Monday, October 7, 2013

Halloween Book Tutorial

Most people know that I have a fascination with Halloween. It's my favorite holiday and I go all out with decorating my house. That said, I have to admit that I don't really get into the blood and gore side of things, but my taste runs more along the lines of old dilapidated books, apothecary decorations, bones and graveyards. You know the kind of stuff--think Diagon alley, or the Defense Against the Dark Arts class room in Harry Potter. Yep--that kind of stuff.

This year I made some Halloween books to add to my collection (see tutorial below). These books were inspired by the blog: Seeing Things That Aren't Really There. You can also find great tutorials there. I used the downloads provided on that site to make both my spider and bat books. Then I ventured off with my own imagination and made the skeleton book. 

My Spider Book

Bat Book

The Art of Death Skeleton Book
 The books aren't really hard to make. Here's how to make your own:

1) Get an old, hard bound book. I picked mine up from a library's discontinued book sale. Content doesn't matter, just make sure it's the right size for what you want.

2) Select something to put on the cover. It can be as simple as a printed picture (like the one used on the Bat book) or it can be a low relief object (like the spider which was a 3-D window sticker). If you choose a printed picture, follow the link to this tutorial here.

For 3-D objects: I selected a small skeleton I found a local dollar store. I had to cut off the back of the skull and the back of the ribs to make it lay flat enough to use. You really want something 3-D, not 4-D. Once your item is ready, glue it to the cover using a hot glue gun.

3) Use the gluegun and put ridges of glue along the spine in several places. This will simulate the cording on the spine of an old bound book.

4) Now tear black tissue paper into small pieces and use Modge Podge to glue the pieces onto the cover. Squish them around--the more wrinkles the better. It will look like an old leather binding. I had to use a toothpick to press my pieces into the small crevices between the bones. Cover the entire book, wrapping the pieces of paper around the inside edges of the cover.

5) Now give it a more antique look by dry brushing some black paint over it. This covers up any glue marks and gives it a little depth. Next, using a light gray color, dry brush across the 3/D object. Next use the light grey and dry brush along the ridges of the spine, the edges of the cover, and anywhere else you want the book to look worn.

 6) Now to decorate the book with any other amenities you want. Cut any shape you might want to add to the book out of thin cardboard (cereal boxes work well) and paint them accordingly. I wanted corner guards, a book clasp (so the book can't be opened), and...some other decoration thingy--I don't know what it is, but it looks cool. Paint your pieces however you want them. I painted my pieces silver and antiqued them by dry brushing black along the edges. When they are dry, glue them on using a hot glue gun.

Here's my cardboard pieces ready to glue on.
 Here's the book after the pieces were glued.

 7) Make a title for your book along with a label for the spine. I did mine on the computer using a spooky-looking font and boarder. I printed a smaller, simpler version to use for the spine label. I also antiqued mine by dipping the paper in coffee and letting it dry. When it's ready glue it on with Modge Podge or white glue.

Here I'm antiquing the paper in coffee.

I glued the title paper on and added a black cord around the edge to give it a little more decoration. You can also make a title plate out of cardboard and paint it like the one on the spider book.

A creepy Halloween book deserves a ghoulish place to display it. Set it on a pile of old books or next to a skull and surround it by potion bottles and voila--everybody that walks in will be drawn to your spooky display.


I'm always excited to release a new book, but I have to say...This one is extra special. THE WIZARD'S WORKSHOP , was born out of m...