How To Repurpose An Old Book Holder

by | Jan 16, 2023

Book holder? Lectern? Whatever it’s called, let’s add some shine!!!

Tracey's Fancy upcycling an old lectern or book holder made of wood using Terra clay paint, gold gilding wax, and WoodUBend appliques
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The shape of this book holder was captivating to me! Are you drawn to items that have a great shape, even when you have no idea what they are or how you’ll use them?

I definitely am!

Just like this handmade thrift that I found at Goodwill recently:

Book holder that Tracey's Fancy repurposed with Terra clay paint, Gold gilding wax, and WoodUBend appliques
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It took me back to my childhood with visions of singing on stage at my tiny little church while my mother played the piano. I always felt so “big girl” when I got to set the hymnal down on the preacher’s podium.

The memory felt good, so I bought it! 

It sat in my garage for weeks before I finally began to work on it, and I still had no idea what I’d do with it.  

One night while on LIVE broadcast, I realized it was the perfect prop-up and support for my laptop! I could see the screen so much better at this angle, so this will likely be its purpose in my home.  

See this book holder transform on video:

Adding WoodUBend to the Book Holder:

Because it is so simply designed I chose to add two of my favorite WoodUBend molds: the floral swags!  

I applied (using heat and wood glue) the large floral swag to the back side and the two smaller swags side-by-side to the top of the sloped side. 

WUB floral appliques applied to front and back of the book holder
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Dixie Belle floral applique attached to book holder
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Terra Clay Paint choices

I originally painted the entire box (I’m going to call it a box because I really don’t know what else to call it) in Burlap, but I quickly knew that was a mistake! LOL!

So I painted a new coat of black using Terra Clay paint in Onyx.  

Terra clay paint in onyx applied to book holder as a base coat
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Once dry, I applied a hefty layer of crackly medium and let it dry.

I followed this with a single coat of Prairie Dawn (off-white in Terra line) and was instantly in love with the crackle effect!!!!

Terra clay paint in Prairie Dawn applied to book holder as the base coat on the wood
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Painting in one direction on book holder for crackle effect from Dixie Belle to work
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It happens immediately and is so mesmerizing! You can actually watch it crack! You just need to make sure that you paint in one direction and do NOT go over paint that you’ve already laid down. The crackle starts immediately, and you will disrupt that process if you go back over your paint with your brush again!

Crackle effect created with Crackle medium sold by Dixie Belle
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Taping the Stripes

Once it was fully cracked and dry, I taped off the front and back for stripes.  

Using painter's tape to section off stripe design on back of wood book holder
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Pressing tape to the backside of wood book holder for layout of stripes that will be painted on
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I used Gold Gilding Wax for the stripes, which is nice and easy since it is a paste texture, meaning NO leaking under the tape, and your stripes stay crisp!

Carefully applying more gilding wax in gold to create striped pattern on wooden book holder
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Completed striped design on book holder that was made using Dixie Belle gilding wax in gold and painters tape
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Adding a Harlequin Stencil to this book holder

I then chose the Harlequin stencil for my side panels, again using the Gold gilding wax. Stenciling is really easy with the gilding wax as well! You just need to use a brush that has a wide and flat surface area.  

Showcasing harlequin design made using gold gilding wax and harlequin stencil on wood book holder
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I used the Dixie Belle Round medium brush, but I often use my Best Dang Wax brush.  

Apply using a stippling motion straight up and down, or, since it is wax, you can also move in a circular motion.  

Let us all take note that I made a goof and my harlequin on each side is applied in a different direction! LOL! Oops! One is horizontal, and one is vertical, but at least you now know you can use it either way!

Once my wax was dry, I began wet distressing with a baby wipe. I used the baby wipe to remove paint from the florals and to expose the black paint from underneath. This gives it that shabby cottage feel I was after, really playing into the rose garlands and the crackle!

Using baby wipes to create an aged look on wooden book holder furniture
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Wiping clay paint with a baby wipe to create a weathered look on book holder lectern
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Close up view of result made by wiping book holder with baby wipe
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Now to seal this beauty to withstand use!

The gilding wax areas seal themselves, so I did not put a top coat over those stripes or diamond shapes. I didn’t want to dull the shine.

Instead, I used Terra Matte sealer and an artist brush and just sealed over the white stripes and white diamonds only!

Book holder that was a thrifted find and repurposed with terra clay paint and WoodUBend appliques displaying a photo book
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Wooden book holder found at Goodwill and upcycled by Tracey's Fancy with Dixie Belle terra clay paint, wood appliques, and gold gilding wax
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Wooden book holder found at Goodwill and upcycled by Tracey's Fancy with Dixie Belle terra clay paint, wood appliques, and gold gilding wax
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I am in LOVE with this adorable “whatever it is” box!!

I am currently using it to display photo books of my daughter Zadie and my grandchildren.

It’s the perfect size to hold them and it allows me to share my cherished photo books with others!

Watch closely, though. You will likely see it holding my laptop in future live broadcasts!

Some colorful pieces to catch your fancy:

Whimsical Gold-Striped Desk

Repurposed desk painted with neutral whimsical gold stripes and WoodUBend appliques
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Gold Leaf Harlequin Buffet

Buffet made whimsical with harlequin stencil, metal leafing, and dixie belle chalk mineral paint
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Products used:

Want more fancy furniture & design?

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