How to Fake a Bible {Or an Old Codex}

I was recently asked to make a fake old codex for a friend. Well, what she really wanted was an old Bible. If you’ve been following me for a while then you know I love challenges, and this request was a huge one for me. I had never done any, and it wasn’t something it appealed to me very much so it wouldn’t have been ever on my project to do list. Anyway, she wanted it because she wanted to display it on top of her dresser.

But, it was a special request and here’s where the challenge starts. How was I going to make something new look like old and used? I googled and I found some tutorials explaining how to do it. I took a little bit of one and little bit of another and make my own version. I also looked for some images, but I didn’t like them because they were thought to use for codex not for Bible, until I came across with some old pages from a real Bible. Perfect!

It was time to look for something I could start with, and Miss A gave me an outdated planner she had.

Fake Old Codex | old planner | Via

I have to tell you something, the next step seems to last forever! Just in case you want to try… then you can’t blame me.

I splited the planner in half and had to crumple each page, one by one. This was going to give volume to the codex.

Fake Old Codex | old planner | Via


Fake Old Codex | old planner | Via

I survived. Yes! But the fun just started. Now I had to glue EACH page together, can you believe it? I took a small container and mixed white glue with water in a 50-50 ratio, and brushed each page with that mix. As soon as I glued them together they lost some volume, should be fine.

It was so boring I thought about ways of speeding up the process and tried to spray the glue. Failure. So I had to keep brushing them.

Fake Old Codex | old planner | Via

When it was done, I left it to dry completely for some days.

The next step was to paint the back white. I used the homemade chalk paint as it adheres to everything. When it was dry I applied more glue mix and I added kitchen napkins to create some creases and give it the appearance of old leather.

Fake Old Codex | old planner | Via


After it dried, I rubbed some dark wax.

Fake Old Codex | old planner | Via

Fake Old Codex | old planner | Via


Let it dry (again), a day or so was enough.

It was time to add the old pages. I glued them on place, and let them dry. Then I painted silver the sides and added some bitumen of Judea.

Fake Old Codex | Old Bible | Via


It has a wonderful shiny finish.

Fake Old Codex | Old Bible | Via

Fake Old Codex | Old Bible | Via

I also added some trimming.

Fake Old Codex | Old Bible | Via

Fake Old Codex | Old Bible | Via

Fake Old Codex | Old Bible | Via

How to fake a bible with an old planner and very few materials · Via

And it was finally done! I was so happy because she liked it very much, I even liked it! It really was worth all the effort.

Hope you like it too 🙂



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  1. Mary-the boondocks blog says:

    Pili, this is a work of art!!! All the w ork that went into it and it turned out soooo beautiful! I can’t believe it. Nothing at all like it was before. Now that is a sign of a true artist, to take something plain and turn it into extraordinary!!!

    • Pili says:

      Many thanks, Mary! I really got stuck about two weeks because I had no idea and, I must admit, was a bit scared on how to do it but thankfully it turned out better than I expected

  2. says:

    Wow, I had no idea this would be possible, I’ve never tried it either. And that you used chalk paint for it is crazy! It looks really old and antique, what a transformation Pili! Great work, it’s stunning!

    • Pili says:

      This is by far the most challenging project I have ever faced, but I am really pleased with the result

  3. Debbie says:

    Saying that I’m impressed doesn’t even get any close of how impressed I’m. Simply awesome, Pili.
    You are incredible! I’d not even know where to begin if someone asked me something like that.
    Thanks for sharing it on #tiptuesday.

    • Pili says:

      You’re always so kind with me, Debbie. This has been the most challenging I’ve done so far, but I was really surprised with the result. Enjoy your weekend!

  4. Nikki Frank-Hamilton says:

    I am so amazed! I was thinking there was no way that you were going to be able to make that look like an old Bible! I need to eat my words. It’s so incredible! I love how aged it is and that the pages curl on the edges. So stinkin’ cool. I’m sure your client loves it, I would too!!!

    • Pili says:

      At first I thought I wouldn’t be able to make that look like an old Bible too! But not stressing and just taking one step after the other I even enjoyed making it, and I love the result too!
      Thank you so much for you kind comments, Nikki!

    • Pili says:

      Linda, it is really a good trick, and you can use it on different surfaces. Glad you like it too!

  5. Carol Lander says:

    Pili what an interesting project. I guess you could do it with any old book. Did you think about using spray adhesive? Thanks for sharing at Your Inspired Design Link Party.

    • Pili says:

      Hi, Carol! Yes, you can do it with any old book or on any surface. Do you mean using spray adhesive to all glue all sheets, or only the script ones? If it’s for all I’m not sure it would give them the hard surface it has with glue… if it’s only for the script pages I think it could do, but you would still need to apply some glue to curve the corners.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Life Loving says:

    Wow! You’ve shown a lot of patience here Pili, but it’s definitely paid off. I hope your friend appreciates the work you’ve put in, I’m sure she/he will love the result though.

    Sally @ Life Loving

    • Pili says:

      Yes, Sally, I’m trying to develop my patience through projects, as I don’t have too much!
      She enjoyed it so I’m really happy. Thanks for visiting!

  7. Mimi says:

    Wow Pili! That’s a task and a half! A beautiful result though. Thanks for sharing at Five Star Frou-Frou. Love, Mimi xxx

  8. Aspen Jay says:

    Wow Pili! I have never seen anything like this before! If you were into Halloween, doing something like this would be a cool decoration.
    Thanks for sharing with us at Talented Tuesday!

    • Pili says:

      That’s a great idea! Maybe next year I can plan something like it Halloween inspired.
      Thanks for you stopping by AJ, great to see you here!

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  10. Mrs Shoes says:

    I admit that I don’t know what is a Codex?
    I will also say that the idea of a ‘fake Bible’ hurt my heart a little bit, but I suppose if you were to substitute the word ‘Quran’ for ‘Bible’, that it might make someone devoted to that faith cringe a little as well.
    If you were to fake an old edition of A Tale of Two Cities (just for example), the project would have turned out equally as well & I would bet you could actually sell it as decor.

    All that aside, I love that you were able to transform this newish planner into what appears to be a very well-worn book; that took some thinking and adapting and effort. A very creative craft, so Good on You, Phili!

    I came to visit from Sweet Inspirations bloghop; please feel welcome, one day when you have a little time, to stop on by the 4Shoes & let me know that you’ve been. 🙂

    • Pili says:

      Hi! Thanks so Michel for your comment. I thought about this post title for quite a long time and I was sure it could be taken for something is not. I didn’t pretend to dismiss a real Bible but I was asked for a fake worn-look one. Why she didn’t just bought an old one? I don’t know… Anyway, glad you saw and liked the process to create it

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