After trying a variety of scrapbooking styles and techniques, I have finally stumbled upon something I absolutely love. LOVE! Altering a book.
Alter a Book?
I never thought I would alter a book. Seriously. Tear out pages?! Draw on them?! Then I discovered some fabulous altered book pages by Maggie Holmes (from her Happy Little Moments classes). It’s like scrapbooking + art journaling, and I really wanted to try it.
First, I had to get past the fact that I was going to tear pages from an actual book. I had to convince myself that it was a journal. It’s no longer a book, I told myself, it’s a journal with words on it.
What to Look for in a Book:
Next, I researched how to prepare a book for art journaling. Everything I read said to look for a book with sewn pages (not glued). You can tell if they are sewn by looking for the thread in the middle of a section of pages. Sewn pages hold up better.
Where to Find Books for Altering:
Antique stores, thrift shops, library sales, your attic, etc.
I checked antique stores, and although I found a lot of books, I didn’t find one I wanted to use for this particular project. So I bought a new book: a Barnes & Noble edition of Great Expectations ($12). I have great expectations for 2014 (and for this project)!
How to Prepare a Book:
Tear out about half of the pages. Otherwise, the book will end up way too bulky after adding things to it.
You can rip pages and have a ripped edge look, or use a ruler to help get a clean-looking tear. I decided to tear out pages along the middle of each section where the thread was visible. I didn’t count the pages – I just stacked them up and compared what I’d torn out versus what was left in the book. Since I’m generally a flat scrapper, I think about half is enough. (We’ll see if that’s true when December rolls around).
Potential problem: How do I pace myself so that I don’t use too many or too few pages?
This particular book happens to be divided into three almost-equal volumes, which gave me an idea: keep the “volume” pages and pace myself according to those.
- Volume I: January 1st – the last day of school
- Volume II: summer vacation (last day of school – first day of school)
- Volume III: the first day of school – December 31st
Each volume is identified in a table of contents page: (papers and stickers from Studio Calico kits).
Since I was four months into the year before I started this project, I was able to get an idea of how many pages per month to allow.
Also, I am making my pages thicker by sewing or glueing two pages together.
How to Scrapbook with an Altered Book:
I’m still new to this, but I’ve started a Pinterest board to gather ideas.
So far, I’ve tried:
Mod Podge. I used Mod Podge to add patterned paper to the inside cover. This was quite tricky – I had to cut the paper perfectly, fold it perfectly, and glue it quickly before the mod podge dried (it was drying faster than I could line up the paper!). Paper and blue letter stickers from a Studio Calico kit. “2014” numbers from Heidi Swapp.
Sewing Machine Stitching. I couldn’t sew very close to the binding – the book is thick and awkward to hold, and the presser foot prevented me from getting too close anyway.
Adding a Table of Contents:
Keeping the Title Page. Number circle from the Studio Calico 2013 December Daily kit.
Adding a year to the spine:
Painting. I drew a fire design with pencil, painted it with watercolor, and traced around it with a thin black pen.
Including drawings from my children:
Sequins: (from a Studio Calico kit)
Wooden Letters: (Recollections brand from Michael’s craft store)
Regular scrapbooking: (Papers and diamond shape from a Studio Calico kit)
Library Card. I love library cards, so of course I must have one for my book. I plan to add it to the inside back cover. Library card from BasicGrey. Custom stamp from Bossy Joscie.
I’ll be posting many more pages from this album throughout the year! My goals are:
- use my handwriting more
- rely on apps (rather than Word and Photoshop – both slow me down considerably since I take too long perfecting)
- incorporate my drawings as well as my children’s drawings
- have fun! :)
Have you ever altered a book?