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Making an Altered Book

I thought I’d document the process of making an altered book – my way!

Below are photo’s showing the process of making The Edge of the Wood altered book.

Second Hand Book
I start with a hardbacked second-hand book from a charity shop or found in the street.
Tools
My tools – scissors, a pencil and a cutting knife. Also needed are a glue stick, a piece of cardboard and white cartridge paper!
Opened book with Paper
I open the book roughly in the centre and glue a piece of cartridge paper across both sides with a glue stick.
Image 3 Showing Paper Stuck in
Showing the paper stuck in and the edges to be trimmed.
Image 4 Pencil Sketch
I sketch out the top picture in pencil that I’ll later rub out.
Image 5 Start of the Drawing in Pen.
I start drawing. I use a Faber Castell, PITT artist pen, size small
Drawing Underway
Drawing underway. I love drawing trees and like putting a tree centrally to span both sides but there’s plenty of scope for other arrangements.
Board Beneath Drawing
The top picture finished. Place board beneath drawing ready for cutting.
Cutaway Pages
Showing cutaway pages with a new sheet of cartridge paper stuck beneath each side.
Showing Cutaway Page
Showing beneath cutaway page.
Cutting a Page.
Cutting the second-from-last page.
Finished Altered Book
Here is the finished altered book that I’m calling” The Edge of the Wood.” At this stage I might add a bit of colour with watercolour pencils and/or inks.
Detail of Altered Book
Here is a close-up detail of “The Edge of the Wood.”

The Edge of the Wood and Deer in the Forest below will soon be on display in Avocet Gallery in Rye.

Deer in the Forest Altered Book
Deer in the Forest altered book

6 thoughts on “Making an Altered Book

  1. I love your book. Could you tell me if you glue pages together?

  2. Hi Cynthia,

    I’m glad you like my book :)

    I haven’t glued pages together in books like the one above, I only glue in the sheets of cartridge paper to do the drawings on. However I have altered smaller books – such as my sleeping badger book as in this blog post: (http://www.alexifrancisillustrations.co.uk/forest-altered-books/) in which I did glue pages together as it was a simpler book. x

  3. Very beautiful and inspirational. How thick is the paper you use. I imagine it’s fairly thick but obviously not cardstock?

    1. Hi Sergio, thank you very much. I use 140gsm cartridge paper which I stick into the book. It makes it strong but not like cardstock. :)

  4. Amazing! This has got to be the most unique, mesmerizing and all around simply stunning art I have seen in a very long time. Not to mention probably the most beautiful, useful way to repurpose books.Thank you for sharing your amazing talent! Just in awe. ..

  5. You have enthralled me with your art. Thank you for sharing. Do you ever offer courses?

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