Monday, May 16, 2016

Ribbon to the Rescue: Salvaging a precious heirloom with ribbon

Hello, Ribbon Lovers!

In the wake of our recent move, I was working on getting a closet tidied up today.  In the course of arranging the books all nice and neat, I ran across a family heirloom: my mother's Bible.  (Well, one of my mother's Bibles, that is.  She had several and used them all. ) This one was given to her by my dad in 1969; the last Christmas gift he ever gave her.  A few short months later, he died suddenly of a heart attack.  It remained her favorite Bible for many, many years and was nearly falling apart.  Filled with her personal notes, Bible journaling (before it was a trendy topic) and her own handwriting, it is something I have treasured.  It made my heart sad to see how very dilapidated it had become, and I worried that it might not be around to pass on to our children and grandchildren.  I mean, was really, really sad!
You can see that she tried to hold it together with tape, bumper stickers, anything she could find.
The inside had actually separated from the spine.  What to do?

Then, an idea struck my brain!  Dropping everything, I carried the Bible into my studio with me and went to work.  A few hours later, this is what my mom's Bible looked like.
Ta-da!  Ribbon to the rescue!  I pulled out a piece of sturdy canvas, some shabby chic ribbon, crocheted lace, flowers in my mom's favorite colors and gave this precious book a face lift!

The first thing I did was to line the book signatures and the interior of the spine with 1/2" Scor-Tape.  Using the tape on both surfaces worked well, and the pages are now nicely secured back within the covers.
I'm not much of a seamstress, but I managed to stitch 2.5" Cotton Blend Vintage Pink Floral Ribbon to the top, bottom, sides and spine of the canvas to make a sturdy cover that should last for some time.   I also stitched  Debra Natural Crochet Lace along the edge where the canvas and ribbon meet to add a nice finishing touch...and to cover up my not so perfect stitching!  Sorry, Mom!.
 I used tea to stain a doily I found in my stash, and glued it in place with Studio Matte Multi-Medium.  Then I used Scor-tape again to adhere my 1.5" Antique Gold Plaid Ribbon to be used as a ribbon closure.  I wanted to do this, not just because it is pretty, but because it helps hold the Bible together.
Then I had lots of fun! I painted a wooden key/door plate and flourish to add to the mix. Next, I die cut lots of foliage from old book pages and sprayed them with TA Olive Mist. I pulled loads of flowers from my stash, and was amazed to find these that matched the ribbon perfectly. The elements were artfully arranged onto the cover of Mom's Bible.  The finishing touch was the addition of a shabby chic bow tied with Fuchsia Seam Binding.

Now Mom's favorite Bible is restored, and more beautiful than ever.  She would have loved this shabby chic cover, the beautiful vintage roses and crocheted lace.  I have displayed it in my Grandmother's bookcase, and it makes my heart happy every time I see it.  Once again, Ribbon came to my rescue!

Isn't it amazing what ribbon can do?

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. Such a beautiful way to preserve this precious book. Thank you. Hugs, Robin

  2. Oh, Kathy! I cried when I saw what you did to preserve your precious mom's Bible. What a lovely way to honor, not only HER, but the Word of God.

  3. Wow, this is gorgeous. I am in love with that Vintage Pink Floral Ribbon, it's my favorite. I just love how your Bible turned out truly gorgeous Kathy.

  4. You did a bee-utiful job on the Bible makeover. It will be enjoyed by many generations to come. Have a BEE-utiful day!
    "Sunshine HoneyBee"

  5. Wow this is stunning, a very personal heirloom for you and your family. Gorgeous work.
    Julie x

  6. Beautiful cover for the Bible. Love the flowers and lace. Very well done and with honors of preserving a special heirloom from you mom.

  7. What a fabulous Job Kathy - you did this make-over in style! Lovely!

  8. What a great idea! You did a fantastic job preserving (and beautifying!!) such a special treasure! Truly a labor of love!


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