The Journey: A Fabric Book
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Altered Book Frames: How To

This article originally appeared on Craft Critique. After it appeared, Jami Peterson, Managing Editor of The Stampers Sampler, requested four books with stamping on them for that publication. I created four brand new books for her and shipped them this morning. I'll let you know when the issue hits newstands. In the meantime, you can see a layout of mine on page 80-81 of the current issue of Somerset Memories which is put out by the same company. On the cover of the magazine it says, "New Feature: Anatomy of a Page." That's my page that's featured! You can see it if you follow this link. It's called "Spying on My Brother."

Altered Book Frame

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This is a very easy project with wonderful results. I like to give these altered book frames as gifts. People are always delighted with these unique pieces. You can easily put your own spin on them, but here are the instructions to recreate my version:

1. Buy or recycle a hardcover book.
• Make sure it’s not a valuable one.
• I like to buy mine for a $1 from libraries or bookstores that are trying to clear their shelves.

2. Remove the dust jacket (if there is one) and discard.

3. Use a pencil and ruler to draw the size of the opening you want on the front cover of the book.
• It should be about the size of your photo.

Framespinesm4. Using a metal ruler and a box cutter or other knife, cut out the opening.
• Use a self-healing mat or a glass mat under your book cover
• Make many, many small cuts until you get all the way through it.

5. Measure ¼ inch in and cut your mat from the interior pages.
• No need to use a mat. Make one cut without a mat, which will cut through several pages. Simply remove the entire cut area. This will create a bit of depth.
• You may want to remove the first page or two of the book so that your mat will have text. Simply use your knife to slice off the unwanted pages (about half-an-inch from the book spine).
• If the text doesn’t extend all the way to the edge of the opening you’ve cut, glue another page from the book in and re-cut the opening. It’s an easy illusion.

6. Using mod podge or any other decoupage medium, glue pages from the book or patterned paper into the opening you’ve cut.
• Start on the backside of the cover and bring the paper through the opening and onto the cover.
• You’ll want to glue them down and then give them a thin coat on top to seal the project.

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7. Apply rub-ons or other decoration to the front cover, spine, and backside.
• You could use buttons, rick-rack, ribbons, stickers, flowers, fabric, metal, stamps, etc.
• You can even decorate the pages. While the book is closed, use a stamp to decorate the page edges.

8. Glue your photo into the book.
• The easiest thing to do here is glue the photo to the first page in the book that doesn’t have a cut-out.

9. Place parchment or wax paper over your photo and glue all of the previous pages together.
• The paper protects your photo from the drippy decoupage medium.

10. Once dry, remove the wax or parchment paper and use a dry adhesive to glue the photo page to the previous pages.

11. Voila! You’re done!

The altered book frame will stand up on its own. Just open it slightly and display. I’m sure you’ll enjoy making these and I hope you’ll share your innovations and creations with me!

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