One of the fun trends to come out of Bookstagram and social media is custom sprayed edges on books. Sprayed edges are a design element on books, usually hardcovers, where the edges of the book block have been sprayed a certain color. Just the edges of the page are colored, so the color doesn't bleed through more than a few millimeters onto the actual page of the book, and it doesn't obscure the text. Sprayed edges make for a striking overall look, but they add to the production times and costs, which is why traditional publishers don't print books with sprayed edges very often. They're usually reserved for big releases, and sometimes they're constricted to only the first print run. Some big examples of this include the hardcover editions of Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (black and red sprayed edges), Frankly in Love by David Yoon (that electric blue really stood out) and Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (black, which was to be expected and the perfect touch).
Sprayed edges are in fact so popular, and relatively easy to do on a small scale, that it's not entirely surprising a little cottage industry has sprang up offering this service. Just enter "sprayed edges" into the search bar on Etsy, and you'll come up with tons of shops offering limited runs of certain popular YA books or even offering to spray the edges of books you already own — and many shop owners are taking it to the next level by offering gorgeous stenciled and hand-painted art on top of these sprayed edges. This seems to be most popular in the YA, SFF, and romance genres, and while I love the idea of turning books I already own into one-of-a-kind collectibles, it's kind of fun to shop these ready-to-ship options, which offer some impressive sprayed, stenciled, and hand-painted artwork on the book block edges! Just be forewarned, these are one-of-a-kind editions, so the markup is real…and you'll want them all! Here are eleven of my favorites:
*note that at the time of writing this, all items were in stock*
My Fine Fellow by Jennieke Cohen Stenciled Edge ($27): Look at those little whisks! I love it when the artists bring in details from the book. This one is a Victorian-set retelling of My Fair Lady, and it involves lots of culinary delights!
Only a Monster by Vanessa Len Sprayed and Stenciled Edges ($60): This is a gorgeously detailed ombre edge, with shiny gold accents!
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna Sprayed Edge ($30): The gold on this is simple yet it's got the perfect bold effect for this book!
Little Thieves by Margaret Owen Sprayed and Stenciled Edges ($45): Going for a busy edge design on a cover that already has a lot going on is a bit of a risk — but this artist was able to match the cover art beautifully, and make it look as though the original design carried over!
Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tran Sprayed and Stenciled Edges ($57+): This design is so delicate and lovely! Bonus, this seller also offers a bookmark that matches the edge design.
Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust ($54): I love this design so much, and part of the reason why I am so drawn to it is I love how the artist didn't saturate the entire book block edge, but used the white of the pages to offer a nice contrast and make up the serpents!
Wicked Fox Duology by Kat Cho Sprayed and Stenciled Edges ($90): These books are matchy-matchy, with some cut fox details!
These Violent Delights Duology by Chloe Gong Sprayed and Stenciled Edges ($75): I'm obsessed with the ornate stamps used on these book blocks…and considering how thick these books are, it's a fun, bold choice!
Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson Sprayed and Stenciled Edges ($40): I love when the artists take imagery that isn't on the cover and add it to the edges, and it just works.
Heartstopper Series by Alice Oseman Sprayed Edges ($157): There is something extremely satisfying about owning a full series with matching edges!
Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim UK Edition Sprayed Edges ($69): The pink skies and blue clouds on this one are so dreamy! Bonus, you get a matching bookmark!
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