Vintage Book Page Banner: No Amusing Old Books Left Behind!



Awhile back I came across this book at the thrift store:



I had to bring it home because I’m a sucker for old books with charming illustrations, especially ones that are unintentionally hilarious. I think it was even half price book day.

I considered using it for Ari’s eighth grade science curriculum for next year, but then I decided maybe it was more important to give him a fighting chance at getting into college than to throw away his education for cheap laughs.


I’m not sure what’s going on with this boy in the foreground. It appears that he’s fallen into a deep depression while his classmates have fun learning that sound exists and ears are why we can hear it. Someone should send him to the counselor’s office.


I think it’s when I saw this “experiment” that I knew for sure this book would not be helpful to us an actual source of science knowledge. This is in the bus safety section. You know: physics, biology, chemistry, and….bus safety. These children appear genuinely shocked to learn that, if your school bus goes careening down a steep hill and runs full speed into a wall, AND you’re standing up on the bus, you’ll get hurt. Thank goodness those other dolls are sitting down. They have nothing to worry about. At any rate, I think even Abe’s knowledge of science has advanced beyond this book’s scope already.



I am inspired to do more experiments involving fire with the kids, though. The mothers in this book are kind of creepy. But what I like about them is that they get up every morning, put on their pearls, and help their kids learn about science.

So, anyway, Β the book sat on a shelf, alone and useless, for a few months.

Across one wall of our dining room, we have this length of twine with clothespins on it that has, at various time, held anatomy prints for Halloween, our Advent calendar one Christmas, some vintage flower prints last spring, and the Christmas cards people sent us this past Christmas. I like having such an easy way to change things up in there. But ever since I took the Christmas cards down, it’s looked like this:



Sad πŸ™

It finally occurred to me that my lonely, useless science book and my empty clothespins could get together and help each other out.

I did a quick check on ebay to make sure my book wasn’t worth a gazillion dollars (or, like, twenty), and then I started chopping it up. I made a template out of cardboard (I’ll skip the part where I didn’t think to actually measure the book first, so my template was too big and I had to keep slicing more of it off until it was the right size):



And here they are hung up:

science9 science-square science7


It is not lost on me, incidentally, that between my kitschy vintage science book banner and my plans for whimsical squirrel fabric covered chairs, there’s some tonal disconnect going on in this room now. I am thinking the sad pilgrim painting might be making a big move into the sunroom before long. Although I have no idea what I’ll fill that giant wall with once they’re gone. Maybe I’ll take a picture of a squirrel and blow it up to cover the whole wall.

Or maybe something….else.

Linking with:

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Vintage Book Page Banner: No Amusing Old Books Left Behind! — 42 Comments

  1. I find these old books so fun, too. We found one that is called “Christian Nursery Rhymes” and it just puts Jesus in all of the rhymes… like, Jesus put Humpty Dumpty back together again. The rhyming is not so great though, haha πŸ™‚ The banner looks good!

  2. That book is pretty hilarious. I can only imagine the comments I would get if I (jokingly) pulled it out for science one afternoon. πŸ˜‰

    Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

  3. You should have let me know I was going to get a science lesson today. So much experimenting. The illustrations are incredible and perfect for a banner. I think you can connect the squirrel fabric and the banner by saying the squirrels are going to be dissected. That works right?

  4. I love your banner! We are so lucky because there’s a business here in town (Portland OR) that makes journals from vintage books AND puts all the discarded guts of them in their curbside recycle bins. So much awesome old art. We put some up in our kitchen last spring ( in a really similar way to yours. I wasn’t clever enough to think of making a cute banner, though!

    • Love those! I want to find recycling bins like that! I went back and forth for awhile about making the triangles, because you lose so much of the page that way. There’s still plenty of science left in there for me to do one the other way someday, too, though πŸ™‚

  5. Blow up a squirrel across the wall…Now I have heard everything πŸ™‚ ha ha… I just love those illustrations. The humor certainly isn’t lost on me. LOL. What a fun find. I love how it looks as a banner. This is awesome Gretchen πŸ™‚

  6. Such a fun book and using the pages as a banner lets you enjoy all those different illustrations at once. Definitely would put a smile on my face to see them everyday. πŸ™‚

  7. I am in LOVE with this banner!! I’ll be on the lookout for some cool vintage books so I can make one of my own, though I.m sure I’ll never find one as cute as yours. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I also appreciate the “unintentionally hilarious” images, they make me giggle! Very cute way to re-use and show them off while also filling a design need πŸ™‚

  9. I love the banner – and I love old books! I recently purchased a Dick and Jane book and I plan to frame a couple of the pages to place in my new laundry room!

  10. Very cute! Henry-man’s birthday party is going to be tractor themed – but I’m envisioning my vintage Johnny Tractor books becoming pennants (although it will have to be photocopies because they are heirlooms in our fan). Love the idea!

  11. This is fabulous! I too love those kitschy old vintage books at the thrift store and can’t resist bringing them home! Then they sit on the shelf abandoned because when people come over to visit, they don’t jump at the chance to review my humorous old book collection with me… (I can’t think why!) I love the way your banner turned out & now I’m inspired to display mine in some way!

  12. This is screamin’ cute. What a fantastic idea! Popping by from Thrifty Decor Chick and totally stealing this. . . Pinning it, too!

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