Spells, Potions, Brews

Re-post from last October… I thought it was fun enough for a revival tour!
I love Halloween decorations, and love to peruse the stores and see what fun things are on the shelves.  One of the decorations that I’ve coveted over the years has been a Spell Book, but I had to get my creative juices flowing to figure out how to make one!

I wanted a creepy, non-cheesy, authentic-looking set of books…but not using books.  Did I do it?

Supplies to make 3 books (1 for spells, 1 for brews and 1 for potions):

-6 pieces of 12×12″ craft plywood
-1 yard of faux leather material (this was on clearance and was VERY thin…perfect!)
-4 pieces of foam-core board
-2 sheets of fun foam (color doesn’t matter)gGold metallic fabric paint
-cream colored spray paint
-Mod Podge
-a hot glue gun
-3 empty paper towel rolls
and…some contact paper for stenciling the lettering
Begin by cutting each of your 6 pieces of plywood down 3 inches to make 6-9″ x 12″ pieces of wood.

Next cut down your foam core board into 8.5″ x 11.5″ pieces using a rotary mat and cutter.  (scissors would work too…but ouch!)

Next stack up your foam core board in piles and hot glue them together.  (this picture shows the wood on top, don’t glue the wood down just yet!)  I wanted my books to be of varying thicknesses, so I did 2 books with 6 sheets of foam-core board and 1 book with only 4 sheets.

Once your piles are hot-glued together, you need to spray the three outside edges to make them look like old, weathered and worn pages of a book.  I used a creamy-tan spray paint that I had, but you could use craft paint and a paint brush just as easily.

Once sprayed and dried, you can begin to see the shapings of a book!

Next for the paper towel roll.  Cut a straight line down the roll.

and insert the ‘pages’ into that cut.  This will make the binding of the book, and allow it to be somewhat sturdy.

Figure out how far out you would like your ‘binding’ or paper towel roll to stick out by placing the wood on top of your ‘pages’.

Once it’s in the right place, go ahead and hot glue the paper towel roll down onto the pages and flatted in down.

Next, lay out your fabric nice and flat and position your first board about an inch down and an inch over from a corner of your fabric.  (Ish!  it doesn’t really matter how far away from the edge, just enough to be able to fold the cloth over and glue it!)
Then pile the pages and the other cover on top, and roll them as if you were carefully opening the book so you know where to place the other piece of wood.  You should have a couple of inches in between each piece of wood.
This is what you should have so far. (my fabric piece ended up being about 22″ x 15″)
Next, use Mod Podge to adhere the fake leather cloth onto the pieces of wood.  Miter the corners as you go, and if you need to, use clothespins to hold the corners down for a few minutes until it dries.

Next, we’re going to add a little bit of a filler to cover up the difference in thickness of the pieces of wood and the paper towel roll!  I used fun foam, and found that stacking 2 pieces of the fun foam is about the same thickness as the plywood.

To make the step a bit quicker, lay one edge of your fun foam flush with one of your pieces of cardboard.  Then using your finger, press hard along the edge of the opposite piece of wood to make a guiding line as to where to cute the foam…it makes for a perfect fit the first time, rather than guessing and checking.  (I made three books, trust me!)

After that’s laid in place (no gluing necessary) run a line of hot glue straight down the middle of your paper towel roll, and place it exactly in the middle of your fun foam.

Then hot glue one side of the ‘cover’ onto the pages, removing the clothespins as you go, and then the other side.  Almost done!

Now all you need are labels!

I wanted to just use freezer paper and fabric paint to label the books, but I was worried about ironing on to this particular fabric.  I was sure it was going to melt.  So, I grabbed some contact paper and used the same method, just minus the iron.  I used my Cricut to cute out the letters using the Black Letter font.

I used 2 layers of gold metallic fabric paint

Once it was dry, I peeled off the contact paper carefully and Voila! ps…don’t wipe away all of those hot-glue gun strings of glue…they look like spider webs…awesome!

Bust out 2 more for a complete set of Witches recipe books to add to your Spooky Spaces!

What do you think?  are you fooled?  Do they look like real, authentic, old books?  Now the neighbors might really start thinking I’m a witch!

click {here} for some more ideas from Jo-Ann’s bloggers: And…here’s a coupon for you if you want to go try out my new craft (all of my ‘ingredients’ can be purchased at Jo-Anns!)

**the following post is a part of the Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores Celebrate the Season campaign.  I received compensation to cover the cost of my project, but the idea and project are my own!