When in doubt, Harry Potter.


Recently, I had the honor of being a bridesmaid for one of my most loved friends, Liz. Her and her now hubby, Marcus, are some of my favorite humans - and like me, they love all things nerdy. Their wedding was as if “Beauty and the Beast” and “Harry Potter” had a love child, and guys, it was amazing!

Liz and Marcus let me run wild with all kinds of wedding details (I will share all of that magic as soon as I have my hands on the professional images - they will be worth the wait, I promise!!) but the thing that I am most excited to share with you is what I did for their wedding gift.

I spent about 3 months hand painting a set of hardcover Harry Potter books for them, and not only was it SO hard to keep a secret - especially from a friend who frequents my home often - I was also a little tempted to keep them myself because I am obsessed with how they turned out! In the end, I gifted them over the past weekend, and they were very well received.

Buckle up as I share all the images of the covers as well as give a bit of info on how I did it, and maybe someday you will hand paint a book for a loved one in your life!

I purchased the standard hardcover set of books from a local bookstore and didn’t use the dust covers (the paper jacket) at all in my final versions. I have painted a handful of bibles and now other books, and hard cover is a must. I use acrylic on all my books, and the soft cover books would like warp under the layers of paint.

I started each book by choosing a quote (or two) that I knew I wanted to incorporate, and then I decided on an element that was either relevant to the story or to the quote I chose. Once I had an idea for each book, I started painting. I wanted to keep the covers a little abstract and imperfect and really embrace the handmade nature of them.

Harry Potter Books
Harry Potter Books
Harry Potter Books

Unfortunately, I didn’t take nearly enough “in progress” photos - but once I had the layers of the background done, I used Saral transfer paper to get the quotes I had chosen transferred on to the books before making them permanent with acrylic paint markers. My favorite paint markers for projects like this are either Montana (which you can find at most Michael’s stores but their size options are limited) or Posca (which you can usually find at Jerry’s Artarama, Blicks, or most “fine art” stores) and both are 100% available on Amazon. I typically have a variety of sizes on hand and switch it up based on the size of the quote, etc.

The final products came out exactly as I dreamed they would, and I am looking forward to creating a set for myself!

This set of books makes me so happy and I am so thrilled that they are in a wonderful new home now.

What books would you love to see me paint next? Would you take on a book painting project yourself?! Tell me in the comments or pop over to instagram @inkletterlove and weigh in!!