Tutorial: ALTER THAT BOOK
WHAT IS IT? This project is a great introduction to sculpture. It reuses old and unloved books and turns them into a piece of art, a centerpiece or a sculpture to display with the seasons. There are limitless themes and forms this project could take on. Since Halloween is coming up, and we have more than our share of Halloween themed supplies and ephemera laying about, we went with it for this project.
This turned out to be a perfect project for the tween artist in residence. You know you have a winner art/craft project when they want to do it over and over again.
To start with you need a hard covered book. About 15 cm (6 inches) wide and 23 cm (9 inches) in length is a great size to work with. Something between 300 - 400 pages is ideal. This is a great way to use up vintage books, unloved, unread books that would otherwise just collect dust in your home or the local thrift store.
Once your book is chosen, and nobody is going to be upset with you folding every single page, you can get to work. It's quite simple: working from the front page, fold in half towards the spine of the book, we found it didn't really matter, if you folding towards the cover or towards the middle. Fold about 10 pages this way then go to the back of the book and do the same thing. The picture below shows clearly how you want to work in towards the middle of the book.
Keep folding until every single page has been folded in half. If you would be interested to see some of the other book folding sculptures that folks have made - click here. Otherwise your book should now look something like this:
You can now add some color to the pages themselves by applying distress ink, walnut ink or glimmer mist to the folded pages to give them a more aged appearance, or take on color that coordinates with your theme. We sprayed ours with an antiquing solution from Tsukineko - java and natural walnut ink. I did try using distress ink as a test patch and it worked great also. There are so many new products on the market that you could experiment with, really, the sky is the limit.Next step is decorating the inside covers of your book. We did this by covering with Halloween themed paper. We mostly used Graphic45 papers Hallowe'en in Wonderland collection - because I'm crazy, bananas, over the moon in love with it. Here is the image before: Here is one after we aged the paper and lined the inside cover. We used a couple different papers and used ribbon to cover the overlap.
We added more goodies to the inside cover and used it as a place to create a title for our book sculpture.
Now the fun part was filling up the folded pages with odds and ends. We took an empty pizza box and searched the studio for any and all Halloween and color related goodies. We were surprised with how much we found! Ki Ki's birthday falls a few days before Halloween and we've had many a Halloween themed birthday party...aka...the supplies have accumulated quite nicely. A few of our favorites for this project turned out to be these adhesive die-cuts from Martha Stewart, these shimmer flourishes in black, from Making Memories and these Avery Note Tabs.
We also used some pearl head pins, misc metals, vintage keys, tags and stickers throughout the project. We tried to do small groupings of images in groups of 3 or 5 (keeping it an odd number). The possibilities for decorating these books are endless. The book below is the one Kia is currently working on, though she says she is not finished yet: Below is a close up of the Avery tab. We aged it with some distress ink before writing trick or treat on it.
Another angle, this time showing the grouping we pinned to the page. A vintage key, and tag all attached with a pearl head pin.
We think they make a great holiday display piece for your table, book shelf, or entry way. Have fun making an altered book of your own!