The Art of Darkness

Book Spine Stair Risers

September 10th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Stair DecalsCrikey; I decided to spend five minutes looking for an attribution and wound up going down a rabbit hole.

BoingBoing recently mentioned some whimsical decals for stair risers that make a staircase look like a stack of books. Their post pointed to a listing at Fancy, a third-party crowdsourced catalog, which displays three oddly-disparate detail photos and mentions the manufacturer as “Vinyl Impression.” I eventually tracked them down here (Edit: It looks like that page has been newly removed); their site lacks one of the Fancy photos and the comments* there are illuminating, blaming the vendor for lifting the pattern designs from Coralie Bickford-Smith and also noting that the (missing; presumably removed) photo which looks hand-painted was in fact hand-painted by someone who has nothing to do with the company or its products.

:::whew:::

All of this is a very long-winded way of saying: Hey, what a neat idea; stair risers that are decorated to resemble book spines. Bet it could be DIY’d cheaper and better. And maybe less copyright-infringy.

The spines of favorite books could be scanned or simply re-created in your favorite image editing software (much easier than book covers, since the spines tend to mainly just be words and simple patterns). Most copy shops offer oversize printing, and many will print on vinyl as well as paper. Trim the printouts to fit the stair risers, glue or stick in place–if they’re printed on paper, you may also wish to seal them–and you’re done. (Peel-and-stick vinyl, incidentally, is a great choice for renters, since you can just peel the panels back off when you move.)

If you’re feeling more ambitious you can also paint the stairs, either freehand or using stencils for a more “printed” appearance. Paint them in uniform colors and fonts to resemble collected works (a burgundy-and-gold “Works of Shakespeare” staircase would be elegant and dramatic) or paint each riser a different color for a more eclectic library.

The nicest thing about making your own custom designs is that the choice of title is up to you: You could select books from a favorite author, or works that are particularly meaningful to you.


*Why they’re allowing user comments in their catalog is a question for the ages.

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