Saturday, January 7, 2017

Altered Book/Journal

I had the good fortune to obtain some old library books which were going to be thrown away.  I decided to re-purpose them and give them a new home.  I know there are those of you who cringe when you hear that an old book is going to be altered,  for those of you my second option will make you happier and that is to use an inexpensive journal which can be purchased at almost any book store.  The book in the upper photo, on the right, is an old library book while the one to the left is an inexpensive journal that I've begun the altering process on.  They will both work just as well but one will cost you some money while the other is free.

The first thing that I'd recommend you do is to reinforce the binding on the book.  My first book altering project could have been  a disaster because I didn't reinforce the binding.  That blog post can be seen in the January 2014 post.  It was a gorgeous book which I used as my calendar for the year.  The painted binding kept cracking off and I had to use a library binding tape to reinforce the areas which were cracking and that covered all of my beautiful paint job.  That is not something I would recommend.  I did some research and discovered that most artists altering books were using a white library binding tape before they began their altering journey.  You can see the roll of tape in the upper left hand corner of the photo below.  It is call Lineco Book binding tape and can be purchased online at any library supplier or at Dick Blick.  It is a little expensive but worth it.  I read online that some artists were using Duck Tape to reinforce their bindings but I read mixed reviews.  Needless to say I chose to invest in the binding tape.  

Cut a piece of binding tape the length of the binding.   I cut the tape to the length of the book and cut off any excess.  An easy way to use this tape, which has a VERY STRONG adhesive, is to lay the tape down on a flat surface with the sticky side up and place the binding side of the book down on the sticky tape and wrap your tape up along the front and back of the book.  Keep the book closed as you do this.  Lineco tape is actually made out of a fabric/linen which will allow the binding to move and stretch.  

Protect the inside of the book by placing waxed paper or deli paper in that area so you can paint and be messy.  If you are not worried about paint mess on your inside pages then no need to protect your book.  This particular book had an elastic closure on the back of the book and to protect it I wrapped masking tape on the elastic which you can see in the photo above.  Then base coat your book any color that you prefer.  I wanted to use Black Gesso to begin with.  

I have altered many books in this manner and have given them as gifts to friends who use them as sketch books or journals.  Look for more blog posts to come documenting this process.  Would you like to join me while I alter this book?  Get a book and let's get started!!!!  

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