Monday, March 15, 2004

Project - Altered Books - A Small Gift of Love

Never altered a book before? This is a great first timer's project, with the simplest of techniques. To start, look around for miniature gift books -- the perfect size for altering on a weekend.

While shopping a charity book sale, I found copies of "A Precious Moments Gift of Love," by Samuel J. Butcher and "Simple Wisdom," illustrated by Roxanna Villa. I snagged them for 20 cents each. I altered the first book and used quotes from the second one for collage. ~ Project and Photos by Kim M. Bayne

Image and Article (c) by Kim M. BayneImage and Article (c) by Kim M. BayneImage and Article (c) by Kim M. Bayne

Materials & Tools List
· Gift-sized Hardbound Book(s), Recommended Sizes: 0.75 x 3.5 x 3 inches
· Creative Memories Custom Cutting System Tools, oval patterns plus self-healing cutting mat and blade cartridges
· Paper Pizazz Ephemera Background Papers, by Hot Off The Press
· Dark Red Paper or Cardstock
· Red Glass Beads
· Heart Charms, Brass and Pewter
· Clear Rigid Plastic or Acetate
· White (Clear-Drying) Tacky Glue, like Sobo Premium Craft & Fabric Glue by Delta Technical Coating, Inc., for non-paper items and the niche interior
· Double-Stick Tape, for plastic window
· Glue Stick, for pages and paper collage
· Vintage Photo of Woman Reading
· Scrap of Fabric Lace
· Die Cut Hearts from Dark Red Paper
· Heart Stickers
· Quotes Torn from Second Unwanted Book (noted above)
· Photo of Vintage Automobile, found in Paper Pizazz Journey Ephemera, by Hot Off The Press
· Piece of Black Paper or Cardstock
· Scrap of Black Background Paper with White Text
· Paperback Dictionary Page with Definition of the word "love"
· Paper Heart Punch
· Oval Medium Blank Page Pebbles™, by Making Memories
· Two Cancelled Postage Stamps, with Flower Images
· Fibers in Gold and Pink, for the Book Spine
· Plastic Heart Beads in Pink, Red and Purple
· White Tissue Paper Imprinted with Gold Hearts
· Pink Inkpad
· Cosmetic Sponge or Wedge
· Red Glitter

The Steps
(Click to enlarge each image. Another browser window will open.)

1. Open the book in the middle and place a cutting mat behind a single right-hand page. Cut an oval in the middle of the page. Trace the oval on the next page and cut. Repeat until you cut almost all of the right-hand pages, from the middle to the back, with the exception of the last two.

2. Cut two pieces of ephemera background paper, each the same size as a two-page book spread. Fold each paper in half vertically. Slip a piece into your book, behind a cut page and trace (with a pencil) ovals onto the paper. On the first paper, cut one oval on the right half only. On the second paper, cut two ovals, one oval on both halves of the paper (see final book layouts for clarity).

3. Cut a small piece of clear plastic to create the oval window pane. Between the second and third cut pages, tape the plastic piece over the oval. Glue pages together. You've created a small window.

4. Move the window page out of the way to the left. Glue the remaining right-hand pages together, one at a time, working to the back of the book.

5. Clip the glued pages together with bulldog or other large clips. Using your finger, apply wet glue to the inside cut edges of the oval. Add glue to the back of the oval then fill the niche with a scrap red paper oval, glass beads and a heart-shaped charm.

6. Move the window page out of the way to the right. Glue the remaining left-hand pages together, one at a time, working to the front of the book.

7. Collage the first altered book page spread.
· ephemera paper, aligned to the book ovals
Now add...
On the Left:
· different scrap of background paper (white words on black)
· paperback dictionary page with the definition for "love"
· punched paper heart with the word "passion"
· plastic page pebble
On the Right:
· die-cut red paper heart
· red heart sticker
· quote from "Simple Wisdom" gift book

9. Now you'll make a pop-up image. Trim an illustration of a vintage automobile and glue it on stiff black paper. Trim the black background paper around the image so it creates a thin border. Fold the automobile in half vertically and away from you. Fold about a half inch on each side of the automobile toward you for tabs. Glue or tape the tabs on the pages, taking care to allow spacing for the book to open and close, and for the automobile to "pop up."

10. Collage the second altered page spread.
· ephemera paper, aligned to the book ovals
Now add...
On the Left:
· scrap piece of lace, glued on an angle above window
· image of woman reading
· quote from "Simple Wisdom" gift book
On the Right:
· two cancelled flowery postage stamps

The Cover
11. Using a cosmetic wedge or sponge, apply pink inkpad color to the cover of the book. Apply liberally. Don't worry about blemishes on the book because you'll cover them with tissue paper next.

12. Tear decorative white tissue paper into pieces. Glue to the cover in a random fashion.

13. Glue heart charms to the front of the cover using the white tacky glue. Fill the cover charms with glue and add red metal sprinkles or glitter.

14. Cut three to four 12-inch strands of fiber. Thread the fibers through the spine and tie the ends together. Add beads to the ends of several fibers.

Project Tips
· Line up your background paper exactly with the sides of the book page before you trace your ovals.
· Cut ovals in your background paper before you glue together the pages and niche.
· For pages, use a glue stick for the fastest drying time and least amount of mess.
· A scrap piece of paper, slipped behind a book page, allows you to glue all the way to the page edges.
· Be generous when applying glue, to hold your pages and treasures in place.

Additional Reading
· Altered Books 101 by Beth Cote
· Altered Books 102: Beyond the Basics by Beth Cote
· Altered Books 103: Little Books, Decos, CDs & More! by Beth Cote, Keely Barham

Product Resource Guide
· Buy your craft supplies at
· Most project photos on this page were taken with a 5.0 MP resolution KODAK EASYSHARE DX4530 Zoom Digital Camera

Article Description: No time? Complete this altered book project in a weekend.

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