I am a bit obsessed with notebooks. I have LOADS of them. If you ever need to get me a gift and are stuck for ideas, get me a notebook and I will be happy as Larry. Whoever Larry is…does anyone know?
I recently bought a lovely big notebook that would be just perfect for updating my *Book of Shadows, which had never been particularly well looked after or designed – it was just a bodgy little spiral-bound notepad that I had always meant to decorate / tizzy up but twenty years on had failed to do anything with – and really needed to be upgraded and given a bit more respect. So, this new notebook, with it’s large blank pages and hardcover, screamed out “Make me over!” I shall share my process with you now, dear readers, leaving out any details about how messy I got, and where I was finding black and copper paint, days later.
The first step is simple. You spread PVA glue all over the cover of your notebook, so that it is completely covered, and then lay tissue paper over the top of it, smoothing and rippling the paper as you go, to create a natural-looking surface. Be careful not to rip it as the tissue paper becomes quite fragile when wet. Do one cover at a time – ie do the front first, let that dry and then do the spine and back cover next. Fold any excess paper over to the inside – you will be covering that up later.
PVA glue takes a while to dry properly so go and do something else while you’re waiting. You can speed the process up by gently drying with a heat gun or hairdryer.
When all the sides are done, paint with your chosen background colour. I have used black acrylic paint, but it would look equally good with just about any dark-ish colour. Paint each side, including the spine, and allow to dry as before.
Using a sheet of paper, cut to size, cover the inside, back and front, making sure you cover up the excess tissue paper that was folded over. If you want to add some ribbon or binding to tie the book up with, now is the time to add it, before the paper is stuck down. Or, if you make a mistake like I did (and forget to add the ribbon), you can glue it on after the paper and use an extra square of paper to hide the ribbon. Hey, I am all about improvising! When it is all stuck down, paint over with your chosen colour. I used black again here, but you could use a contrasting colour if you like.
When everything is completely dry, you can start on the fun bit. Squeeze out some metallic acrylic paint (I used copper, but gold or silver etc would look great too) onto a palette or spare bit of cardboard. Don’t add water. Dip your finger lightly into the paint, dabbing off the excess (you only want a little bit of paint) and lightly wipe it over the covers of your book. This is like dry-brushing with a paint brush. You don’t want thick splodges of paint – just a light, barely-there contrast. It will highlight the textures and creases in the tissue paper and create a leathery/old look. Keep going until you are happy with the result – don’t forget to also do the spine.
Let this layer dry completely on all sides. Add an embellishment to the front cover if you wish, to add some interest. I used a copper, um, face-plate thingy (I have no idea what it is or where it came from) and, before sticking it down, created a little collage to fit underneath (flecked with a bit of copper paint), which was then sealed and enhanced with a layer of dimensional magic to give the effect of glass.
When the panel is slid open, the image is revealed. It looks all magical if you squint a bit and also don’t have very high standards or expectations ha ha.
An easy technique for updating a tired old notebook, that can also be used on metal, wood and other materials. It’s messy and fun and you basically get to finger-paint. And there are sadly few opportunities to do that these days.
Thank you for stopping by 🙂
PS I just want to say, I am not a witch, and do not mean to offend anyone who is.
I have “dabbled” in the Craft, as I think many women do at some stage in their life, but I certainly don’t claim to know all that I should know about it and would advise anyone who is thinking of casting a few random spells or hexing the neighbours to get some proper advice and guidance. Be careful of your intent and the energy you put out into the world, even if you are just “dabbling”.
My *Book of Shadows is my own personal book of “spells” (if you want to call them that), affirmations and wishes, important things I want to record and hold dear, and does not imply that I am in any way affiliated with any particular belief system, religion, or group.
Believe in magic, or don’t.
Each to his or her own. Blessed Be.