By Sue Smyth
Earlier this year I created this altered encyclopedia and finally
as it is nearly Halloween I can share it with you all.
I use these books to decorate my house during Halloween, so
I make them a little Gothic and creepy but not too much, so I can
display them at other times too.
The bugs are plastic and are painted black
before I have rubbed inka gold into them and added
layers of different colours
The cover of the book has been altered.
I have cut an oval shape into the cover
and torn the pages underneath check out
my mini tutorial on the cover below.
The door latch is metal but I have embossed it
with gold emboss powder to make it match
The swirly frame is simply spray painted black and
copper inka gold is rubbed over, I have
added 3mm pearls around the edge.
The texture is created by texture paste and several stencils
Then I have layered over black gesso, red paint, gold paint and
various inka golds, the more layers the better.
This is the centre of the book, which has been randomly stamped
with black ink and assorted stamps.
Step by step cover alteration
Draw an oval on to the front cover, drill holes
through the cover and then cut with a blade
to remove an oval shape.
After I have cut an oval into the cover, I
used a blade to cut a + into the
pages, then you can peel and tear the pages.
Tear each section as you go
Continue to tear out the pages below until you are
happy with the depth.
Then randomly cover the cover with texture paste,
using relevant stencils.
When dry paint with red dylusions paint and
Now paint with black gesso.
Make sure you leave a little red paint showing through.
Use bulldog clips to hold the pages together, then paint
with gel medium to adhere them all together.
Now start with the metallic paints, layering up the
colours as you go.
Paint the bugs with gold paint, after
they have been spray painted black.
Flick brown and gold spray inks over the inside
cover, tuck in black muslin.
I have added some die cut tassels to the side and
a metal lock.
The corner bracket is double embossed with
aged gold emboss powder. Then continue on to add bugs and trinkets
Mini spooky business
To add to my display, I have made a few mini
This time I have used dictionaries and pocket guides,
you can find them in any op shop really cheap.
The first one I have used the swirly rectangle frame
which is double embossed, then sprayed with
black dylusions to give an aged look.
The bracket is just sprayed black and rubbed
over with gold paint, then dab
a little dylusions ink over the top
for a opalized look.
The next book is similar, I have cut a hole
into the cover to nestle the bug into.
The bug is sprayed black and rubbed over
with gold paint and inka gold, I have also cut
the chip dragonfly wings and placed them
to each side to make a hybrid beetle.
The bracket again is double embossed with
aged emboss powder.
Here is a snap of the cover before it is
decorated, and when I have painted it black with
Here you can see the application of inka
golds, to create a layered colour.
I love altering these books and do a few each
year to add to my collection, I think this
is honoring the book not destroying it, which
is what usually happens to old encyclopedia and pocket hand books.
And you end up with a work of art for you house.
I hope you give it a go too