Spellbinding Books for Halloween Displays

Posted by on October 28, 2013

Look in the Halloween aisle of any discount department store, home store, or craft store this year and you’ll see a “witch books” accessory item – a faux stack of books about spells and potions and the like. 


Witch's Spell Books

Usually crafted of resin, these decorative accessories will set you back at least $17 (the cheapest I found) and as much as $30 or more!

You can get the same look (actually, a more authentic look!) literally for pennies a book with your printer, some self-adhesive paper and some printable book labels (see below).

One of my friends saw these in my “Witch’s Kitchen” vignette (using my Macbeth Bottle Labels) and thought the “Curses, Charms & Hexes” book was real. For a brief second, I think she thought, “Is Deanne really a witch?” She seemed a bit concerned asking, “Um … is this real?”

The “spell” for creating these charmed accessories is just 1-2-3.

Step 1: Choose your books!

Create as many books as you’d like, keeping in mind the “odd number rule” for creating vignettes. (Groupings of items look best in odd numbers, like 3 or 5.)

The secret to this project is using well worn, hard cover vintage books; find them at your local library book sale, a thrift store, or a second-hand bookstore. I’ve collected several over the years as they make great additions to bookcase displays. If the binding happens to be black (like my “Charms” book, which was my dad’s civil government book copyright 1928!) you may use it as is; otherwise, cover the book very simply with black paper or cardstock. This will help create a cohesive look.

Step 2: Print the labels!

For the labels, I experimented with light colors, a parchment background, and clear labels. Ultimately, though, I thought the best look was achieved with the darker labels. You can take your pick and download either or both!

Halloween book labels light

Halloween book labels dark

I used Avery® removable full sheet labels (no. 6470) to create the labels with my color printer. A package of 10 full sheet labels will run about $16 at an office supply store. I used two sheets, so I’m about $3.20 in for this project. I like these labels because they are easily repositioned if you have an air bubble or need to adjust the placement, and they come off easily with (in my experience) no damage to the surface. (But that doesn’t mean you should go putting these on irreplaceable or sentimental antique books!)

Simply print the labels on the Avery® label sheets, cut the labels out and place them on your books. How easy is that??

Step 3: Style up!

Here are some styling and decorating tips for your terrifying tomes:

  • Group with witch’s brew ingredient jars and an open “spell book” featuring the spell recipe from “Macbeth.”
  • Display with black, silver and white pumpkins.
  • Place next to a cauldron or witch doll.
  • Create a spooky black and white display on a bookcase inspired by this Pinterest pin.
  • Top off your stack of books with a skull, a crow, or crystal ball.

Of course, feel free to come up with your own labels, too! I’d love to see how you make this project your own; please share your photos on the Facebook page!

The spell books add a touch of authenticity to the Witch's Kitchen vignette, don't you think?

The spell books add a touch of authenticity to the Witch’s Kitchen vignette, don’t you think?