"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."
- Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
For this week's post in my Curly Girl Wedding series, I'm sharing a little project with you that isn't just for weddings, but something you can do with any special gift that you want to make extra pretty. Or, maybe even just for a beautiful box or two to decorate your home.
I just love old books, and some of my favorites are the English classics I read in high school and college. Used bookstores are one of my happy places, and I could have spent hours browsing through all those books, inhaling the scent of the worn pages and fingering their soft, ragged edges.
At our used bookstore 2nd & Charles, after looking through stacks of Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights, I found an old copy of each with such lovely yellowed pages that I knew would be beautiful for this project.
"He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same... He must never know how I love him... He's always, always in my mind; not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being."
- Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
My plan was to take a few plain-Jane gift boxes from the craft store and wrap them in the pages of these books to make a more beautiful gift box. Inside, I placed a jar of my homemade jam for our photographers and my friend Kim who had offered to coordinate our wedding day.
The pages are Mod-Podged onto the boxes, so that they become part of the boxes themselves, which makes them them a truly beautiful gift box that you can keep long after opening it.
I was silent: I thought he mocked me.
"Come, Jane - come hither."
"Your bride stands between us."
He rose, and with a stride reached me.
"My bride is here," he said, again drawing me to him, "because my equal is here, and my likeness. Jane, will you marry me?"
Still I did not answer, and still I writhed myself from his grasp; for I was still incredulous.
"Do you doubt me, Jane?"
"You have no faith in me?"
"Not a whit."
- Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
The language, the passion, the emotion in those classics is truly hard to come by in modern novels. And that's why I love them. Ardently.
As hard as it was to rip the pages from those old books, it was even harder to give away the finished boxes. But then again, I can always make more. The bookstore awaits me.
"You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."
- Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
See more Curly Girl Wedding ideas...
- used books with worn, yellowed pages
- Mod Podge
- small paint brush
- plain gift boxes with lids, any size
Tear pages from the books and decide how you want to arrange them around the box - I selected pages with some of my favorite quotes, so those words would be visible. For the small boxes I used, which were about 4x4 inches, I needed 7 book pages - 1 page for the bottom, 4 for the sides, and 2 for the lid. Cut the pages to fit, as needed.
Starting with the bottom of the box, brush a light coat of Mod Podge over the surface, then press a book page firmly against it. Wrap the page around all edges, sealing with more Mod Podge. Brush Mod Podge over one side of the box at a time and repeat with the rest of the pages, folding the pages around the corners, and making sure each page overlaps somewhat so that the entire box is covered.
Let dry for 24 hours before using. Decorate your gift with a beautiful ribbon and name tag.
Design from Curly Girl Kitchen
***As a bonus, these are the packages I wrapped for Jamie's gifts to the men involved in the wedding. I just love the blue and white striped paper with the grey twine and vintage stamps on the labels!