A couple of weeks before Halloween, I was kvetching that in the past year, I managed to do exactly NONE of the spooky craft projects I planned to do, and the next holiday was bearing down at top speed. “It’ll be here and then gone before I even enjoy it!” I griped. Ken asked if there was an easy project that we could do in the one free weekend we had left. I pulled up my Pinterest board where I’ve been stashing craft ideas. “If I could just make a couple of haunted books, I’d feel like I accomplished something.” “OK, let’s do it.”
It’s a fairly easy project, with wide scope for creativity. I got the inspiration and basic instructions from this post at Better After (a blog I love). I had saved outdated hardbacks while cleaning up the attic last winter with just this project in mind. I bought paints, Modge Podge, and lots of rubber creepy-crawlies, and we set to work.
Gluing the bits down was easy, but the paper towels were too thick to let the details through. Ken went off to do a little more research, and found this site, which recommended using tissue paper to get a leathery texture.
That worked wonderfully, and we were off! Sort of. The thing we hadn’t taken into consideration was all the time you have to wait between layers–glue down decorations, wait for them to dry; gild page edges, wait for them to dry; modge-podge the tissue paper on, wait for it to dry; paint base color, dry; highlight color, dry; do paint touch-ups, dry; glue the books shut, and AUGH, I CAN’T SIT HERE WATCHING BOOKS DRY ANY LONGER.
I had budgeted one day to get four books done, and in the end, it took the whole weekend, plus another morning’s work putting on the finishing details–attaching chains, tacks, book corners–and getting them firmly glued shut.
The glued-shut bit is the only thing I dislike about these–they’d be SO much cooler if they opened to show handwritten spells or monstrous diagrams. I have ideas about making a much more detailed, readable spellbook…next time.