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Altered Book Covers

Give a book cover a rust or crackle appearance with these step-by-step instructions.

Projects by Beth Cote.

Rusty Cover

Materials and Tools:

Mayco nontoxic rust kit
paintable textured wallpaper
rubber gloves
foam brush
beaded trim
American Tag Company nailheads
FoofaLa flexible microscope slides
metal file label holder
Legacy Collage transparencies #0622
Legacy Collage dictionary pages paper
Fiber Scraps EZ Walnut ink

Figure B


1. Paint the metallic paint onto the surface of the wall paper with a foam brush. Let dry.

2. Add second step and let rust (figure B). Be sure to refer to package directions for more instructions and exact times.

Figure C

3. Glue dictionary page to corner of book after crumpling it and aging it with walnut ink (figure C).

4. Rip and cut the wallpaper. Glue to cover of book and lap over the dictionary page.

Figure D

5. Glue image underneath plastic microscope slide (figure D).

Figure E

6. Glue on beaded trim, nailheads and metal file label with microscope slide and image underneath (figure E).

Variation: You can also rust paper clay, book covers, foam that has been die-cut, and many other objects. Follow the directions on the rusting solution you choose.

Crackle Cover

Materials and Tools:

US Art Quest 101 crackle medium
Golden transparent red oxide fluid acrylic
Golden raw umber glaze
Golden carbon black fluid acrylic
image *
plastic gloves
plastic knife
Lee Valley Hardware key hold
Krylon matte sealer

* from More Ephemera! The Ephemera Book 2 by Beth Cote

Figure B


1. Paint book carbon black and let dry.

2. Glue image element to book cover (figure B).

Figure C

3. Mix 101 crackle medium with transparent red oxide to tint--about three squirts of the red oxide in about 1/4 cup of crackle medium.

4. Ice the book (figure C) and spine with crackle medium with the plastic knife. Wear gloves. Let dry overnight.

Figure E

5. Use a light coat of raw umber to stain the crackle medium further (figure E).

6. Let dry completely for two days.

7. Spray with Krylon matte sealer.

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