My favorite part of upcycling

Nancy Drew
I enjoy upcycling for many reasons. It allows me to shop guilt-free (almost). It makes me feel virtuous (just a little) for keeping things out of the landfill. It enables me to indulge in nostalgia without getting sentimental.

But the thing I enjoy most? Combining the old with the new.

Last week, I came upon stacks of old Nancy Drew books. It's what I'm always looking for when I enter a used bookstore but almost never find (I'm convinced people in certain small towns near me are hoarding their old Nancy Drews. You know who you are!) I turn the old books into Kindle cases, and they sell fast in my Etsy shop.

I stopped by a Half-Price Books just north of Seattle. I was rewarding myself, having just donated at a nearby blood bank. My reward was great indeed. I came away with 18 -- yes 18 -- vintage Nancy Drew titles. Each was in great condition and cost only $2. 
Vintage Nancy Drew books
I couldn't bring myself to buy them all. (Thanks to a voice inside my head warning, "Now, don't be selfish -- save some for the next person.") Minutes after driving away, I regretted my decision. Of course.

When I returned home, I carried the books into my sewing room. Next came the fun part. The really, really fun part. I cracked opened my fabric bins and began pulling out colorful strips of cotton, nylon, and polyester. For each book cover, I had to find the right fabric to line the new tablet case.

In making my matches, I consider both color and style. I aim for retro prints when I can, but they're not easy to find. Sometimes, if the cover illustration is busy, I keep the lining simple.

I thought I'd share the fun with you. Here are 5 fabric samples from my stash.
Fabric swatches
And here are 6 of the book covers. How would YOU match the covers and fabric?
Vintage Nancy Drew books
You can use the same fabric for more than one cover. When I make my choices, I'll post an update here.


  1. All my Nancy Drew books went to cousin Nancy, I wonder what ever happened to Barbie's went to her too and I think Fran saved them for a while but who knows for how long, bet she didn't move them cross country.


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