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Altered Childrens Book

By: Candy Colwell
June 11, 2015

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Altered Childrens Book
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Completely transform an inexpensive children's book through the magic of DecoArt Acrylics and other products. Create the illusion of a chipped paint exterior with a few simple steps. Colorize and customize the interior backgrounds with a warm vintage feeling that will let your personality shine through as you embellish your altered book. This little vintage keepsake is a perfect mixed media art journal, mini book and/or photo album.

Items needed:

  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Gesso - White
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Crackle Glaze - Clear
  • DecoArt Media Varnishes - Ultra-Matte Varnish
  • Metallic Lustre 1oz - Black Shimmer
  • Metallic Lustre 1oz - Brilliant Turquoise
  • DecoArt Media Mediums and Specialty Products - Clear Matte Medium
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Cadmium Red Hue
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titan Buff
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Burnt Umber
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Hansa Yellow Medium
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Cobalt Teal Hue
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Titanium White
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Carbon Black
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Burnt Sienna
  • DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics - Quinacridone Gold
  • DecoArt Media Antiquing Creams - Raw Umber
  • Americana Decou-Page (Glue-Sealer-Finish) 2oz - Americana Decou-Page Matte
  • Stampendous Andy Skinner Steampunk Stamp Set
  • Paint Brushes
  • Baby Wipes
  • White Cardstock
  • Various Embossing Folders
  • Tissue Wrap
  • Tissue Tape
  • Board Book
  • Exacto Knife and Cutting Pad
  • Sanding Block
  • Sponge Stick
  • Vaseline

Instructions:

Emboss heavyweight white cardstock with various images suitable from embossing folders to cover the exterior of the children’s’ book. Lay them out and cut them to fit the book cover.

NOTE: This particular book has cut out windows and some printed on the book pages. I used an exacto knife and cutting pad to cut out all of the windows and printed doors in the book. These openings will later display vintage photos of children peeking through.

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Working in sections, brush DecoArt Matte Decoupage onto the back cover of the book. Brush the DecoArt Matte Decoupage onto the back of a piece of embossed heavyweight cardstock and press the cardstock in place on the back of the book. By brushing the decoupage on both surfaces, you create a better adhesion. Repeat this process until the back of the book is covered with embossed images. Heat set to dry. Repeat this for the front cover of the book.

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Working an interior page at a time, add a material of choice to the page. In this book, I used just DecoArt White Gesso, patterned cardstock, tissue wrap, tissue tape and even some embossed heavy cardstock on my pages. But you can use anything that might give more dimension or pattern to your background, including stenciling or smearing a palette knife with DecoArt Molding Paste and DecoArt Crackle Paste. 

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On some of the pages that I used patterned cardstock, I first brushed the page with DecoArt Matte Decoupage and then added the cardstock. If there are windows or doors, I simply cut them away with an exacto knife. Once all of my pages were covered, I added a light topcoat of DecoArt Matte Decoupage to seal the pages for what would come later. Gently heat set to dry each page. 

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Brush each page of the interior of the book with a light coat of DecoArt White Gesso, using a baby wipe to wipe away excess gesso and reveal the pattern underneath. Heat set.

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NOTE: To create a “brick style: texture as done on page 2, simply load the brush with DecoArt White Gesso and make quick little push forward strokes with the brush in a vertical row. This gives a nice almost crackle, stacked brick effect with the gesso. 

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Brush a light coat of DecoArt White Gesso over the front and back exterior covers of the book. This will better meld the different embossed images together and give the entire surface of the book a more uniform look. Gently heat set to dry. 

Brush another light coat of DecoArt Matte Decoupage over the book, gently heat setting between each page to seal the pages.

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Paint the outer cover of the book with two coats of Burnt Umber Media Acrylic paint, allowing the paint to dry thoroughly between each coat. 

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Using an eye shadow stick, a wooden skewer or something similar, apply small amounts of Vaseline randomly over the surface of the exterior of the book to create a chipped paint look. Allow to dry.

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Randomly apply a generous amount of DecoArt Crackle Glaze (using a brush) to areas of the exterior cover that you want to have a light crackle effect. Let dry. 

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Apply two coats of paint for the top coat (your choice of color) over the exterior cover of the book. For this sample, I mixed Cadmium Red, Titan Buff and a touch of Hansa Yellow Medium to create a vintage pink color. Load the brush and lightly paint over the book exterior being careful not to disturb the Vaseline areas of the book as much as possible. Let dry. Repeat the second layer of paint onto the book cover and let thoroughly dry.

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Gently wipe the surface of the book cover with a baby wipe, removing the paint in the areas where the Vaseline has worked as a resist. Gently heat set.

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Using a smaller detail brush, add a touch of DecoArt Titanium White Media Acrylic paint at the bottom of the “chips” and a combination of DecoArt Burnt Umber and Carbon Black Media Acrylic paints at the top of the “chips” to give them more depth. Let dry.

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Brush a coat of DecoArt Ultra Matte Varnish over the entire book exterior to seal it. Let dry or gently heat set. 

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Brush or rub some DecoArt Raw Umber Antiquing Cream over the exterior surface of the book and wipe away the excess. Let dry or gently heat set.

