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Altered Zip and Flip Book

Cherryl Greene creates an altered book complete with zippers and unique features.

Materials and Tools:

book to alter
collage materials: papers, stickers, die cuts, tags, brads, studs, eyelets, fibers, etc.
4" to 7" zipper
red-liner double-sided tape
glue stick
craft knife

Note: You should have five pages available in your book to alter for this project. We will refer to them as 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, as well as the front and back of each page.


1. Decide on a theme for your pages. Ours is thyme/time. Collage the back of page 1 and the front of page 2 for a two-page spread. Let dry, if needed. When you are planning your design, be sure to keep in mind where you want to place your zipper on the front of page 2.

2. Glue the back of page 2 to the front of page 3 with a glue stick. Let dry. Not only does this cover any imperfections from your collage work on page 2, but it adds stability to your pages, too.

3. Glue the back of page 4 to the front of page 5 with a glue stick. Let dry. This adds stability to your pages.

4. Use a ruler and a craft knife to cut about a 1/4-inch window in the glued page 2/3. Cut from the outside edge of the book to about 1 inch from the spine of the book. The 1/4-inch window is the space for the zipper to fit. Place a cutting mat behind page 3 to protect the other pages from being cut.

5. Collage the front of page 4 to relate to the collage on pages 1 and 2. Keep in mind the only portion of this page that will show is what is revealed when the zipper is open. Let dry.

6. Put red-liner tape on the front of the zipper on either side of the zipper. Remove red liner.

7. Lay zipper on front of page 4. Position the zipper so that you can lay down the window cut pieces of page 2 and the zipper portion will show through. When you have your zipper in the correct position, press down firmly on both sides of the zipper for a good bond.

8. Put red-liner tape at the top and bottom of the back of page 3, and carefully close the book so that the back of page 3 and the front of page 4 are adhered at the top and bottom with red-liner tape .

9. If the end of your zipper sticks out beyond the pages of your book, you have a couple of options. If it bothers you, cut it off, or decorate the end with beads, fiber or whatever. Cherryl prefers to do this because it provides a handle of sorts to hold onto when opening the zippered page.

A Note From Carol:

This segment ended with quite a lovely surprise when Cherryl presented me with an altered book made especially for me by the members of the ABC Altered Book Club, which is a Yahoo online group.

The basic book "Wanna Make Something Out of It" was one I had written many years ago, and the title came from the fact that most of the projects in it were made from throwaways — including milk cartons, egg cartons, pill bottles and plastic L’eggs Eggs — that I made something out of. Though the book long ago ceased being published, obviously one of the club members obtained a copy. In fact, from the card holder in the front of the book, it appeared to originally have come from the library of the Learning Resources Center in Fennimore, Wisc., and somehow ended up on Ebay (who knows how many years later), where member Jamie Macsisak obtained it — although I believe it was Elizabeth Kertz of Wichita, Kan., who was the inspiration behind the book. It must have been Elizabeth who gave the page dimensions to the other members, who then made pages that they sent in and that were inserted into the book.

And the finished book was remarkable!!!!!! It contained many surprising photographs of me and my TV friends, references to Michigan both obvious and subtle, incredibly inventive ways of displaying a variety of images and words and, of course, sock monkeys. Sadly time did not allow me to show more than just a few pages or to even grasp the fact that every page was actually two pages, since both the back and the front were decorated. The imagination, creativity, time and effort that went into every page truly amazed me as much as it touched me. I have already spent a great deal of time perusing the pages, each of which was accompanied by another page of notes explaining what was done and how it was done, and I am certain that over the coming months I will spend many more hours enjoying this lovely and very special gift, and no doubt discovering things I had not seen before. I just discovered a photograph of my cabin!

To all of the women who spent their precious time making these pages for me, including Elizabeth Kertz and Addie, who Elizabeth mentioned is the moderator, I will forever be indebted. Perhaps those of you who saw the few moments on the show will be inspired to make your own altered book for yourself or for someone you care about.

ABC Altered Book Club


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