The holiday season always leaves me with leftover craft supplies and decor I want to repurpose. This year, I had a stack of red hardcover books from a previous project that I didn’t want to store away.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, I decided to give those red books a new life by stacking them into romantic decorative towers for my home. My vision was an understated Valentine’s vibe focused on soft lace, vintage doilies, and florals. I didn’t want anything too overtly Valentine’s Day-themed. I knew just pairing the red books with delicate trims and blooms would give them a lovely romantic look perfect for this time of year.

Top view of a red book stack with lace and white flowers.

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In just a few steps, I made these customized book stacks by raiding my collection of vintage linens. It was so easy to transform these used books into beautiful holiday decor ideal for Valentine’s Day tables, shelves, or anywhere you want to add some charm. And the best part is you can adapt this project for any season or theme!

Keep reading to see how I easily tailored these book stacks to work with my existing decor. You can customize them to match your own style and space too!

3 red book stacks with ribbon and faux flowers.

Books as Decor – Elevate Your Vignettes

At some point, books transcended utilitarian objects and became decorative standalone pieces. And I’m not mad about it! I love incorporating hard covers into my home vignettes and displays.

Stacked books make excellent risers and lifts, adding dimension and texture. You can use them to prop up other decor elements at varying heights, creating more visual interest. For example, in the photo below I created a coffee table display by placing a vintage bee pitcher on top of a stack of neutral-toned books. The books provide the perfect platform to showcase the pitcher.

Farmhouse-style decor frequently utilizes book stacks like these to add cozy, well-layered charm. And you can customize stacks so easily by playing with heights, widths, orientation and book colors! Beyond farmhouse style, books pair well with any theme and help display collectibles or florals to their best advantage.

Next time you style a shelf, console table or mantel, reach for some books in different sizes to lift your cherished items. Experiment with staggered and asymmetrical arrangements for lots of character. Let your book collection finally get some appreciation as decor!

Stack of white books stacked with a floral bow.

Get Creative with DIY Book Stacks

Book stacks have become a popular decorating element, allowing for lots of customization. You can use found books as-is, or alter them to suit your style. Options are endless!

For example, you can distress hardcovers to expose an inner tattered layer, stamp names or quotes on the pages, paint them bright hues or neutral chalk paint, wrap with twine or ribbons, decoupage with burlap or paper…anything you can imagine to make them unique!

I once created a farmhouse book stack by stamping a favorite romantic movie quote from The Notebook on the spines. After removing the covers from inexpensive paperbacks, I inked the poignant phrase on each book’s side profile.

Use typewriter style alphabet stamps to make stacks featuring unique dates, the date of your wedding, your kid’s birthdays or a personal message on the spines of your books.

And don’t forget old books can serve as handy lifts for displaying other cherished items like the petite cake stand holding mini topiaries on a book in the photo.

So next time you’re styling a vignette, consider bringing in a DIY book stack! Tailor the colors, patterns, and textures to your decor. Add charms, flowers, or found objects for more personality. With so many customizable options, you can create book stacks as unique as you are!

a vintage dresser wit a few book stacks.

How to Make Romantic Book Stacks for Valentine’s Day

Follow these easy steps to create beautiful Valentine’s Day book stack decor:

  1. Paint book spines red (optional). This gives a clean, cohesive look if covers seem inappropriate or overly text-heavy.
  2. Stack books by size. Place largest on bottom graduating to smallest on top. Glue together for stability (again optional). For the doily stack, first glue the vintage doily over the spine before gluing the books.
  3. Wrap white ribbon/lace around the top of the book stack. Use wide lace on stacks without doilies, and delicate ribbon on doily stack. Tie ribbons into bows over spines for added romance.
  4. Embellish with florals. Glue trailing greens down book sides first. Then affix a hydrangea bloom cluster to the top. Sporadically tuck in cherry blossoms, lilacs etc. around the hydrangeas. Let whimsical pieces hang over stack edges.

There you have it – beautiful romantic keepsake book stacks for Valentine’s tables and shelves! Tailor wrapping ribbons/trims and flowers to your taste. Mix different heights for lots of charm!

The supplies used to make these book stacks. red books, lace ribbon and faux white flowers.

Tips, Tricks and Substitutions

  • Lace/Ribbon: The options are endless with lace and ribbon. Regardless of the ones you choose, you will find that most are flimsy and difficult to loop in a way that will stand. Due to this, I made “faux loops” and added them in and around the flower topper to give the appearance of a bow. First I laid the ribbon tails on the book stack, added the floral topper (greens and hydrangea) then glued them in individual loops.
  • Books: Shop your home for books you are willing to part with otherwise a local thrift store, Dollar Tree, or other dollar store, garage sales, and yard sales are great for finding a good stack of books! I often grab books when out antiquing. Be sure to choose books that are of different sizes. You may choose all one color or if you prefer you can go with different colors.
  • Holiday Themed: These stacks were made with Valentine’s Day in mind, however by changing out a few things you can easily make Easter, fall, or Christmas-themed book stacks. You can also add text ( family names or special phrases) to either the spine of your book or the pages using letter stamps and an ink pad. These book stacks make great gifts.
  • Covered Book Technique: If you can’t find the right collection of books, consider covering your books with wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, kraft paper, or fabric. This will also be less destructive whereas the glue will go on the paper or fabric instead of the cover of the book.
a close up side view of the red Valentines day book stacks.

