How to Create an Altered Art Book
Dawn Beckert shows you techniques to transform discarded books into works of art.
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Dawn Beckert is a family law attorney by day and a crafter by night. She wants it known that most lawyers definitely have a lighter side. After a long day of hitting the law books, Beckert's creativity flows into her whimsical interpretation of altered books. Artistic in their own right she says these books may also serve as a wonderful way to preserve special memories. Her favorite thing about altered books are pages that flip, flop and pull out so that it's a surprise at every turn.
Materials and Tools:
sharp scissors or craft knife
brayer or bone folder
yellow ochre and red oxide acrylic paint
acrylic glazing Liquid
18k gold leafing pen
vintage imagescopyright free
project file folders
jet black inkpad
dye-based inkpad in magenta
glue stick - non-toxic, washable and acid free
Ranger embossing ink
Red Dragon embossing powder
Mini Gold Crowns (Silver Crow Creations)
* Gel medium acts as a glue for this project.
1. Select a book to alter such as a Statue book. Use a glue stick to connect four pages together prior to the page(s) you intend to alter and four pages after the page(s) you intend to alter. Connecting these pages creates a sturdy base on either side of the open two-page spread upon which to paint and embellish. Apply a coat of gesso to the two-page spread. Place wax paper under the pages you are working with to protect pages underneath.
2. Mix a small dollop of yellow ochre acrylic paint with the acrylic glazing liquid. When pages are painted with a ratio of one part paint to three or four parts glazing liquid it creates a see-through glaze so that you will still be able to see the words under your paint adding an interesting effect. Experiment with the glazing and paint mixture to determine how much of the underlying text you wish to cover. Paint the mixture on the pages using a paintbrush.
3. Allow the paint and glaze mixture to dry. To speed up the drying process hold a heat gun above the painted pages and slowly move back and forth. Be careful not to hold the heat in one place for too long as the pages could begin to smoke or burn.
4. Cut out six equally sized circles. Use either a circle template or a lid from a jar. Paint the circles just as you have the background pages (see step #2). Let them dry or use the heat gun to speed up the drying process.
5. Measure the width of the two-page spread to determine the length needed for the pageant contestant's picture. For this project, the width was 11 inches. Using a photo imaging software program rotate the 8-1/2" x 11" page horizontally and stretch the image to fit the width of the page horizontally along the bottom of the two page spread.
6. Measure the area in which your winner is going to be revealed to determine the size she will need to be printed. Measure the circle areas in which you intend to place the pictures of the finalists so that you can determine what size the finalists will need to be printed. Allow room to stamp words at a later time.
7. Look over the page and determine if there are any interesting words that seem to fit into the theme. If so, draw a box and outline them with the 18k gold leafing pen. When laying out your images, place them so that they do not cover the fun words. Pick out one or two words or create an entire phrase or sentence out of words that are in different places in the two-page spread.
8. Cut out images. Cut out the winner leaving only the water at the bottom so that she becomes almost a cutout doll, cut out the finalists leaving the scenery around them and cut out the remaining group of pageant girls.
9. Attach the pageant contestants to the bottom of the page with regular gel medium. Glue one side at a time, as the crease in the middle of the book will take up some of the length. Glue the right side of the pageant contestant photo to the bottom edge of the right hand page. Remove any creases or bubbles with a brayer as they occur while layering the images onto the page. When you get to the center of the book, using caution, close the book with the pageant contestant's picture inside. This creates a crease in your pageant contestant's photo. Continue applying the gel medium across the spread, gluing and braying toward the left, until the pageant contestant's photo spans the entire bottom of your two-page spread.
10. Position three of the circles face down, leaving approximately 1/4 inch of space between each circle. Measure a length of ribbon that will lay across all three circles and extend past the circles on either end approximately 2 inches. Leave 2 inches at the bottom and begin gluing the ribbon to the center of the bottom circle using a glue stick. Adhere a circle on top of the bottom circle, sandwiching the ribbon in between. Repeat for all three circles. You should have three circles with ribbon running through them.
11. Create a pocket to place the finalists in by tearing a page from somewhere else in the book. Paint (glaze) the page with the yellow ochre and red oxide acrylics glaze mix. Allow to dry. Speed up the drying process with a heat gun.
12. Trim the page so that it is slightly wider than the largest portion of the circles. Make a fold approximately the length of 1/3 of the single, torn out page. Place two staples on either side of the fold to create a pocket in which to place your circles. Using Tacky Tape along all four edges of the torn page, adhere the pocket to the right side of the spread above the pageant contestants. Leaving approximately 1/4 inch between the pageant girls and the bottom of the pocket.
13. Stamp corset, shoe and text portions randomly about the circles using black Staz-On ink. Set the ink with a quick dash of heat from your heat gun. Using the Marvy Matchables in magenta and the alphabet stamps, stamp the words, "1st runner up" on the top of the bottom circle. Repeat, stamping "2nd runner up" on the top of the middle circle and "1st runner up" on the top of the top circle. Using the glue stick, adhere the images of the "runners up" to their respective circle, making sure to leave the newly stamped words exposed.
