Tuesday, October 23, 2012

DIY: Halloween Spell Book

I have to tell you, I'm not a crafty person.  I've always wanted to be, but every time I try to make something I feel like it looks like crap.  I've always wanted to do a project, finish it and love it.  Well, it actually happened!  This spooky Halloween spell book turned out great!

I saw this when I was at a candy making class at  my friend Mandy's house.  I walked into her entry and there on a side table was the cutest Halloween decoration I've seen in a long time.  It was the talk of the evening.  Everyone wanted to know where she got it.  When I found out she had made it, I knew I had to try it.  So my I spent the day with two good friends and had a blast making three of these spell books.

They are so easy and cheap to make.  Nearly everything either came from a thrift store, my local Wally-World or the hardware store.  All in all, this project (for one spell book) cost about $7 and now that I know how to make them I could have one put together, start to finish, in less than an hour.  This step by step tutorial (with pictures) should make it easy to make!

Materials needed:
  • Second hand book.  Preferably a large reference type book like an encyclopedia or dictionary and it should be at least 2-3 inches thick.  I found mine at a thrift store for $1.
  • White school glue
  • Black spray paint
  • Sponge brushes
  • Glitter
  • Various plastic creepy crawlers (bats, rats, snakes and cockroaches).
  •  White spider webbing
  • Feathery yarn for the bookmark (I found mine in the craft section at my local Wally World).
  • Beads or a charm for the end of the bookmark
  • One copy of the Shakespeare poem (see below.  I printed mine out at about 85%.) 
   To assemble:

Begin by finding the center of the book.  You can either eyeball it or figure it out based on the number of pages in the book.  Put some kind of bookmark in to mark the spot.

Starting at either the front or back of the book, crumble and bend up the pages until they are all crinkled up.  The idea is to create volume in the book and make it look well used and old.  Fold some of the pages over toward the center of the book to help add volume.

This is how it should look at this point.

Next, mix equal parts white school glue and water to make homemade Modge Podge.  With the book open to the center, use a sponge brush to brush the glue/water over the edges of the book and on about every 5th page or so.  You want the pages to stick together.

Once you have glued the pages, open the book to the center.

Spray paint!  I didn't wait for my glue to dry.  I just took it outside, turned it upside down and spray painted the covers and page edges black.  Allow to dry completely.  Then turn it over and spray paint the open pages and coat the edges a second time.  Allow to dry completely.

Next you will burn the edges of the poem.  For this step, you will need a wet cloth, a bowl of water and a lighter.  Begin by lighting about a 3" section of the paper on fire.  Allow it to burn toward the wording.

When the charred edge reaches the desired point, use the damp rag to put the fire out.  I just brushed the flame to put it out, but you have to be careful not to smear the ink.  Then dip your fingers in water and lightly pinch the burned edges.  This puts out the still smoldering edges.  Repeat the process until you've burned completely around the poem, working with about 3" of paper at a time.  When you're finished, wet your fingers again and pinch around the entire edge of the paper to be sure it is completely out.

Lay the burned poem on the book to make sure it fits properly.  You can burn off more paper if you need to.  If your book is large be sure to leave enough of the margin to fill up the page.

Spread the open pages of the book with the glue/water mixture and firmly press the poem down on the page, holding it in place until it is dry.  Carefully brush the poem with the glue/water mixture to ensure it stays put.

While the glue is wet, sprinkle with glitter.  Set it aside and allow to dry for 24 hours.

Adorn the book with various creepy crawlers and white spider webbing.

To make the bookmark, string the yarn onto the charm of your choice.  I found some owl and snake charms in the craft section at Wal-mart.  Then glue the top end of the yarn into the spine of the book.

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