Make it!

Simple Altered Books – These are soooo fun and an easy intro into the more complex world of altered books. Please note, this is only one way to do this, there are many others. Do what works best for you. Experiment!

Select the open pages you will use and find words or passages you like from the center of the book. Circle them lightly with a pencil. (You may choose to create “found poetry,” random passages and words, or create new sentences all together. Google “found poetry” if you’re unfamiliar with it. It’s fun!) Then crack the spine of the book to get it as flat as possible.

Smooth your pages down and grab your Mod Podge.

Generously slather it on the inside front and back covers to glue the first and last page down. Place a heavy object on it while it dries. Then apply Mod Podge to the page edges. You may have to let it dry and then reapply. Also, if you get gapping, you may have to apply some on a few interior pages. (This is not a science, it is an art. You will have more fun with it if you don’t get hung up on perfection.)

You will want to let it dry and reapply where necessary. You should be able to pick up your book with little movement when you are finished. Now you are ready to paint, collage and embellish! Paint or collage a background AROUND the words and phrases you have chosen.

And embellish with buttons, polymer, wood, lace, ribbon, paint, pens…whatever! I like to match my embellishment with the tone of the exposed passages. Use a strong glue to affix your items. Mod Podge may be used on lace just as if you were using it on paper. When you are finished, get a book or plate stand to cradle your masterpiece.

Decorated/Embellished Box

Please scroll down for written instructions.

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1. Gather materials: a box (cigar box, flea market find, hobby store, whatever…be creative!), collage medium, strong adhesive, pretty paper (wrapping paper or scrapbook paper, or something you’ve made yourself), a typed quote if you’d like, metal embellishments (think brooches, jewelry findings, scrap-booking embellishments, flat ornaments…), acrylic varnish (not pictured)

2. Apply a THIN coat of collage medium to your box and smooth your paper into place. You may have straight edges or torn edges (whatever). The thicker your paper, the less likely it will wrinkle and bubble. Also, don’t use too much medium. Some people like to paint over the top of it as well, some don’t. I prefer to seal mine with acrylic varnish (AFTER it is all dry) for protection.

3 & 4. Now for the inside of the box – same process. This goes very smoothly if you cut or tear all of your pieces beforehand. Then you may just sit and apply the paper. I like to choose a coordinating paper. Do what suits you.

5 & 6. I printed out a quote I liked and used a scrapbook embellishment to frame it. It’s fun to have something interesting on the inside of your box. Decoupage it in using your collage medium (Mod Podge for me).

7. Now glue on the metal frame with strong adhesive. I like E6000. Something to know – It’s quite gloppy; however, after a few minutes, the glops are quite rubbery and easy to remove with a toothpick, nail or something else. It will finish out nicely.

8. Lastly, I add my decorative metal to the outside of my box (using my strong adhesive). Consider placement. Do you prefer things centered or off-centered? There is a balance to either. If you like things off-centered, consider the rule of thirds. It’s pleasing to the eyes (and to our aesthetic sensibilities!).