14. Place a small dab of gel medium over and under the bottom portion of your ribbon, only glue about 1/4 inch of the very bottom of the ribbon so that the pull out will have room to pull out of the pocket allowing you to see the bottom most circle in full. Place a dab of gel medium inside the bottom portion of the pocket being careful to hold the pocket ajar with your fingers to prevent the pocket from being glued together. Push the glued end of the ribbon into the glue inside the pocket; remove your fingers and press lightly adhering the bottom of the ribbon to the bottom of the pocket.
15. After the gel medium dries (one to two minutes), fold the three circles into one another so that it appears there is only one circle. Leave the top 2 inch portion of your ribbon sticking out of the pocket. Fold in such a way that you can pull on it later to reveal the finalists. As they pull out from the pocket, the third runner up should be seen first, then the second runner up and so on. When the circles are inside of the pocket one quarter of your top most circle should be exposed outside the pocket.
16. Lightly dab the "time" stamp into the embossing ink. Tip: Lightly stamp once on a scrap piece of paper to ensure that you do not have too much embossing liquid. Remember that the embossing powder will stick to anything that is wet on your page, so apply carefully. Stamp "time" into the top right corner of the right page, leaving enough room to later apply the sun's rays.
17. Pour the embossing powder all over the newly stamped embossing ink, making sure to completely cover the surface you just stamped. Fold a piece of paper in half and unfold, place the creased piece of paper next to the book and pour all the excess embossing powder onto the creased piece of paper. Tip: Return excess powder to its jar for use at a later time. Use a cotton swab to lightly remove excess powder in undesirable areas.
18. Draw rays surrounding the sun with 18k gold leafing pen. Let dry.
19. In a word processing program type "The Finalists" and "Miss Fun in the Sun 1921" using the beach type font. Position the words in their intended space. Print the words onto transfer paper for inkjet printers. Cut a circular area around the words "The Finalists." Drop the cut out words into a bowl of luke-warm water. The paper will immediately begin to curl. Allow the words to soak for approximately 15 seconds, or until the paper begins to uncurl. Remove the paper from the water and peel the paper backing revealing your see through words.
20. Attach "The Finalists" below the sun and above your pocket with the gummy substance on the back of your transparent words. Note: Should the glue that is on the transfer paper not fully adhere to your page, place a small amount of gel medium on the page where you intend the words to go. Smooth the gel medium out with your finger and place the words on top. Burnish the words with your brayer or bone folder to smooth out the words and remove any bubbles. Your right page is now complete.
21. Create flaps by cutting a project folder into two different sections. One should be big enough to conceal the winner but small enough to fit under the other flap. While the other should be big enough to cover all but a very small portion of the other flap. The two flaps, when placed on the left page, should fill all but 1/4 inch of the page on either side of the flaps. When the book is closed the flaps should cover the worded area in the center of the left page.
22. Lightly glaze both sides of the larger of the two flaps with the yellow ochre paint and the acrylic glazing liquid. Dry prior to beginning on the other side with your heat gun. Lean the yellow glazed flap so that it has additional time to dry while you paint and glaze the smaller of the two flaps in red oxide acrylic and glaze mix, drying in between sides as above.
23. Once both flaps are dry, use black ink to stamp French text and shoes on the topside of the yellow ochre flap. Stamp the corset and French text to the bottom side of the yellow flap. Randomly stamp "Le Rouge" and French text to the topside of the red oxide flap stamping only French text to the bottom side. Tip: Remember it is not always necessary to use the entirety of the stamp to achieve the effect. Set aside.
24. Measure and cut the copper tape in the exact lengths of the flaps. With the backing still on, fold the copper tape exactly in half and create a crease.
25. Beginning with the red oxide flap, slowly peel the backing tape off applying only one-half of the copper tape to the left edge of the actual flap. Peel only what you need as you go or the copper tape will become stuck to itself and tangled, and you will have to start over.
26. Once half of the copper tape is fully adhered to the length of the red oxide flap, stick the other side to the left side of the left page in your spread, leaving approximately 1/4 inch of space from the edge of the page. Tip: A good rule of thumb is to begin where the words begin on the left sidemargin of the page. Repeat this process with the yellow ochre flap except, you will be adhering the yellow ochre flap to the inside margin (right side) of the left page of the spread. The copper tape will act as "hinges" for your flaps. The yellow ochre flap should overlap the red oxide flap so as to create the reveal.
27. Cut the words "Miss Fun in the Sun 1921" from the sheet of transfer paper and follow the instructions outlined in step twenty-one. Apply the words to the space under the yellow ochre flap (with the red oxide flap down to ensure that you can see the words with the red flap closed). The words should show with the red flap down, not exposing the picture of the winner.
28. Lift the red oxide flap and position the winner centered under the red flap so as not to expose the reveal till the very last minute. Adhere the miniature crown to the top of her head using diamond glaze. Prop the red oxide flap up until the diamond glaze has had time to set and dry.
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