It’s cold and wet today.  We’ve been having really great weather so far this fall, so I guess I’ve become spoiled.  We’re building a deck on the front of the house, so the cold, wet weather doesn’t help that.  I guess I use the term “we’re” loosely — my boyfriend is actually building the deck.

It’s the beginning of our Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, so it will be a bit of a busy one — my son is having his birthday party today, tomorrow we have tickets for a Zombie tour, then will spend a couple of days with my parents.  How will I fit in all the craft making stuff I want to do?

For today, we have spell books.  I saw this tutorial originally on Better After and thought it looked awesome.  It’s the same technique used for the potion bottles I posted on day 4.

What you need:

  • Hard cover books
  • Halloween trinkets — bats, spiders, skeletons, snakes, whatever you like
  • Other items to decorate the books if you want — thumb tacks, brads, letter stickers, stuff like that
  • Hot glue
  • Tissue paper (or paper towel)
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint in a couple of colours, one of which should be metallic

Start out by hot glueing some of your Halloween items and other embellishments on the book.  I’ve done 4 of these now — I’ve used spiders, bats, snakes and decorative scroll work.  You can sketch out your design beforehand if you want — I did not, as I am a fan of winging it. Don’t forget the spine of the book — you can create ridges with the hot glue, or use card stock to make straps.  For the spider book, I used the hot glue to make the web.  You can actually make a lot of decorative elements with hot glue.  I used hot glue to write the titles too, because I wasn’t fond of the look of any of my letter stickers.  If you have a Cricut or something like that, you could put it to great use printing out creepy letters and die cuts to put on these books.

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Spread Mod Podge on the book and apply the tissue paper.  I had my tissue paper cut more or less to the size required to completely cover the book.  Place the book on the tissue paper, front cover facing up.  From here, you can work in stages with the Mod Podge — apply to half of the front cover, stick the tissue paper down, apply to the rest of the front cover, stick it down.  Then work on the spine, then he back cover.  Finally, fold the bits that hang over into the inside front and back cover of the book.  The colour of tissue paper doesn’t really matter, but in general, I tried to use a colour close to what I intended to paint the book.  You may need to apply additional bits of paper over some of the more raised areas — on my books I had to cover the spiders a bit more, and the scroll work on the love spells book.  This just makes it a little easier to paint.  Don’t worry about wrinkles — you actually want some.  If you use paper towel instead of tissue paper, separate the paper towel into one ply (fairly easy to do if you dampen the paper towel).  The instructions on Better After say to put the paper towel on the book while it’s damp and Mod Podge on top of it.  I tried that for one book and found it really hard to do.  The paper towel kept moving around and it was super irritating.  Maybe my paper towel wasn’t damp enough.  Or maybe I misinterpreted the instructions and should have put the Mod Podge underneath the paper towel like I did for the tissue paper.  Either way, I ended up using tissue paper.











Once that’s dry, paint it in your chosen colour.  At this point it will look really bad and you will wonder what you were thinking.  I promise it will get better.











Let the book dry.  Really give it some time here, because you don’t want the colours to run or blend together in the next step, which is to take your second colour and dry brush it on to highlight the design.  You want to bring out the details in the design here.  Don’t forget to do the spine and the back cover too.


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Once that’s done and dry, put a coat of Mod Podge gloss over the whole thing.  That seals it and gives it a cool leathery texture.

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For a couple of my books, I added some other items at the very end, because I wanted them to be very visible.  On the snake book, I added a resin snake eye (made like this).  For the love potions book I added a charm I got on sale at Michael’s.














31 Days of Halloween – Day 9 – Spell Books
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