Ribbon to the Rescue: Restoring Mom’s Bible

New Life for a Precious Old Book: Restoring Mom’s Bible 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, peeps…it was really, really sad!


Restoring Mom's Bible 01

You can see that she tried to hold it together with tape, bumper stickers, anything she could find.

Restoring Mom's Bible 02

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.

Restoring Mom's Bible 03

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.

Restoring Mom's Bible 04

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!.

Restoring Mom's Bible 05

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.

Restoring Mom's Bible 06

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 fuschia Petaloo 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 this precious family heirloom is restored and Mom’s Bible is 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!


21 thoughts on “Ribbon to the Rescue: Restoring Mom’s Bible

  1. Anita Houston

    For the reason that it was your mother’s, given to her by your father, and the fact that you breathed new life into the cover, this is now my favorite project of yours. I think I would cry and cry if I were given the job. Absolutely stunning!!!

  2. margiehmalone

    Kathy, I understand why you wanted to repair your mother’s bible. It was obviously something very precious to her. You have done her proud. I is really lovely. A work of art. Something to pass down through your family with pride, It is really beautiful. You can be proud of yourself!!
    Lots of Hugs,

  3. Helene

    I can only imagine what an impact this would have had on your mother–to see her favorite Bible so lovingly and beautifully restored and transformed.

  4. karenladd

    How wonderful and touching that you were able to turn this sad worn-out bible into something beautiful! My husband inherited his great-grandparent’s family bible and it’s in nearly as sad a shape as your Mom’s. We weren’t sure how to revive it but now I’m inspired to pull out some canvas and fabric…and maybe twill ribbon to give it new life. The tip on using Scor-tape is perfect…and I actually have a large roll of wide Scor-tape that will work well to get that cover and spine back together. Thanks for sharing this with us Kathy!

  5. Carol

    Wonderful restoration of a precious heirloom Kathy especially as it was a loving gift from your dad to mum. I’m sure she would have loved it and dad would be very proud too. X

  6. Glenda Brooks

    My friend, this is such a lovely idea and what a beautiful piece it became. Now it is a “treasured” piece of artwork and I know your Mom would be proud!

  7. LuvtoKraft

    Beautifully restored by loving hands, your mom’s Bible will be passed down through many generations to come. You’ve done a lovely job on this family heirloom, Kathy.

  8. Corrine Ann

    Very, very special and so beautiful. It must have given you great joy to restore this Bible. Your children and Grandchildren can love this Bible for many years to come . A very special heirloom for your family.

  9. Pattie Jns

    Good Afternoon, Kathy, OH! MY! what blessed memories are in this treasure. A heirloom of love . Your Mom and Dad would feel blessed what you have done to preserve their love to their children an
    their love of the Lord. Awesome. and well done from the heart.

  10. Judy B

    What a wonderful job you did on your Mom’s bible. It turned out gorgeous and I’m sure whoever receives it next will love it as much as you do. Thanks for sharing.

  11. candycolwell

    Kathy this is truly an amazing restoration and I know your mother would be so proud to see her precious gift from your father in such beautiful condition now. You did such a beautiful job of adding the lovely floral cover, made even more special with the touches of lace, flowers and ribbon. Definitely a beautiful feminine cover for such a special book. I know your family will treasure this for years and years. <3

  12. jenscull

    oh my gosh, this is stunning! and what a treasure! you have taken something that was priceless to begin with and made it even more so….. it brings tears to my eyes and makes my heart just soar! 🙂 thank you for this beautiful and inspiring post today. I truly needed it.

  13. Janet Saieva

    Oh Kathy…this is absolutely gorgeous! Now you have a beautiful heirloom filled with your mother’s journaling. What a treasure!!!

  14. ncguygirl

    Oh, Kathy, this is truly gorgeous. Mom would have absolutely loved it! No one would ever know what tough shape it had been in thanks to your beautiful makeover! Love, love, love it!

Comments are closed.