Friday, November 25, 2011

I Made an Altered Book (yes, I did)

Ta Da!!!!! Here it is, my very first altered book! I have been wanting to make one of these for awhile and finally took the plunge and got started a couple of weeks ago. The hardest part of this was actully finding a book I didn't like enough so that I wouldn't have minor heart failure when I began mutilating it! But, I did locate one that I never finished reading (which almost never happens) because it was THAT boring! So I figured it and I would be a lot happier if it were altered in such a way that I would actually get some enjoyment out of it - and use it as something other than a dust catcher.

The second hardest part was figuring out just HOW to cut out all those pages. Every tutorial I could find only had small niches being cut out or had all the pages taken out and a foam block inserted with the book pages glued around the edges - both great ideas but not what I was looking for.

First, I ended up glueing all my pages together. I did this by getting really thick binder clips and clipping the pages together tightly. I then brushed liberal amounts of an acrylic gel medium along the edges of the papers, which pretty effectively sealed them all together.

Once the pages were dry and firmly stuck together, I drew an outline of opening I wanted cut. Here is where I did cheat: I took the book out to my husband who was already working on a project in the garage. He did the next step, but they were easy, and you can do this part, too! With the back and front cover of the book bent away from the glued pages and clipped together. He drilled a starter hole in two opposite corners of the glued pages. He then used a SABER SAW to cut along the outline that I had drawn. A saber saw is a power tool, but you could also use a COPING SAW or KEYHOLE SAW, which are both manual saws. Believe me, the pages are just too thick to use an exacto knife so a saw of some type is the way to go! Once the middle was cut out, I did use my exacto knife to trim out little rough edges left behind and glued the inside portion of the cut pages the same way, by brushing a gel medium along the pages.

After everything was dried, I decorated the inside of my box simply by cutting out papers to fit and inking everything to "antique" it.

Once the inside was decorated, I started working on the outside. I added a border strip along the spine to imitate a book title:

I wanted texture and dimension on the top, so I brougt out my charms and big handmde fabric flowers.

I used glossy accents to hold all my metal items down.

I crackle painted and inked my chipboard letters:

And, of course, all my papers were from my BIRDS OF A FEATHER November Kit, which is one of my favorite, to date!!!

Now that my altered book is finished, I plan to display it on (where else?) one of my bookshelves. I think I will make a very small mini-album to fit inside it.

Are there any altered projects you would like to try or, even better, have tried? If so, feel free to leave me a comment with the link as I would LOVE to check them out and get more ideas for my own future projects!


  1. SUCH a beautiful project! I love that your husband helped you. How sweet is that?! The embellishments you used are fantastic. Totally awesome job on this! P.S. Love your photo of the Ferris wheel on the bottom of your blog!

  2. this is super fun and so creative...I love the grungy look of it.......beautiful!!!!!