This wonderful post came across my Pinterest feed and I had to try it for myself. It was repinned by about 10 of my friends, so I figured that there are likely folks out there interested in the end result of this project.
CRAFTERS BEWARE: This project took a LONG TIME with a lot of ATTENTION TO DETAIL. It took much longer than I ever would have thought, but was also super fun. Like, start heating the glue gun when the kiddo goes to bed and BAM, 6 hours have gone by, fun.
I didn't do a great job of documenting the process, but I'll try to explain how it all went down. First, here's the end result:
I basically followed the instructions in this post by Seeing Things That Aren't Really There, but made some of my own adjustments, additions, etc along the way. I started with the generic blank paper mache book found at Michael's.
While at the thrift store, I spotted this ripped, tacky little box and immediately knew I could use it to great affect on this project.
I'm sure a lot of you reading this will relate, but I have been known to hoard nonsense junk because "I might be able to use it someday". I have a bag of really junky beads someone gave me (or I saved from the dumpster, can't remember which) that yielded some fantastic finds for this project. VINDICATION!
Next step, layout embellishments (cut out cardboard, beads, string, or whatever you want to use) on the paper mache book, and start gluing them down with a hot glue gun.
The sun/moon/stars beads came from a really junky plastic necklace. This was one of those moments when trash transformed into treasure before my eyes. I was giddy! All of this stuff is hot glued on.
Next: Modge Podge, tissue paper, paint brush.
Start smearing that Modge Podge and, using your finger, press the tissue paper into every crack and crevice of the book. I was most nervous about this step, because I'd never done this, but it was pretty easy and had a great affect. The tissue paper obscures some details, but you can also keep a lot of fine detail too. It unifies all of the pieces and makes the finished product look much more authentic and old. I used one layer, instead of the two suggested because A) I was being impatient and B) I didn't want to obscure any more detail.
|The whole book covered in yellow tissue paper.|
Here's where my weak documenting will start to annoy you. Next, I made some faux pages. I measured and cut out some cardboard from a cereal box, painted a layer of very light brown, then let it dry for a few minutes so it was tacky. Then I painted over it with very light yellow. I didn't mix the paint (yellow and white) very well, because the streaking effect when laid on top of the light brown looked awesome. I let that dry just until it was tacky, then ran the blade of my utility knife through the soft paint to make hundreds of fine little lines. I was totally experimenting here, and was very pleased with the result.
I measured the inside of the book, and cut out a practice board from a cereal box. I laid the vials out on the practice board and measured where I wanted them to go. Then I used the practice board and measurements to cut out the thick paper board from the thrift store box. Also, I painted the entire inside of the book and all the boards that go inside of it brown like the outside of the book.
this tutorial. I've never dyed paper with tea, but it worked great and I will definitely do it again. A side note: the picture is of the son-in-law of Queen Victoria, who married her youngest daughter Princess Beatrice. He reportedly died of malaria in 1898 somewhere in Africa on duty for the British armed forces. So what's his picture doing hidden in this box full of poison? Malaria, huh?
I forgot to mention the pendent on the front. It was in the jewelry section at the craft store, has a lovely little octopus on it, and opens like a locket. I haven't yet, but I will draw something creepy and put it in the locket. Also on my list of potential front cover decor--a skeleton key bracket, other little lockets and pendants, whatever floats your boat, really.