Anyway, as may know, I’ve been working with Apartment Guide to share some of their great tips and tricks on how to make your apartment greener and recycling and good stuff like that. So I thought I’d share this little project that falls under the ‘recycling’ umbrella for me: altered books!
I started with a bunch of outdated textbooks from my husband’s school that were headed for the dumpster. The DUMPSTER! I couldn’t let that happen, not even to outdated textbooks, so I rescued as many as I could. This involved me pushing a broken shopping cart full of books through downtown Phoenix in a windstorm. You really should have seen it.
Once I was safely home with my pile of books, a glue gun, and some cheapie Halloween toys from Wal-Mart, this is what I did:
The paper towel is actually the most important part. You’ll see why in a second. But first, you want to start by gluing everything to your book the way you want it. I cut the wings off the bat toy and hot-glued them on first, then the skeleton right over that. I also hammered round thumb-tacks into the corners and edges for extra detail. After you get everything glued to your book, you dampen the paper towel slightly and just mod-podge it right over the top of everything for that leathery look, pushing it into all the crevices nice and snug with a small paintbrush.
The spiderwebs were made with hot glue, and I just cut the letters out of cardstock and glued them on too, although I put the letters on AFTER mod-podging on the paper towel, but it probably wouldn’t make a huge difference either way.
Once the mod-podge was dry, I painted the whole thing black, then lightly brushed over the details and raised parts and lettering with gold rub-n-buff and copper metallic paint. You could get the same results with gold paint instead of the rub-n-buff, but just not as bright. Doesn’t really matter, just be creative!
Anyway, the details and lettering really picked up the paint nicely and looked authentically embossed. Matt actually asked me if “Venomous Potions” was the original name of the book. No, dear they don’t typically teach that in high school these days.
I hope you liked my little project. File it away for next year, and be sure to check out Apartment Guide whether you’re living, looking or moving. Apartment Guide has the photos, floor plans, features and tips to help you search for green apartment communities.
(Click here for the updated tutorial with more pictures and new techniques!)