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For a more metallic appearance, use an eye shadow tip or your finger to add some DecoArt Black Shimmer Metallic Lustre to the raised areas of the book exterior. Buff the metallic color.

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Add one more coat of DecoArt Ultra Matte Varnish to the exterior cover of the book as a final sealant. This strengthens and protects the cover and gives it a nice sheen and a soft leathery feel.

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Create a wash using DecoArt Yellow Ochre Media Acrylic paint and water. Brush the wash on the first set of interior pages and wipe away the excess. Repeat this process until the desired color is achieved. Using your finger, wipe a bit of paint onto the washed pages to deepen the Yellow Ochre color. Wipe away any excess color and continue to add and wipe until the desired effect is achieved. Heat set to dry. 

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Repeat Step for the next two interior pages only create a wash using DecoArt Cobalt Teal Hue and Titan Buff Media Acrylic paints and water. Heat set to dry.

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Repeat Steps for the next two interior pages only create a wash using DecoArt Burnt Sienna Media Acrylic paint and water. Heat set to dry.

Repeat Steps for the final two interior pages only create a wash using DecoArt Yellow Ochre Media paint and water. Heat set to dry. Next create a wash out of DecoArt Quinacridone Gold Media Acrylic paint and water and lightly wash all of the interior pages. Quinacridone Gold warms up the colors and pulls everything together. I also like to add just some Quinacridone Gold with my finger along the edges, under the windows and wherever some warmth and depth is needed.

Using your finger and DecoArt Burnt Umber Media Acrylic, gently wipe paint to distress the edges of the pages and also add more depth to the interior of pages, under windows and in embossed areas.

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Paint or roll a little DecoArt Burnt Umber Media Acrylic paint onto a craft sheet. Pick up the paint on Andy Skinner’s stamps by dabbing them into the paint or brushing the paint on the stamp. Do not use an acrylic block to stamp. Just randomly leave a portion of the stamps on the pages. I used the peeled paint looking stamp first and then later added the text stamp in random areas. Immediately wash the stamps when finished to clean them.

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Seal with a final coat of DecoArt Ultra Matte Varnish by brushing it on all interior pages.

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Have fun embellishing the interior pages of this fantastic altered book and let your imagination take over!

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Comments

WOW! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this, Candy! Absolutely gobsmacking! HAVE TO try this! Thank you so much for this brilliant project and tutorial! Mwah! XXX

Claudia

June 11, 2015

WOW, amazing project and great tutorial showing all the media paints. I have all of these so it's great to see how I can use them...since I'm new to them!

Canadian Nickel

June 11, 2015

fabulous piece of art Candy, fantastic transformation. Amazing texture and detail and I love the paint effects, always loved using Vaseline and it's perfect here. Love the ageing too. Brilliant . Tracy x

Tracy Evans

June 11, 2015

Candy, this is BEYOND amazing! You absolutely BLOW me away with your talent! This book is absolutely over the top gorgeous and your step-by-step tutorial so well one! Fabulous project, girlfriend!

Susan

June 11, 2015

I am not sure I can add to what has already been said - you are the mistress of upcycling! I love your stacked brick effect and your treatment of the cover is nothing short of sensational. I need to add some of that Black Shimmer Metallic Lustre to my ever lengthening list of wants/needs! You create some of the most stunning art I have ever seen and this creation is right up there! Anne xx

Anne R

June 11, 2015

Are you kidding?!! This is a remarkable makeover Candy!! I sooo love all of the textures and techniques you have employed here!! Brilliant book!!! Hugs ")

Jackie

June 12, 2015

Candy, this is an incredible work of art and transformation! All that glorious texture and details are amazing and you are always so generous with sharing tips! Love this much! Hugs!

Terry

June 13, 2015

This is absolutely gorgeous. Love the texture and aged effects. Thanks for all of the great photos of the process. You really inspire me to get busy with some of the childrens books/chipboard books that I haven't worked on yet. LOVE it.

Rob

June 13, 2015

beautiful

selena

June 14, 2015

I can't tell you how much I love this transformation !!! You have created a real work of art, every page is just gorgeous !!! X

Antonia

June 18, 2015

Thank you for sharing. What a cute was to repurpose children's books.

Kimberly Brown

June 18, 2015

Thank you for sharing. What a cute was to repurpose children's books.

Kimberly Brown

June 18, 2015

I love this! Thanks for the inspiration!

Jeanne Kelly

June 18, 2015

This looks to be yet another of Candys astonishing transformations. Will bookmark to return to learn more. Nicola x

Paperprofusion

June 20, 2015

An amazing transformation - and such a brilliant step by step taking us through the process too. Thank you, Candy. Alison x

butterfly

June 21, 2015

Completely stunning from begining to end! I was sure I had commented on here already as I know I admired this project a while ago, but perhaps it was on your own blog... no matter Candy, I just LOVE it!!

Astrid

June 23, 2015

I have some books like this! Now I want to play!

jean marmo

June 30, 2015

Magnificent!

Anonymous

July 16, 2015

10 kinds of gorgeous!

Melodyscraps

March 12, 2017

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