Thursday, May 8, 2008
Tutorial: How to make an Altered book- Stage 1 Find and Prepare
So, you want to delve into the world of Altered books, but have no clue how to begin... good thing you're here! First, find a book to alter. You can use anything to make a 'book': cardboard, bookboard, an old children's book, licence plates. We're going to recycle a hardcover from the Library in this tutorial. Not the good ones you check out, silly. Most libraries have an area where they sell books; duplicates, old, dammaged ones. Look for a Hard cover book, and I suggest you start with a 'Bible-size' book. In this tutorial, I used a Readers Digest Hardcover of about 600 pages. They usually sell for less than $1 and you can feel good about giving life back into something long forgotten...
Once you get it home, get used to the fact that you are about to destroy a book. All your life you've been told not to tear the pages, don't fold the corners, guess what....you're going to do both. Woooo Hooooo, I love breaking the rules
I begin by deciding how many sections I want to end up with, then tear out a few pages between the sections. How many pages you tear depends how thick your book is. Once you tear out a few, you've gotten over your fear, and now we're ready to 'tear with a purpose'.
Go grab some white glue or gel medium, get a foam brush...get a few so you don't have to make a lot of trips, 'cause you'll use them later on...and get your book.
Apply a healthy, but not gloppy coating of glue/gel medium to the back of the inside page of your book (let's call it page 2) NOT THE SIDE THAT FACES THE COVER and press page 3 against it.
I use my bone folder to get a really stuck, flat surface, but you don't have to.
Continue gluing the next 4-8 pages, depending how thick you want your reinforced page to be.
Now you get to tear some more! woo hoo! Start tearing, and keep going until you get to the next section. Your book will no longer sit flat. The top cover will be a little floppy. This allows you to add dimentional objects to your book, and still fit on a shelf!
Begin your gluing again, until you have 5-10 pages stuck together for reinforced page #2.
Tear until you reach section #3, glue....continue until all sections are finished.
If you are not tired of looking at your book yet, we can move on to priming the surface. Depending on what you want your final pages to look like, you might be ready to start altering. If you want the text to show through, leave the book to dry overnight, before you begin. We'll get into altering the book in a future tutorial. But, if you don't want to see any text, you'll want to prime the pages.
Since this book will be involved in a swap which ends around Halloween, I decided the theme would be Magic! To enhance the Magical theme, I painted each section, and the torn out remainders with Black Scrapbooking paint. I like scrapbooking paint, because it dries very very quickly, and the consistancy is easy to spread.
Set your book up on it's edge, fanning the pages out, so they dry completely, and don't stick together.
At this point, I decided to add a custom leather cover with heat embossed grungeboard hinges to enhance the theme as my book travels around the country. If you are making a book for yourself, I suggest waiting until the end to make the cover, so it doesn't get destroyed.
I was going to include some magic spells for the swappers to play with, then remembered there is black magic, and white magic. Hmmmmm.... So I went back, and applied Gesso to the pages, giving them an eerie white tone. The theme has now transformed to "White Magic".
At this point, the book needs to dry for 24 hours, then it will be ready for color, focal images and fun spells. I placed wax paper between the pages so they don't stick together while it dries. I'll play with a page or 2 before I send it off and keep you posted.
To get to this point I used : A Recycled Reader's Digest Hardcover, foam brushes, gel medium, black paint, white gesso, wax paper.
Comments and constructive criticism always wanted!!!
at 1:57 PM