Two Second Decorating Fix

In just two seconds, you can refresh your home decor and make your home look a little classier. Two seconds. That’s about half the amount of time it took you to read this sentence (unless you are super fast reader).

Ready for the quick, two second decorating fix?





Did you see it? It’s so fast and easy that you may have missed it. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it again – Simply take the dust jackets off of your hardback books.

I am positive that my librarian mother-in-law will shudder at what I just asked you to do, but I think removing dust jackets from your books makes a tremendous difference. Books used in your decor, whether they be on a bookshelf or used in a tablescape, look classier and more worldly without the glossy, graphically demanding jacket that is used to grab your attention at a bookstore. When used in your home, books should not demand attention but should blend into your decor and compliment their surroundings.

Here’s another example:





The bottom book wasn’t sold with a dust jacket, but the top book’s jacket just screams “look at me!” Once it’s removed, it looks much nicer on my husband’s night stand, don’t ya think?

Side note: See that above photo? Yep, that’s one of our engagement photos, taken five years ago (our five year wedding anniversary is next month!?!). For some reason, the angle of the photo of the photo (following me?) makes me look deformed. I just wanted to put out there for all of Blogland that I am a perfectly normal looking gal, although I do look kind of freaky there.

Proof: Here’s Zack and I on New Year’s Eve this year. I have much darker hair now and am actually a lot bit thinner than I was when we got married, but anyhow, that’s me. ::waves:: Hi Bloggie friends!


I don’t think I’ve ever shared a picture of myself in Blogland, so I thought this would be a good time.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Removing the dust jackets can also help a series of books to look uniform.





I really like the way these Pottery Barn decorating books look on this shelf. I wanted the primary focus of this table to be the Spanish Moss in the urn, and the dust jackets really took away from that focus. The uniformity of the bare books is just what this table needed.

Isn’t that a quick, simple, and free change? Spend a few seconds to remove the dust jackets from your books. You’ll be so glad that you did!

Thank you to Kristen at We Are That Family for being the new host of Works For Me Wednesday! Check out WFMW for more great tips on everything from cooking to organizing, laundry to decorating. You never know what you might find!

Filed Under: Decorate Your Home

About Lindsay Ballard

Lindsay Ballard is a former college mascot turned political geek turned DIY fanatic who is conspiring to live in a Technicolor dream world. Her designs are bold and graphic, while her spirit is fun and full of color. Lindsay chronicles her projects and design ideas here at Makely, where she shares daily tutorials and inspiration. Lindsay lives outside of Austin, Texas with her husband (Tom), children (Zack and Emma) and dogs (Jack and Duke).


  1. Great tip, I can’t wait to play with it :) Thanks! You have a beautiful home.

  2. It does make a big difference! I do it especially when I don’t want the books to be the focus, like when I’m using them to add height to a display.

  3. Mrs. Querido says:

    I abhor dust jackets. They make it so hard to read a book without having to fiddle with the jacket every two seconds when you turn a page! Never thought about carrying that loathing a step further and removing the jackets to decorate with. Great tip! :)

  4. Audra Krell says:

    I can’t believe the difference! You have a great eye.

  5. Dave @ Home School Dad says:

    You can’t tell a book by it’s cover. But in your home no jackets are required.

  6. Muthering Heights says:

    GREAT tip! Personally, I hate dust jackets…

  7. Hillary @ The Other Mama says:

    Yes! I do that, too, and it makes a huge difference! I couldn’t agree more!

  8. What a great quick change! I’ve been using books in my decor more and more, now I’m going to go strip them all!
    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a nice comment. I hope you’ll come back soon!

  9. I am amazed by the difference that makes! Just curious… what did you do with the dust jackets after you took them off?

  10. I love this! I love books! I love decorating with books!!!
    Robin Rane’
    All Things Heart and Home

  11. I love this, too. I do it a lot…book covers can be quite distracting, I agree!!
    And since you revealed yourself, I think you are very cute!


  12. Oh – I love that, and you’re right…I didn’t see it the first time around, but now it’s a glaring difference.
    Also, love the fact that you posted your “new” picture – too cute. :)

  13. DomesticDivasFancy says:

    Ha…It took me a minute to see it…LOL! It is too early in the morning! Great idea.

  14. Thanks for all the comments, guys!

    Maria- I have them all stored in a little decorative box so we can use them again if need be. You might be able to see the boxes under my night stand.

    Pam- You’re too funny! It was actually a combination of Weight Watchers and a transition from couch potato to triathlete. Triathlon changed my life!

  15. What a great tip! But…what I REALLY want to know is…how in the world do you actually manage to LOSE weight after marriage and a baby? Hmmm…inquiring minds want to know.

  16. DairyQueen says:

    great idea, small move, beautiful result!

  17. i think i’m going to try that… best thing is that it’s reversible… not like paint : )

  18. Hey friend, I’m doing this tonight! I couldn’t see it at first, but especially with the PB books, it made a huge difference. It also adds a nice aged quality that I like!

  19. WHOA! What a difference taking the book jackets off does! Thanks for the tip!

  20. I caught it right off the bat! That was a very clever decorating fix!

  21. Good idea!!!! I love decorating with books!

  22. That’s great! Now, can you tell me how to make the books match AND keep them safe from my two year old?



  23. To take your idea a step further, I haven’t done this yet, but I’ve been meaning to. With the dust jackets on my kids’ books, the art is usually gorgeous. I was thinking of framing them and using them as artwork in the girls’ room.

    Someday… *sigh*

  24. Love this, Lindsay, it’s something I’ve been doing for years. I hate dust jackets … not only their often-garish colors, but also the fact that they’re always in the way when you’re trying to read the book.

    The only problem I’ve had with removing the covers (normally done as soon as the book gets into the house) is when/if I decide to sell the book to a used book store (Powells in Portland or Leon’s in San Luis Obispo) or on Amazon. Books are worth more with their dust jackets. If it’s a collectible book, the jacket adds a lot of value, even if it’s a mess. In the big picture, though, it’s not worth worrying about, and I prefer my bookshelves and stacks to look restful and sophisticated.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Victoria :o)

  25. I couldn’t agree with you more on this one! I guess I am just not a shiny person anyways (not that I’m not happy/shiny but I’m more of a matte person when it comes to decor) Gosh does that even make sense?! Okay on to walking around my house making sure the covers are off!
    Thanks for also stopping by my blog – I’m new to all of this but having a lot of fun and you have a great site. I am so relieved your son is okay – what a lesson to everyone. Life is so precious….

  26. I do this too! We don’t know what any of our books are about anymore because of this. :)

  27. That’s awesome! I’m going to my bookcase to do a little reno of my own! Thanks for the great tip!

  28. Cool tip! I actually noticed the change right away… but only because I leaned in to see what those books were. Librarians in our family, too, so I was curious!
    Great ideas in the comments, too!
    I’m poking around your archives at everything.

  29. I recently did the same thing! Love it. I am also thinking of covering my hardback books (colors I don’t like or can use) with left over fabric or burlap.