Supply List for this Project

  1. 3 Red hard-covered books – I found mine at local thrift stores
  2. Red acrylic paint
  3. Paintbrush
  4. Glue gun / Glue Sticks
  5. Scissors
  6. A variety of lace
  7. A variety of vintage doilies
  8. Chiffon Ribbon
  9. Cream-colored Hydrangea stem (similar linked)
  10. Faux trailing greenery (similar linked)

Step-by-step Instructions for Making DIY Decorative Book Stacks

Valentine’s DIY Decorative Book Stacks (with vintage doilies)

Prep Time20 minutes
Active Time0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time40 minutes


  • 3 red hard-covered books
  • 1 red craft paint
  • 1 paint brush
  • 3 vintage doilies
  • 1 hot glue gun / glue sticks
  • 1 roll of chiffon ribbon
  • 1 sprig of faux hydrangea (sprig = small cluster)
  • 1 sprig of greenery (sprig = small cluster)


  • Collect 3 red hard-covered books that are similar in size but not exact. You want the 3 books to create a pyramid once they are stacked.
    red hard covered books in a pile
  • With craft paint and a paint brush apply 2 coats of matching red paint to the book spine. Repeat for all the books. This will cover the title of the books and result in a cleaner looking book stack. You may skip this step.
    paint brush with red paint on the spine of the books to cover the name of the book
  • Let the paint on the books dry for 30 minutes or until dry to the touch.
    painted books drying
  • Lay out how you plan to stack the books. The largest will be the base, the smallest on the top.
    3 books stacked to plan sizes for the book stack.
  • With your hot glue gun, glue the vintage doily to the spine of the book. First glue the center of the doily to the center of the spine of the book. You can do this by applying the hot glue to the book then carefully laying the doily in place. Then move to the outside edges of the doily and tack them down with the hot glue.
    glueing the doily on the spine of the book. the doily is a vintage crocheted round doily.
  • Repeat this process for all three books.
    3 books each with a doily glued onto the spine of the book.
  • Stack your books to make sure they sit well. Again largest on the bottom, smallest on the top.
    another view of the book spines with doilies glued in place.
  • Between each layer of books add some glue to secure the books together. You want to match the center of each book and layer right on top. Pyramid style!
    adding glue to the top of the book to glue the 3 books to each other. this keeps the books from sliding.
  • Next take the chiffon ribbon and run a piece under the bottom of the book and wrap the book stack with one layer of ribbon. Then cut the ends where they meet.
    wrapping the book stack with chiffon ribbon and using scissors to cut the ribbon once its wrapped.
  • With your hot glue gun add a dab of glue to secure the two ends of the ribbon. Do not be concerned that you can see the glue, it will be covered with flowers.
    using the gluegun, drop some glue to connect the ends of the ribbon.
  • To create ribbon tails cut strips of ribbon the size of the top book and lay diagonally. Adhere with a dab of glue.
    placing a cut strip of chiffon ribbon and laying it diagonally across the top of the book.
  • Repeat the step above by laying a same size strip of ribbon in the opposite direction. Then begin gluing some sprigs of greenery stemming from the center of the ribbon.
    adding a second piece of ribbon diagonally across the top and adding some greens.
  • Add a few more sprigs of greenery starting from the center but heading in various directions. You want the greenery to extend beyond the hydrangea blooms. Then take a cluster of hydrangea and add glue to the stems and press the cluster into the center of the book. Hold in place until glue adheres.
    red book stack with lace and flowers
  • If needed cut individual hydrangea blooms and glue around the cluster to fill in.
    filling in with individual hydrangea blooms.
  • Next to create the illusion of a bow, cut 3 pieces of the chiffon ribbon in 4" strips.
    3 small strips laid on the counter. these will be folded in 1/2 and glued to make faux ribbon loops.
  • Add a dab of glue to the end of each strip.
    glueing the small ribbon strips together.
  • Pinch the end where the glue is (carefully!) so the loop will "puff".
    pinching the base of the loop.
  • With your glue gun, add another dab to the pinched end and place the loop in with the hydrangeas. Repeat for all 3 loops.
    a photo of the the faux loops in with the hydrangea
  • For the final step, with scissors cut the ribbon tails at an angle to complete the project.
    scissors cutting the tails of the ribbon at an angle.


This blog post shows 3 different book stack styles. To make the lace only stacks you simply omit the doilies and follow the rest of the directions.

Displaying Your Decorative DIY Book Stacks

  • Add a stack to your living room holiday-inspired coffee table vignette alongside your favorite wooden beads.
  • Place them on your mantel with your favorite vase of flowers and/or candles.
  • Put them on your nightstand for a romantic bedroom setting.
  • The best part about these stacks of books is they make great Valentine’s Day gifts or the perfect gifts for the book lovers in your life.

Thank you for visiting the blog for one of my favorite DIY projects, how to make DIY decorative book stacks – Valentine’s Day Style! Watch the full tutorial click here.

Happy Creating Friends!

My signature. a drawing of me holding a cup of coffee.

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