Hello! Betsy Skagen of Paper Calliope here wishing everyone a Bootiful autumn. Altering books is one of my favorite activities. With so many options available--from pre-made books found at craft stores to repurposed children’s books to making books from scratch--I find making altered books almost as irresistible as sneaking Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cups out of my kids’ trick or treat bags. Please note that emphasis on almost, because, well, I really like Reese's.
The good news is that creating altered books can be as easy or difficult as you choose. My HANDy Skeleton book was fairly easy, albeit a little time-consuming to make.
Step 1 Stamp dark orange ink onto a piece of facial tissue, thoroughly covering the surface. Dilute craft glue with water. Cover an inexpensive skeleton trinket with glue mixture. Then, wrap skeleton with the orange tissue. Use a pointed object to press the tissue into all the crevices to allow the texture of the hand to show through the tissue. Cover with another layer of diluted glue and let dry. Because the tissue tears so easily, do not trim any excess tissue until the tissue is completely dry.
Step 2 On a non-stick surface, squeeze hot glue into a shape that mimics a skeletal wrist and forearm. After it hardens, add additional smaller strings of hot glue to create vein-like texture on top of the arm. Cover with diluted glue mixture and wrap with the orange tissue, again pressing the tissue into all the crevices. Cover tissue with the diluted glue and let dry. Accent with a black marker. After the tissue is dry, carefully trim any excess tissue.
Step 3 Slightly separate wire binding and take book apart. Cut Orange Bones Cardstock to the fit three pieces of front cover, lining up bones between pieces. Make two of the front pieces one inch longer than the actual cover and score them one inch from one end. Adhere papers to cover pieces, folding over and adhering the one inch on inside. Blend orange ink over paper to give a slight orange hue.
Step 4 Using an X-acto knife, cut out the holes that will be used for the binding.
Step 5 Using Orange Crackle Glitter Cardstock, repeat the cutting and adhering process for inside cover, except reduce length by 1 inch on two front pieces.
Step 6 Cut smaller pieces of solid orange cardstock to cover the small inside cover piece that is opposite the binding.
Step 7 Again use the X-acto knife to cut out punches for binding. Then cut the arch that is used to connect the cover.
Step 8 Adhere ribbon on inside seams of cover and twine on outside vertical seams.
Step 1 Cut flaps off envelope pages.
Step 2 Using the Robin’s Nest Halloween Collection and coordinating solid color cardstock, cut paper to fit the front and back of each envelope. Place decorative paper on front of each envelope and a solid color cardstock on each back.
Step 3 Decorate pages using items from the Halloween Collection and your personal ephemera collection.
Step 1 For the tags I used a technique I learned from the amazing Tammy Tutterow. Wrinkle Kraft Glassine paper to make cracks in the finish. Then apply Spiced Marmalade Distress Ink to the surface of the tag. After a few minutes blot off excess ink and dry the tags with a heat tool. After drying, mist the Glassine with Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls Mist. Bronze would also work well for this. After letting the paper sit for a few minutes, blot off the excess and dry them with a heat tool. Then add Black Soot Distress Ink to the edges and let dry.
Step 2 Adhere the glassine paper to the front and back of tags that fit inside the envelope pages and trim to the size of the tag. Punch a hole in the glassine over the location of the tag’s original hole.
Step 3 Apply elements from the Robin’s Nest Halloween Collection and your personal collection to each tag. Thread ribbon adorned with trinkets through each of the tags.
Step 4 Reassemble the book.
Now that your amazing book is complete, you can add your own pictures of your favorite trick or treaters through the years. Or, if you can bear to part with your new book, it will make a perfect gift for aunts, uncles and grandparents.
Stuff I used
Cardstock in assorted solid colors
Cardstock from Rusty Pickle--R.I.P.Envelope tag book with tags
Skeleton hand from Halloween supply store
Orange and soot black inks
Heirloom Gold Perfect Pearls Mist
Tim Holtz Kraft Glassine
Assorted ephemera, stickers and trinkets from personal collection