed Donna Down Home

  31. I think every room needs a little touch of whimsy, and the French fairy tale book covers are perfect. Great project and so cute.

  32. I love the way they look. Cute kitty too.

  33. These add so much character! No pun intended haha...And I just smile every time I see Puss in Boots. I loved that story even before it was a motion picture.
    Thank you for linking up this adorable idea!

  34. These are fabulous!! I love it!

  35. Fabulous! You are a genius!! =)
    I have to try, of course...

  36. Debbie, these are wonderful!! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  37. Your bookcovers turned out beautiful! I found you on Savvy Southern Style and I'm now following; I would appreciate if you would follow back. Tx

  38. Such a great idea. I will be featuring this tonight at my Swing into Spring party that opens at 8pm EST. Please stop by and pick up an I've Been Featured button.

  39. I cannot thank you enuf for the transfers for all the projects. I keep going from one to another, it's after 1:00 a.m. where I live but I'm afraid if I don't get them all now I'll forget tommorrow. (yeah I forget that quick, I'm an old lady).
    I will be so darned busy making pillows and those book covers. While scrolling down to comment I saw another pillow project. You are such an angel to make up the image transfers for us, let alone give them to us.
    Ever since I started reading blogs I've been so awe struck by the generosity of bloggers and the sweetness. It's really changed my life. Thanks so much for everything.


Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate my wonderful readers!... Debbie