Altered books?

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by Mary Of Exeter, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. Mary Of Exeter

    Mary Of Exeter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    Rowan County, NC
    Does anyone like to make altered books? [​IMG] We each made one in class last year, which took up quite a bit of time. I had so many ideas, and not enough space, so my book barely closes, LOL. I'm hoping to find some old un-interesting books so I can make more. If there's more people into them other than me, it'd be neat to swap some pages. Maybe have a BYC theme book with pages from different members.
  2. The Chickens' Maid

    The Chickens' Maid Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    What's an altered book?
  3. Mary Of Exeter

    Mary Of Exeter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    Rowan County, NC
    Altered books are really fun to make. It's taking an old book and making it into a work of art.

    My explaination may be confusing, but I'll try to find websites and pictures that'll do a better than than me [​IMG]

    Most people who make altered books, have a theme for each individual book, in which all the pages will follow. The books are just old or unwanted books, can be any size or amount of pages. When we made ours, we took out many of the pages to make more room for the art in it (of course if you don't want to use 3-D things like beads and raised stickers, etc, then you don't need to take out as many). When we ripped the pages, we didn't actually rip the whole page out. Instead, we made tabs, or simply shorter pages. We used a ruler to tear them against, giving the page tabs a straight edge. By making these tabs different lengths, you prevent a crease from appearing on the front and back covers, since if they were all the same'd be much thicker and raised up than the normal pages we left alone. Just helps keep it more even. Usually by the time you fill the book back up again, it doesn't matter anyway. Having the tabs also helps with attaching materials in to make new pages in the book.

    Now that that giant mess of words is over with, here's the easier to explain part. Decorating! [​IMG] Our teacher had assigned us to have at least 8 'spreads' (two pages facing you when you open it) in our books. So that meant 16 decorated pages. Anything left over could just stay in the book and not be bothered. For these spreads, I glued at least a few pages together so that they were more stiff to hold up the stuff I put on them. Plus, helps them stand out from the remaining regular pages, so they're easier to find. Some people had some VERY thick pages, gluing nearly half the book together, in order to carve out 'windows' and things in them. Makes a cool effect.
    I chose birds as my theme, so all my spreads had something to do with them. I'll take some pictures when I get home. I used a lot of designed paper and stickers, along with some lace, glitter, and bird pictures clipped out of other old books or magazines. I had quite a few pages with lyrics in the background, which turned out pretty cool. Blackbird by The Beatles made a neato page [​IMG]

    I also decorated the covers of mine, making them look like a wooden cage. A lot of other people simply covered theirs with fabric of some kind, which still looked neat.

    Of course there's basically no limit to what you can do, and no rules you have to follow. Everyone makes theirs a little different.

    Websites -

    pictures -
    simply image googling it will get you lots of results [​IMG]
  4. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

    Apr 7, 2009
    I had never heard of these and after looking at them I think it is a really creative way to make use of what might otherwise be discarded. Just so that I am clear on this...once it is "altered" it is no longer a book but more just a piece of art? Almost like a really elaborate scrapbook type thing? When I say it is no longer a book, I mean it is no longer a book in the sense that you could sit down and read it.
  5. Mary Of Exeter

    Mary Of Exeter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    Rowan County, NC
    Quote:Yep, you've got it right [​IMG] I made mine out of an old encyclopedia. Pretty sure it was the C through something, but anyway it had a lot of birds in it, so I kept those pages in. Chickens, chickadees, know [​IMG] So certain parts of the book may be left for reading, but most of it does usually turn into art.
    Speaking of which, a friend of mine made one this year, in which she had a lot of poems in it that fit her theme. I believe was a love theme. So it was really interesting to read.
  6. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    I'd like to see a pic of these... [​IMG]
  7. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Cool. Those are really interesting
  8. welman

    welman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Very cool...I'm imagining ways to use it in a classroom...
    Thanks for sharing!
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Very cool [​IMG] I had never seen these before.
  10. jojo54

    jojo54 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2009
    BC Canada
    Very neat! I also looked at your art site and have to say that you have talent!! [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Very nice drawings. [​IMG]

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